Graystone Jazz Museum: Collection

The Graystone International Jazz Museum & Hall of Fame was a community-based Black music archive that closed earlier this century that we salvaged in 2015.

Jimmy Wilkins Orchestra Bandstand, 1960s: Courtesy of Detroit Sound Conservancy: This 1960s blue bandstand belonged to former Count Basie trombonist Jimmy Wilkins and served the band he founded when he quit touring and made Detroit his home. Signature bands with their own charts that would sit on bandstands like this were a central part of birthing Detroit’s mid-century, pre-Motown, modern soundscape. Salvaged in 2014 from the remains of the Graystone International Jazz Museum & Hall of Fame by Detroit Sound Conservancy, it stands ready to be used again. Photo: Jeremy Deputat / Text: Carleton Gholz

Have a story or a question about the Graystone Museum? Please contact us via email at or call direct at 313-757-5082

Collection History

Acquisition History: Read about how we salvaged this collection here.

Organization History: The Graystone International Jazz Museum & Hall of Fame was founded in 1974 but closed in the aughts as the original board members passed away and funds ran out. Some of the artifacts –photographs, posters, records, musical instruments, paperwork, historical research, and physical materials from the Graystone Ballroom itself (torn down in 1980) — were left in a local warehouse by the last board president. The rest of the artifacts were left in the Book Tower, the last location of the museum.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Graystone International Jazz Museum Collection consists of documents produced and used by the organization during its years of operation, from 1974 to the early 2000’s. Included are the series Writings on Graystone, James T. Jenkins, Administrative Documents, Membership, Financial Records, Grants, Correspondence, Press Releases, Press Releases, Programming/ Community Service, Provenance, and Jordan’s Jukebox.

Contents List

Box 1


1 Provenance 

2 Provenance – A/V

3 Provenance – Book Tower

4 Provenance – Instruments

Writings on Graystone

5 DSC writings on Graystone Museum 

6 Graystone Ballroom History 

7 Graystone Jazz International Museum Newsletter

8 Graystone – Press Clippings

James T. Jenkins

9 Jenkins, James T. 

10 James T. Jenkins- DOT

11 Amalgamated Transit Union Local #26 AFL – CIO DSR – DOT Retirees Organization

Box 2

Administrative Documents 

1 Graystone Mission, Vision, and Goals, and History 

2 Annual Report

3 Board of Directors 

4 Board of Directors – Gabriel, Larry

5 Board of Directors – Reese

6 Board of Directors – Ruffner, James

7 Minutes and Agendas 

8 Legal

9 Occupancy 

10 Occupancy- Mirror Ballroom 


11 Museum Membership 

Box 3

Financial Records

1 Financial Reports

2 Graystone – Budgets, Check Registers

3 Accounting and Financial Procedures Manual

Box 4

Financial Records (continued)

4 Taxes

5 Nonprofit Status

6 Employees

7 Volunteers

8 Salaries

9 Banking

10 Equipment Receipts

11 Gift Shop

Box 5


1 Accounting Aid Society

2 Black United Fund of Michigan

3 Concerned Citizens for the Arts in Michigan

4 Community Development Block Grant

5 Detroit City Planning Commision

6 Detroit Council of the Arts (SEE ALSO: Graystone Ballroom)

7 The Kresge Foundation

8 Michigan Council for the Arts

9 McDonald’s

9 Neighborhood Opportunity Fund

10 Ruffner Foundation 

Box 6


1 House of Representatives – John Conyers, Jr. 

2 William E. Kee AKA Gene Kee

3 Comerica Incorporated – Correspondence

4 Great Lakes Art Alliance – Correspondence 

5 Music Hall – Correspondence

6 Stroh Brewery – Correspondence

7 WDIV/TV 4 – Correspondence

8 WJ22 – Correspondence

9 Miscellaneous – Correspondence

10 Phone Records

11 Business Cards

12 Avanti

13 Stationary

Press Releases 

14 Graystone – Press Releases (1983 – 1987)

Box 7

Programming (1974 – 1992)

1 Programming (undated)

2 Programming (1974)

3 Programming (1976)

4 Programming (1980)

5 Programming (1981)

6 Detroit: City of Jazz (1983)

7 Programming (1983)

8 Virginia Park District Council (1984)

9 Programming (1984)

10 Exhibit (1984)

11 Events – Cost

12 Programming (1984)

13 Programming (1985)

14 Programming (1986)

15 Programming (1987)

16 Programming (1988)

17 Programming (1989)

18 Programming – Chicago Pete & the Detroiters (1989)

19 Community Jazz History Series (1989)

20 Programming (1990)

21 Programming (1991)

22 Programming (1992)

Box 8

Programming (1993 – 2001)

1 Programming (1993)

2 Programming (1994)

3 Programming (1996)

4 Programming (1999)

5 Programming (2001)

6 Naima Shambourger 

7 Blue Monday 

8 Paradise Valley

9 Club Penta

10 The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington

Community Service

11 Community Service Projects

Box 9

Jordan’s Jukebox

1 Jordan’s Jukebox

2 Programming

3 V-M Electronics

Box 10


1 Checks

2 Calendar (1994)


Artifacts: From the Graystone Ballroom, which include exhibit materials, furniture, musical instruments and Jordan’s Jukebox and artifacts from the Graystone Ballroom before it’s destruction in 1980. Some of the musical instruments were donated to the Detroit Historical Society in 2012.

Audio Recordings and Music Library: Integrated into the Detroit Sound Conservancy audio collections. Contains various tapes, LP records and 78s. 

Photographs: The Graystone also had a photograph vertical file that Detroit Sound Conservancy has integrated into their own collection. See also: Graystone Scrapbook.

Scrapbooks: Integrated into the Detroit Sound Conservancy photo collection.

Posters: Integrated into Detroit Sound Conservancy poster collection. 

Sheet Music: The Graystone had sheet music in their collection, which has since been integrated into the Detroit Sound Conservancy collection.

Vertical File: The Graystone had a vertical file including international, national, and local items related to jazz and blues. Detroit Sound Conservancy has set aside these artifacts in their own collection.

Videos: Integrated into Detroit Sound Conservancy video collection. See also: Community Jazz History Series


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