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The Von Freeman Memorial Lending Library

On July 1, 2012, the “We Always Swing”® Jazz Series opened its recording and book collection to the public. A year later the collection was dubbed the Von Freeman Memorial Lending Library in honor of the legendary, iconic Chicago tenor saxophonist [b. 10/3/23–d. 8/11/12] and NEA Jazz Master. In March 2018, Freeman’s son, saxophonist Chico Freeman, formally dedicated the collection, which is intended to be a community resource, open to all.

The library’s titles run from jazz’s turn-of-the-20th-century earlier beginnings right up to the present. No matter what style(s) of jazz piques your interest, visitors will find fitting titles within the Freeman Memorial Lending Library.

The Library, housed at the Jazz Series offices, 21 N. Tenth St., is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. The public can listen to selections and/or peruse jazz-related literature on site. For people’s convenience, the Jazz Series established an Annual Membership Program — $25 and up for students; $60 and up for the public. When people become members, they may borrow titles on a weekly basis.

Spearheaded by Chief Librarian Brock Jones, a complete online catalog is available for all to view, with content organized not simply alphabetically by artist or ensemble, but also by release dates, song titles, individual musicians’ names and other additional detail. To peruse the catalog, simply go to wealwaysswing.org/library. The Freeman Library is a one-of-a-kind project; certainly, it’s the only such public collection located in Columbia, mid-Missouri and perhaps the entire state and beyond.

Library Membership Cards Now Available

Those who become members receive a laminated wallet-size membership card. The card validates membership and identifies contributor-type. To secure your membership card, please email the Jazz Series — Request Freeman Library Membership Card, or call, 573/449-3009, or simply stop in and register in person. Please let us know how you would like your library card to read. We will contact you when your card is ready to be picked up. Membership cards are nontransferable. When you become a Lending Library Member, you may borrow titles on a weekly basis — and you have also made an annual investment in the Jazz Series and in making the Freeman Memorial Lending Library a success. Memberships are tax-deductible to the extent the law permits. Thank you for your support.

All performances/personnel, dates are subject to Pandemic Developments. We adhere to Boone Co./Columbia Health Dept. & CDC Guidelines.

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The "We Always Swing”® Jazz Series is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation administered by “We Always Swing,” Inc. The Jazz Series is supported by: concert revenue; federal, state and local grants and contracts; corporate sponsorships; underwriting and advertising-derived income; and by the generosity of individuals who make tax-deductible contributions. “We Always Swing”® and “The Swinging Saxophonist”™ logo are registered trademarks of “We Always Swing,”® Inc./National Pastimes Productions™ and may not be reproduced in print or digital format without prior consent.