VIRGINIA JAZZ: The Early Years

Jazz Preservation Initiative


January 2021 through June 2021
at the
Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia – Richmond VA
Call the Museum at 804.780.9093 for details and reservations

Roy Johnson’s Happy Pals Orchestra at the Savoy Ballroom in New York – 1929. (L to R): Harold “Pops” Griffin (clarinet/sax), Emmitt “Lic” Johnson (clarinet/sax), Nathaniel “Buster” McPherson (clarinet/sax), Roy F. Johnson (drums, leader), Edward “Pickles” Humes (trumpet), Leroy “Fess” Wyche (piano), Percy Trent (trumpet), Fleming “Beans” Edwards (trombone), William “Mama” Allen (bass, tuba), Edward “Skinny” Trent (banjo)

Richmond Jazz Society, Incorporated created a multi-media exhibition that showcases Virginians who made a significant contribution to the development of Jazz as an American art form – from the early rhythms of the music’s birth at the turn of the 20th century to the multifaceted vibrations leading to the music’s modern sound.

RJS’ Jazz Preservation Initiative continually seeks to document Virginia’s Jazz history with the objective of bringing to the forefront the achievements of those individuals who have made a significant impact on Jazz throughout history.

Major support for this project was provided by: