Rich Falco sits in his office in Alden Memorial surrounded by jazz memoriabilia
Media Contact

Colleen Wamback, Public Relations Specialist
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, Massachusetts
508-688-4858, cbwamback@wpi.edu

WPI To Become Official Home of the New England Jazz Alliance Hall of Fame

The university will also launch the International Jazz History Database, an interactive multimedia museum developed by WPI students and faculty to preserve “at risk” jazz artifacts.

April 7, 2017
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On Saturday, April 29, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will become the official home of the New England Jazz Alliance Hall of Fame. NEJA established the Hall of Fame in 2001 to honor the contributions of New England jazz musicians and to provide  a home to the life works of jazz greats like Jaki Byard, Harry Carney, and Henry “Boots” Mussulli, but until now the exhibits did not have a permanent location. The prestigious distinction will be celebrated with a public music event featuring works by the region’s noted jazz artists as well as a performance by the New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra.

In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, the April 29 event will also serve as the official launch of the International Jazz History Database (JHDB), an interactive multimedia museum for jazz enthusiasts, academics, and casual fans. Hosted by WPI and under the direction of Professor Richard Falco, director of jazz studies, the JHDB is composed of thousands of photos, videos, audio recordings, and news clippings focused on artists deserving of wider recognition. The JHDB is dedicated to the digital preservation of "at-risk" jazz artifacts and provides neatly packaged "collections" that will appeal to casual jazz fans while giving jazz educators new materials to use for research and to teach the history of jazz and its evolving language. For more than a decade the JHDB has primarily featured New England artists. Tapping the technological know-how of WPI students and faculty to digitize a vast quantity of material, the updated JHDB can now include international contributions to track the influence of jazz around the world.

Capturing Legacies with the Jazz History Database

International Jazz History Database

WHEN:        Saturday, April 29

3:00-5:00 p.m.

  •  Open reception with three jazz bands and refreshments.
  •  Introduction of the international contribution technology for the Jazz History Database
  • Unveiling of the New England Jazz Alliance Hall of Fame Exhibit
  •  Meet and Greet WICN Jazz Radio Hosts                                   

  7:30-8:30 p.m.

  The New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra, directed by Professor Ken Schaphorst, with special guest Mark Zaleski,
  performing compositions and arrangements by Worcester native Jaki Byard

WHERE:       Worcester Polytechnic Institute,  Alden Memorial, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA

WHO:            WPI Professor Rich Falco
                        WPI Jazz Ensemble
                        New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra
                        Members of the New England Jazz Alliance
                        Additional musicians to be announced

The event is free and open to the media and the public. If any members of the media would like to speak with Rich Falco prior to April 29, contact Colleen Wamback at cbwamback@wpi.edu, 508-831-6775, or 508-688-4858