The Bill Russell Lecture at The Historic New Orleans Collection focuses on New Orleans jazz, in honor of the William Russell Jazz Collection housed at THNOC. This collection 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 Russell Collection is available to researchers at THNOC’s Williams Research Center, located at 410 Chartres St. For more information, email the WRC or call (504) 523-4662. 


The 25th Annual Bill Russell Lecture
Sponsored by the Derbes Foundation

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 | 6–7 p.m.
410 Chartres Street
General admission, $20 | $5, Students with ID

Register here

For the 25th annual Bill Russell Lecture, The Historic New Orleans Collection presents “Lineages,” an exploration of musical mentorships featuring the New Orleans–based music and arts collective Alluvium Ensemble, with remarks by composer Roger Dickerson. Featured soloists include Sarah Quintana, Chris Trapani, Tara Melvin, and Tyrone Chambers II. Directed by B.K.Zervigon, the ensemble features Morgan Stewart, Austin Richardson, Gabrielle Fischler, Sixto Franco, Jennie Brent, Chris Beroes-Haigis, J.T. Hassell, and Violeta del Rio.   

Melding performance and conversation, we will examine the way musicians learn from their predecessors, both directly and through the archives. The program will feature scored arrangements alongside improvisations inspired by material found within THNOC’s William Russell Jazz Collection.   

The Bill Russell Lecture is sponsored by the Derbes Foundation.