Celebratory VE75 Jazz Party

Did you know that World War Two was the first conflict to take have ever taken place where people could listen to mass distributed electronically produced music?

Families and households come together around the wireless

Wireless radio ownership during World War Two skyrocketed – with tens of millions of citizens across the globe having access to one – including those in Britain. Families around the world would gather around their radios to listen to important news broadcasts about the war and used radios as an escape by listening to music. This all sounds eerily familiar in the current coronavirus situation doesn’t it? Families gathering around to watch the daily government briefings and watching streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ to temporarily escape from what is happening in the real world right now.

The explosion of jazz during the war

World War Two was especially important in the popularisation of jazz and swing music in Britain, and across the world. Before World War Two, BBC radio would seldom play this genre of music – with Big Band and jazz music relegated to very few spots – mainly during anti-social hours in the early hours. The BBC was forced to adapt to the new listening habits of listeners and, by the end of World War Two, uplifting jazz music was primetime – and many of the VE Day street parties would have been playing jazz music as part of their celebrations.

Have your own jazz-inspired party courtesy of the Digby Fairweather and The Jazz Centre 

Join HMS Leigh – Make Do and Mend and host your own jazz-party at home. Get out of your loungewear, put on your best glad rags, and celebrate as a household!

Our very own Southend-on-Sea is home to The Jazz Centre UK which was founded by Digby Fairweather. Hidden underneath Southend Library on Victoria Avenue, it is the official central hub for everything jazz the UK from music, dance, fashion art and design. click here for their website

Get in the party mood, turn on the wireless (Spotify) and listen to their specially curated playlist HERE Or tune in to a selection of hits from Southend-on-Sea’s multi-award winning Digby Fairweather HERE

Don’t forget to take photos or videos of your parties, share on our Facebook page and tag @HMS_Leigh on Instagram, or feel free to send them into our email address: contactus@hmsleigh.org.uk

Main image courtesy of Dean Trotter

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