The Hartford Jazz Society enjoys a history as rich as it is diverse. Founded in 1960 by dedicated JAZZ aficionados, it is the oldest continuously operating jazz society in the country. For over 40 years, the all-volunteer Society has never wavered from its founders' goals: to improve JAZZ as America's gift to the music world, and to foster in each succeeding generation an appreciation and love for JAZZ in all its many forms.
The purpose of “HJS History” is to acquaint current and prospective members and supporters with what the Jazz Society was like during its formative years -- who its principal players were, what their activities were, and how HJS evolved from those beginnings. Fortunately, much of this story is documented in 100+ of the Society's earliest newsletters, in press reports, and in other archival materials, including rare recordings of little-known jam sessions by noted musicians of the times. We thank Art Fine, a founder and first President of HJS, for having meticulously preserved these materials, as well as for sharing his own direct knowledge of what happened in those times. We intend to make as much of this material available to you as possible through this website, and we encourage you to revisit this site often to check on our progress. We hope you find this "story" informative. It is part of the larger story of the history of jazz in Hartford, a story that goes back much farther than 1960 and that also deserves to be told in a comprehensive way.