Jazz at the Library


Years of partnership bears fruit, signals new age of service to the community

Louis Armstrong famously said, “Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.” Whether it’s hot or cool, jazz is alive and well in Escambia County, and it has a new showcase at the West Florida Public Library. 

The Jazz Room is the culmination of a long-standing partnership between the Jazz Society and the West Florida Public Library. It houses the entirety of the Main Library’s collection of approximately 800 books, CDs, and movies covering the history, performance, and culture of jazz in its many forms. Other special features of the room include a listening station where patrons can sample a variety of jazz styles before deciding which albums to check out and jazz-related artwork donated by loyal library users.

The completion of the Jazz Room represents the final step in the renovation and expansion of the downtown library. It also signals a new approach to the Library’s mission to inform, empower, and entertain the communities of Escambia County. “The expansion of the Main Library heralded a rebirth of the library in a variety of ways,” explained Darlene Howell, Library Administrator. “The addition of the Jazz Room stands out among them.”   

The Jazz collection has been built and is maintained by the ongoing support of the Jazz Society of Pensacola and the Friends of the West Florida Public Library. The installation of the Jazz Room was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Ralph Knowles in memory of his wife, Janet. Special thanks to Dr. Knowles, Dr. Rovena Hillsman, and Ms. Cay Simpson for their donations of original art.

For more information about the West Florida Public Library and the resources and programs it offers, go to MyWFPL.com



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