The Internet Public Library is all “jazzed up”

June 3, 1997

ANN ARBOR—”Swinging Through Time” transports Web users through more than 60 years of Detroit’s jazz heritage from its 19th-century roots, the Graystone Ballroom of the ’20s, to today’s jazz artists.

A permanent exhibit in the University of Michigan’s Internet Public Library (IPL), “Swinging Through Time” offers the sights and sounds of the new music that swept through America in those Roaring Twenties to the sound of Detroit jazz today. Viewers can learn about Detroit’s Graystone, the dance hall and the museum it inspired, watch slide shows touching on eight decades of jazz, read a brief history of Detroit jazz in a number of essays, or listen to the music itself performed by Detroit artists. A stop at the Video Room allows one to hear and see drummist Roy Brooks. And if you’re interested in other jazz sites on the Web, “Swinging Through Time” will direct you there.

In the Listening Room the listener can hear Roy Brooks, the Steve Wood Quintet, Pamela Wise, Wendell Harrison & the Clarinet Ensemble, A. Spencer Barefield, McKinfolk, Marcus Belgrave and Blue Dog.

The Reading Room’s essays tell the story of Detroit jazz beginning in the 1800s with Herb Boyd’s “The Beginning: Black Music in Detroit – 1850-1920” and Lars Bjorn’s “Stompin’ at the Graystone: Jazz in Detroit – 1917-1940.” Bjorn teamed up with Jim Gallert to produce “Bebop in Detroit: Nights at the Blue Bird Inn.” Boyd’s “Black Bottom and Beyond: The View in the ’80s” and W. Kim Heron’s “What the Cultural Warriors Won: A ’90s View” bring Detroit’s jazz scene up to date.

“Swinging Through Time” can be accessed at or through the IPL’s home page available at Internet Public

Library is partially supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and began as a graduate student project in 1995. It is now staffed by professional librarians with assistance from students and volunteer librarians from around the Internet. The library maintains a collection of network-based ready reference works, responds to reference queries, creates resources for children and young adults, evaluates and categorizes resources on the Internet, and provides space for exhibitions.


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