Swinging Through Time

Swinging Through Time

The Graystone Museum
and the story of Detroit jazz

With its marquee beckoning, the Graystone Ballroom was a luxurious ’20s temple to nightlife and that new music sweeping America — jazz. When the wrecking ball reduced the grandeur to a heap of rubble 60 years later, the Graystone lived on as part of the movement to preserve the local history of an all-American music. Today the Graystone International Jazz Museum tells the story of the ballroom for which it was named, the bands and the times. It has also become a broad repository reflecting the breadth of Detroit’s jazz heritage.

Others, too, have been active in preserving Detroit’s jazz legacy. The history of Detroit jazz — from the music’s 19th-Century roots to today — is presented in our exhibit’s reading room in six essays by jazz scholars and observers of the scene.

To share the sound of Detroit jazz today, a half-dozen recording artists have given permission for their independently produced works to appear in our listening room.

And for a peek at one creative musician, veteran "drummist" Roy Brooks, the video lounge has movie clips from his private collection ready for downloading.

With the exception of album covers, all photos and images on this site appear courtesy of — and with permission from — the Graystone International Jazz Museum. Copyrights of the essays are by the authors.

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