All That Philly Jazz is a digital history project at the intersection of technology, public art and civic engagement. We are telling the story of Philadelphia’s rich jazz heritage from bebop to hip-hop. We are mapping jazz spots and landmarks, historical markers, murals, Walk of Fame plaques, and jazz-related cultural assets.
Much of Philadelphia’s jazz history has been erased. Few structures remain. Jazz spots fell victim to the 1964 race riots in North Philly, urban renewal and gentrification. To preserve Philly's jazz heritage for future generations, the project is crowdsourced. Community members and jazz enthusiasts anywhere in the world are invited to share their stories, images and videos of Philadelphia's jazz scene back in the day.
All That Philly Jazz is about community beautification. Vacant lots will be transformed into vibrant places. Through mobile technology and low-cost public art, the community will be empowered to reimagine the vacant spaces as what they used to be — community assets.
We are developing a mobile app, All That Philly Jazz Walk, a self-guided walking tour that will begin at 11th and Market Streets, the former location of the Earle Theater, and end at Broad and Carpenter Streets, the former location of Union Local 274, the black musicians union whose members included Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, McCoy Tyner, Philly Joe Jones, among other jazz greats.
All That Philly Jazz stems from Music Hack Day, a music-related hackathon held at Drexel University.