It was hard not to notice that by the early 60s, things had changed dramatically for the Jazz Loft set. Folk and rock music had gained in popularity. Life in New York was becoming more expensive. The late-night jam sessions slowed down, and Smith became more isolated as the loft scene faded away. Finally around 1965, his tapes stopped rolling for good.
This is a slightly updated version of The Jazz Loft Radio Series, which first aired on WNYC in November in 2009, in conjunction with Sam Stephenson’s book “The Jazz Loft Project." We are re-distributing the entire series now on the occasion of the release of Sara Fishko's documentary, "The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith," which debuted at the New Orleans Film Festival in October of 2015.
Thanks to the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, our original partner in the production of The Jazz Loft Radio Series.
The Jazz Loft Radio Series was supported in part by a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities; and by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts.