The Jazz Loft officially opened in May of 2016. Originally built in 1941, the building was the Suffolk Museum, now the Long Island Museum. Philanthropist Ward Melville, owner of Thom McAnn shoes, designed all of Stony Brook Village, including the Suffolk Museum. At the time Stony Brook Village was the first pre-designed shopping center in the United States of America.
The Suffolk Museum was actually two older structures that existed in other parts of the town. The larger part of the building was the original 1909 Firehouse and the smaller part was a circa 1850s structure dubbed the "Stone Jug" because of its stone exterior. Mr. Melville moved both buildings to their current site, joined them together, and in doing so added one of the many outstanding venues the village prides itself in having.
After the Suffolk Museum moved up the road and became the Long Island Museum, the building served as the Garden Exchange for roughly 40 years. A consignment and antique center run by the Garden Club, many people found wonderful treasures there that still adorn their homes. After a ten year vacancy the Jazz Loft is the third tenant in the buildings 75 year history.
The Jazz Loft's mission is one of Jazz preservation, education, and performance, and has quickly become the premier destination for all things Jazz. Presenting a full performance calendar of local, national and international artists in our period 1940s second floor performance space the Loft also has an extensive education program. Our Pre College Jazz Institute in collaboration with Stony Brook University offers training in jazz theory, performance and masterclass settings to outstanding high school musicians. Our Young at Heart program offers music therapy presentations for those with memory loss and their caregivers. A monthly lecture series and scheduled family concerts round out our community outreach endeavors which are due in part to an outstanding team of sponsors and community leaders. The Jazz Lofts final mission point is that of preservation which is alive and well and on view 24/7 in our 6,000 square feet of original jazz memorabilia spanning 100 years of the American born art form celebrating not only the music, but art and photography as well throughout our many galleries.