Written by Abigail Wharne, Archivist
Friday, 19 February 2016

While searching through the Brightonians this week, I stumbled across a short, but fascinating, article written by the Jazz Appreciation Society, in 1962.

This was a significant year for jazz musician John Coltrane, with the release of another self-titled album, Coltrane, which received wide critical acclaim – although perhaps not by those at Brighton College! The magazine article indicates that a number of Society members were lucky enough to see Coltrane play in Brighton:

Brighton itself, during this term, has been rich in Jazz Concerts and members of the Society attended performances given by the Modern Jazz Quartet, and by John Coltrane and Dizzie Gillespie (the original author’s spelling). Most of us were bewildered by Mr Coltrane and enthralled by Dizzie Gillespie who previously had been but a myth to us.

The article offers a wonderful snapshot not only of life at the College, in the early 1960s, but also of Brighton as a vibrant town (as it then was).

Does anyone remember the Jazz Appreciation Society, and did anyone attend the concerts mentioned above? Where did the musicians perform? If you know more, and would like to share your story, please get in touch (details below) and I will publish your responses on the Archive Blog.

Abigail Wharne


Abigail joined the Development team in April 2015, having previously worked for the University of Sussex Special Collections, East Sussex Record Office and Towner Art Gallery. She regularly answers historical enquiries and catalogues archive material, so that it can be accessed by College staff and the public.

Abigail also manages the school’s heritage collections, including rare books and a wide range of artefacts. As a qualified teacher, she enjoys using archives to inspire and educate Brighton College pupils.

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