The Los Angeles Jazz Institute houses and maintains one of the largest jazz archives in the world. All styles and eras are represented with a special emphasis on the preservation and documentation of jazz in Southern California. The overall mission of the Jazz Institute is to preserve, promote and perpetuate the heritage of this important American art form.
Maintain a comprehensive program of cataloging and data-base entry to continue to improve access to the collections.
The Los Angeles Jazz Institute is housed on the campus of California State University, Long Beach in the Department of Music, in collaboration with the California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz. The Institute is used by teachers, scholars, students, musicians, independent researchers, the media and the industry. Research requests come from a variety of sources including musicians, scholars, members of the press, teachers, students and members of the general public.
The books, recordings and archival collections are non-circulating. All research must be conducted on-site during the Institute's hours of operation.
The Los Angeles Jazz Institute is open Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm To make an appointment to visit the Institute call (562) 985-7065.
The Founder and Director of the Los Angeles Jazz Institute is Ken Poston.
Poston began his career as the Executive Director of The Kansas City Jazz Commission with the mission to preserve the city's jazz heritage and promote its future. In this role he started a local jazz magazine (JAM), initiated a KC jazz oral history project, began teaching jazz history at local universities, hosted a weekly jazz radio program on KCUR-FM, and produced a number of jazz concerts and festivals.
In 1987 he relocated to Los Angeles and joined nationally recognized KLON (now KKJZ) as the Director of Concert Productions. During his eleven years at KLON, he produced well over 100 concerts and festivals. In addition to his concert production activities, Ken was also an on-air personality hosting the popular 'Portraits in Jazz' program which became a Saturday morning mainstay on the Los Angeles radio dial. In addition to 'Portraits in Jazz', he also hosted a program for EuroJazz radio which was broadcast throughout Europe. He has also written and produced many programs for national broadcast in the United States.
Recognized as one of the foremost concert producers presenting jazz today, he has also served as the Director of the Sarasota Jazz Festival and has produced numerous events throughout the Los Angeles area. Ken has also produced a number of jazz events throughout the United States and in Europe, most notably a Jazz West Coast celebration at London's famed Royal Albert Hall. Poston is also recognized as a jazz historian and an authority on the history of jazz on the west coast. He has taught and lectured widely and is currently an instructor at Long Beach State University and UCLA .