Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Acquires New Recordings

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NJMH) today announced the acquisition of a historic collection of never-before-heard recordings, including live performances of great American Jazz icons from 1935-1941.  The collection of 975 aluminum and vinyl discs, over 100 hours of material, was created by William Savory, a recording engineer and Harvard-educated physicist. Savory worked as at a radio transcription service in New York between 1935 and 1941 and used the equipment his job afforded him to record hundreds of hours of material directly off the radio.

The collection includes live performances by Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Fats Waller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and more, as well as classical broadcasts including Toscanini, Ormandy, and Kristen Flagstad.  The quality of the discs is extraordinary for the time, as most jazz enthusiasts in the 1930s did not have the access to professional equipment that Savory enjoyed.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's Executive Director Loren Schoenberg discovered the collection after a 24 year cultivation that started with his meeting William Savory in 1980. Savory died in 2004 and Schoenberg acquired the discs in April, 2010 for the museum through Savory's heir, Eugene Desavouret, of Malta, Illinois.

The search for, and cultivation of, this collection is parallel to the Museum's commitment to preserve the history of Jazz, while nurturing its evolution for future generations.  It also comes at a fortuitous time in the Museum's development as it is currently preparing to build a permanent home at "Mart 125," in Harlem, New York-the historic row in Upper Manhattan which stands directly across from the famed Apollo Theatre on Harlem's fabled 125th Street. The Museum plans to make the collection available to audiences at their current facility by appointment only, and through its September Tuesday evening Jazz For Curious Listeners and Saturday Panel series.  Check the Museum's website for more details. 

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem celebrates the neighborhood that has nurtured jazz and the many musicians that have lived and worked there. Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Count Basie, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday - all of their unique sounds reverberated throughout these fabled streets. Their legacy continues as the jazz musicians of today have also found a home in Harlem for their own contemporary sounds. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is dedicated to fostering this spirit -the music as a living, breathing entity that looks as far into the future as it does into the past.

For more information, please visit www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org.


BroadwayWorld Shop
Shop BroadwayWorld

Shop this season's new musicals! Get dressed up for a night at the theatre, or just a night at home, with merch from some of Broadway's biggest hits including SOME LIKE IT HOT, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, and more!

Start Shopping



Related Stories
Broadway Grosses: Week Ending 1/29/23 Photo
Grosses for all the Broadway shows for the week ending 1/29/2023.

Fox Pens Essay on Her Journey with WICKED- Keep Your Hope Alive Photo
Alyssa Fox is set to take over the role of Elphaba in Wicked at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre beginning Tuesday, March 7th. A Dallas, TX native, Alyssa Fox is fulfilling a huge dream after being a member of the WICKED family for over 13 years. Read her emotional essay about finally taking over the role!

Photos: See Norbert Leo Butz, George Abud & More in CORNELIA STREET Photo
Get a first look at production photos of Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of Cornelia Street, a new musical!

McDonald, Mitchell & OHara to Star in RAGTIME Reunion Concert Photo
The Entertainment Community Fund's one-night-only benefit reunion concert of Ragtime, originally scheduled for 2020, will take place on Monday, March 27, 2023 at the Minskoff Theatre. Learn who is starring in the concert, and how to purchase tickets!


More Hot Stories For You


Bane Griffith Joins MJ THE MUSICAL as 'Little Michael' Beginning TonightBane Griffith Joins MJ THE MUSICAL as 'Little Michael' Beginning Tonight
January 31, 2023

Bane Griffith will be joining the cast of MJ in the role of ‘Little Michael’ beginning tonight, Tuesday, January 31, sharing the role with Christian Wilson. Originally from Houston, Texas, Bane will make his Broadway debut in the production.

CABARET, A NEW BRAIN, and More Set For Barrington Stage Company's 2023 SeasonCABARET, A NEW BRAIN, and More Set For Barrington Stage Company's 2023 Season
January 31, 2023

Barrington Stage Company has announced its 2023 season, that will feature two major musical revivals, two world premiere plays, and two modern classic play revivals. The season kicks off with Cabaret, playing June 14-July 8 on the Boyd-Quinson Stage.

Designers Behind BLACK PANTHER and More Join THE WIZ; Full Design Team Announced!Designers Behind BLACK PANTHER and More Join THE WIZ; Full Design Team Announced!
January 31, 2023

The design team has been announced for the all-new production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz. The Wiz will launch a national tour in Fall of 2023 in Baltimore, MD before returning to Broadway for a limited engagement in the 2023/24 season. Learn more about the team and the production here!

All New Production of PETER PAN Will Embark on Tour in 2024All New Production of PETER PAN Will Embark on Tour in 2024
January 31, 2023

An all-new production of the timeless Tony Award-winning Broadway classic, PETER PAN will embark on tour in 2024! The new production will premiere at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, MN this December.

Lena Hall, Brittney Johnson, Eleri Ward Set For BROADWAY SINGS ADELE at Sony HallLena Hall, Brittney Johnson, Eleri Ward Set For BROADWAY SINGS ADELE at Sony Hall
January 31, 2023

On February 26 at 7:30pm, a bombshell cast of stars including Tony Award Winner Lena Hall (Hedwig), Brittney Johnson (Wicked), and Eleri Ward (Only Gold) will belt out new arrangements of the hits of the pop superstar Adele, accompanied by a 14-piece orchestra at the beautiful Sony Hall.