Hey all! As usual, this blog is getting a jump-start for the summer so I have a place to share where I’m going and what I’m doing musically. This time around I’ll be in the United Kingdom, stationed at the University of Sussex in Brighton (I’ve actually been here for a couple of days now, though the jet lag makes it feel like way more than that).
As for what I’m doing here: after graduating from the Bachelor of Music program at UC Santa Cruz, I was nominated for an International Junior Research Associate at the University of Sussex, to work on sorting out and building up the Altman-Koss Jazz Archive, the content of which was donated a little while back by John Altman and Eric Koss. The two musicians, themselves highly distinguished in the world of jazz, spent years recording and archiving as many jazz performances as they could – the result is a massive collection of 1600 VHS tapes, each 2.5 hours long. A few hundred of them have been digitized already, and my job will be to rifle through the collection looking for any rare or noteworthy performances, as well as to create a database so that other jazz-lovers can access it and do the same.
This “Private Collection of a Video Freak” (the collectors’ words) spans music from the 1920s (perhaps earlier – we’ll find out) through to the early 2000s. It has huge sections dedicated to performances by very famous jazz musicians (there’s well over 70 hours of footage just of Oscar Peterson), but also names that bring up nothing on YouTube (and very little on Google).
Will keep active as I explore more of Brighton and the collection. Hoping to come across some gems.