The Bill Russell Lecture is an annual event at The Historic New Orleans Collection that focuses on New Orleans jazz. The Collection houses the William Russell Jazz Collection, which documents Russell’s lifelong study of New Orleans jazz and related musical forms such as brass bands, ragtime, and gospel music. Born Russell William Wagner (1905–1992), William Russell was a modernist composer as well as a jazz historian and collector who focused on traditional New Orleans-style jazz. He amassed an extensive collection of jazz memorabilia, including musical instruments, records, piano rolls, sheet music, photographs, books, and periodicals. His collection traces the development of jazz in New Orleans and follows the movement of musicians to New York, Chicago, California, and beyond. It encompasses notes from Russell’s research, audiotapes, programs, posters, correspondence, films, business cards, notes, clippings, and scrapbooks.


The 21st annual Bill Russell Lecture: Jelly Roll Morton and the Latin Tinge
featuring Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 • 6 p.m.

This year's program has been postponed because of the coronavirus; the new date is Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at 6 p.m. Registration will open at a later date.
THNOC's Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street

Admission: $25 for non-members; $15 for THNOC members at the Founder and Merieult levels; free for THNOC members at the Mahalia, Caillot Circle, Jackson Society, Laussat Society, and Bienville Circle levels

For the 2020 program, the celebrated historian and clarinetist Dr. Michael White and his Original Liberty Jazz Band will combine live performance and lecture to explore the Afro-Latin rhythms from Cuba and the West Indies that influenced Jelly Roll Morton and subsequent generations of jazz musicians. Registration will open at a later date.