Texas Jazz Archive Collection Digital Exhibit 

Houston and the Gulf Coast have long had a vibrant jazz scene, but it hasn't always been well-documented. In 1986, saxophonist Arnett Cobb and his daughter Lizette Cobb created the Jazz Heritage Society of Texas as a non-profit education, literary, and cultural arts organization. In 1987, the Jazz Heritage Society of Texas partnered with the Houston History Research Center to document the under-represented jazz scene of Texas by establishing the Texas Jazz Archive. The inaugural set of inductees were musicians Arnett Cobb, Jewel Brown, Sammy Price, and I.H. Smalley, though the collection would eventually grow to include 22 artists. Since the archive was only actively collecting for a few years, this collection is not exhaustive of jazz music in Texas. However, through taped performances, recordings, oral histories, photographs, and other documentation, the Texas Jazz Archive illuminates the rich history of saxophonists and performers that were born or lived in Houston. 

Leonard Carnagey's Big Band Leonard Carnagey's Big Band
Leonard Carnagey's Big Band performing at Paradise Bar and Grill, Houston, TX. Photographer's title: "Rainy Jazz". Ed Gerlach standing near right margin of photo. 1987. Photographer: Inge Larrey
Daisy Richards in her wheelchair on a sidewalk Chorus Line Dancer – Daisy Richards
Daisy Richards in her wheelchair on a sidewalk. Undated
Daisy Richards and five dancers Daisy Richards and five dancers
Daisy Richards and five dancers performing on stage of Lincoln Theater, Houston, TX: Names written below: " Katie; Georgia; Bell; Cora; Martha Joe; and Daisy" Undated
James Bolden James Bolden
James Bolden outside of Mr. Blues in Houston, Tx. Undated
James Bolden James Bolden playing guitar
James Bolden playing guitar, with woman playing piano. Undated
James Bolden James Bolden performing
James Bolden as a young man. Undated
Lester Williams Lester Williams
Lester Williams as a one-man band: guitarist, drummer and pianist, publicity photograph. Undated
Nathaniel Barnes Nathaniel Barnes
Nathaniel Barnes on the day of his oral history interview. January 18, 1992
Sammy Price Sammy Price
Sam Price playing the piano. Undated
Arnett Cobb Arnett Cobb
Signed photograph of Arnett Cobb and His Orchestra performing for an audience.
Milton Larkin Orchestra Milton Larkin orchestra
Postcard photograph of Milton Larkin's Orchestra. Undated
Art Foxall Art Foxall
Art Foxall holding his saxophone, publicity portrait. Undated
Cambell Tolbert Campbell Tolbert
Campbell Tolbert repairing a saxophone in his instrument repair shop. November 16, 1989
I.H. Smalley I.H. Smalley
I.H. Smalley, singer, during a performance at Aesops. Smalley also played saxophone and was a bandleader. 1987. Photographer: Inge Larrey
Jewel Brown Jewel Brown
Jewel Brown, singing, with Louis Armstrong's All-Stars, during a performance in Oslo, Norway. Photographer:Petersen, Hans ; Nordfoto
Jewel Brown Jewel Brown
Jewel Brown, age 17, performing at Club Ebony accompanied by a jazz sextet: Joe Allen, third from left, and Volley Bastine. Remaining members of the quintet are unidentified. Photographer unknown.
Milton Larkin Milton Larkin
Milton Larkin playing his trombone during a concert in Tranquility Park, Houston, TX. 1986. Photographer: Inge Larrey
 Clayton Dyess and Milton Larkin Clayton Dyess and Milton Larkin
Clayton Dyess, guitarist, and Milton Larkin, trombonist, at Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston, TX. Double image. June 19, 1984. Photographer: Inge Larrey

In addition to photographs, HHRC also has Oral Histories that help tell the story of Jazz in Houston, Texas. 


Nathaniel Barnes: Barnes, Nathaniel | Houston Public Library |

James Bolden: Bolden, James | Houston Public Library |

Jewel Brown: Brown, Jewel | Houston Public Library |

Arnett Cobb: Cobb, Arnett | Houston Public Library |

Art Foxall: Foxall, Art | Houston Public Library |

Milton Larkin: Larkin, Milton | Houston Public Library |

Daisy Richards: Richards, Daisy | Houston Public Library |

Campbell Tolbert: Tolbert, Campbell | Houston Public Library |

Lester Williams: Williams, Lester | Houston Public Library |


More images from the Texas Jazz Archive are available on the HPL Digital Archives at https://cdm17006.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/search/searchterm/RGE0071  

More information about the archival collection is available at https://hplarchives.lyrasistechnology.org/repositories/2/resources/857