Project Archivist’s Blog: the Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project
Project Archivist Layla Fedyk reports on the IJR Project Reminiscence Workshop on 26 October.
Our third IJR Project workshop took us to Colchester in October, where a bustling community centre was found tucked away amidst the historic and olde-worlde streets of its town centre.
Once again, we adapted to the unique character each s has, with their regular activities, schedules and visitors. In this instance it meant fitting our workshop within a very lively and active centre of various goings-on: a busy hair salon, knitting in corridors, and of course a lively tea replenishing team!
We created an atmosphere around the social room with NJA archive material, complemented with artwork and artefacts brought in and displayed by Colchester Jazz Club’s Dave Bailey. Local jazz musician Goff Dubber made his contribution on soprano sax and clarinet, solo performing tunes such as Louis Armstrong’s Hello Dolly, Acker Bilk’s Strangers on the Shore, as well as Sweet Georgia Brown and Sidney Bechet's Dans les rues d' Antibes.
Loughton Youth Project brought new participation: as well as Nick, Chris and Chantelle, who we’ve come to know well, it was great to receive involvement from Charlie, Maitland, Lucy and John this time. Lucy is a media student with Epping College and I’m pleased to include below a little of her own experience of the day.
Our short time spent interacting with the day visitors for the intergenerational workshop, got an engaged and positive reaction. Janet told us “hearing what you have to say about the music” was what she got most out of the day, and Maureen particularly liked “talking with everyone here today and looking at the materials”.
The National Jazz Archive’s event in Colchester was one of the best experiences I’ve come across doing. It was such a big turn out with 20+ people and I really enjoyed hearing all of the stories that the elderly came to tell.
I spoke to people who had travelled from Mersea just for this event. The oldest person I spoke to was 91 and she had plenty of stories to tell about “the good old days” and the jazz era. Everyone was really polite and had a lot to say about the topics. All of the newspapers, magazines and other bits were very exciting to see and I felt like I was a woman back in the day of the jazz era. Everyone was reminiscing from the music that Goff the musician was playing. It was a really nice atmosphere and I think everyone there enjoyed it as much as I did. One lady told me about the dances and how the women would be on one side of the room and the men on the other. The men would pluck up the courage one by one to ask a girl to dance. The lady said that if the women liked the men enough they would dance with them. It surprises me how much things have changed since then. The musician was fantastic and had some really lovely stories to tell about how he came across jazz in the first place. Overall it was a fantastic day and I cannot wait until the next!