If you are a fan of jazz music then you should definitely check out the annual Jazz Record Collectors’ Bash in Edison, New Jersey. While this event is clearly perfect for buyers and vendors of 78s, LPs, CDs, and memorabilia, it is also a wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with jazz music lovers.
If you don’t know anything about this event, here is a brief history: The first bash was held in the summer of 1974, sponsored by Rutgers University’s Institute of Jazz Studies. They were initially one-day affairs with collectors gathering at the Holiday Inn in North Brunswick to sell, trade, play, and discuss records. By 1992, the bash had outgrown the venue, and moved to Somerset. Though it had success to that point, the founder and organizer was aging, and there came a few tumultuous years when the event was passed between multiple hosts and venues. Finally, in 2008, Art Zimmerman of Zim Records took over as host, and the two-day bash moved to the Hilton Woodbrige in New Jersey. The attendees loved the new venue so much that the hotel has housed the bash ever since.
You might not be a huge fan of records, but there is more to this event than the vendors. The community of collectors who attend the bash are passionate about jazz and their craft. In addition to the selling, trading, and playing of records, there are also a variety of featured events. This year, rare film and TV clips by jazz collector and film historian David Weiner will be shared on Friday evening. On Saturday, there will be Clip Joint presentations featuring vintage Nat Cole.
Another long-time program of note is the Vitaphone Project, a special program which presents a largely previously unseen collection of early sound jazz and vaudeville short subjects. Sadly, the co-founder and longtime bash presenter, Ron Hutchinson, passed away this year. If you are interested in learning more about this project, visit http://vitaphoneproject.com/
The 45th Annual Jazz Record Collectors’ Bash will take place Friday-Saturday, June 21-22, 2019. General admission is only $20 total for the two days, with a special deal of $10 after 5:00pm on Friday that includes re-entry on Saturday. They even offer a special hotel room rate a the Hilton.
Whether you have a passion for vinyl or simply love jazz music, this event might just be a hidden gem that you should check out this summer. Grab a few friends and make it a weekend getaway!
If you would like more information about the Jazz Record Collectors’ Bash, visit their website at https://jazzbash.net/info/history/