World’s Largest Jazz Photo Collection Seeks Buyer

For sale: perhaps the world’s finest and biggest pictorial history of jazz and American music. Must be kept together.

Frank Driggs, a former jazz journalist and record producer, started buying jazz photos from collectors more than half a century ago. After word got out he was a top collector, musicians often gave him pictures.

“For filmmakers who often visit hundreds of tiny archives to make a documentary you can’t appreciate enough the value of a collection that contains so many photos,” documentary filmmaker Ken Burns told Reuters.

Driggs was the single biggest supplier of pictures for “Jazz,” the 17-hour television series by Burns.

Driggs’ nearly 80,000 photos range from 1898 shots of ragtime’s Scott Joplin and Tom Turpin to portraits of big bands at since-closed Harlem and East Village haunts of the 1950s.

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