The life and music of jazz great Max Roach, one of the founding fathers of the modernist style known as bebop, will be forever memorialized for future generations in the nation’s library. The Library of Congress today celebrated the acquisition of Roach’s vast personal collection of papers, music, photos, and audio and video recordings. Over his decades-long career, Roach communicated and collaborated with some of the greatest names in jazz history.
Held at the Library’s majestic Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., the celebratory event included a conversation with the people who best knew Roach’s life, work and advocacy–his children Daryl Roach, Maxine Roach, Ayo Roach, Dara Roach and Raoul Roach. “Our family is thrilled that our father’s rich legacy has found a home at the Library of Congress,” said his daughter Maxine, who is also founder of the Uptown String Quartet. “Our father had a sense of his place in the history of America’s original music and for decades he collected testaments to his mastery in the form of recorded sounds, video, photos, papers, letters, awards, collaborations, gifts, honors, struggles and friendships. All will be on display at this very great and prestigious institution. And though he is no longer here, his artistry and humanity will live on in this magnificent building. We thank the Library of Congress for this high honor for our father. We know he is pleased.”