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IMPORTANT NOTICE: I have a large group of pluggers, handouts, a few small  (8 1/2 x 11, 8 1/2 x 14 and 11  17 inch) duplicate jazz posters I would like to trade for items I do not have. I do not have any large posters to trade and the posters I have are largely from the last three years here in Chicago. I do not have any classic jazz posters, other than modern ones for Paquite De Rivera, Anat Cohen, Fred Hirsch, Vijay Iyer and others who have appeared in Chicago the last few years. If you have any pluggers, handouts or posters to trade please contact me at rhcourtney33 at gmail.com.


The illustrations are all part of my collection, which currently is over 2,000 different posters. I only illustrate items that I own. The majority of my posters have at least one autograph on them. My criteria for asking for an autograph is that the person must be listed on the poster, or their picture is on it. The illustrations do not show the many autographs as that would involve rescanning or rephotographing them each time a new signature was added.
I am only a collector and do not sell any of the posters. If you should have any question regarding them, please contact me at rhcourtney33 at gmail.

A great deal of searching and persistance is necessary to build a collection of diverse genuine jazz venue posters. Many establishments sell "commemorative" posters that often have the musician's portrait, or an album cover illustrated on it. These are printed in the thousands and are sold all over the world. While these are often very attractive, they generally have litle value over time, due to the number printed.

A category that I place between the venue and the commemorative posters is the "Tour" posters. Those with dates and places are very desirable, but those without that information are less so. Of course there are always exceptions and the older ones are frequently difficult to find.

Also available are "promo" posters, promoting album releases, but these are not as difficult to locate and are not as valuable as the venue posters. Jazz "promo" posters were not printed in as large number as those for popular music and rock groups and can be difficult to locate.

A new aspect of collecting has emerged where artists, rather than commercial companies, are commissioned to design posters and print limited numbers that are signed and numbered. They fall into a category that is really an "art print". They do commemorate actual events and are printed prior to the concerts but most end up being sold to collectors. I have seen a few of these tacked up on bulletin boards and stuck in windows of stores, prior to the event.

Largely because of the incredible art work of the "Psychedelic" posters of the 1970s, people began to collect them. Today there are many dealers offering both the genuine and "reprints" of these posters and other rock posters. That has led to printers making larger numbers of them and they are in turn sold to dealers/collectors. Others are "rescued" from those posting them in windows and bulletin boards, or simply taken off the walls and saved. These are all the original printing of the posters and are desirable. Less desirable, of course, are the "reprints" or second and third printings. These are printed because of the excessive cost and difficulty in locating an original printing or simply because of the demand.

Within the last couple of years many early jazz posters from the 1930s to the present are being reprinted. These are reproductions of the early posters and are becoming a glut on the market. Often the seller does not indicate that they are reproductions and the buyer thinks he, or she, has found a real treasure. These are generally printed on a stiff cardboard.

One of the most frustrating problems is determining the year of the performance. Most poster makers (for most types of posters) frequently do not include the year the event(s) took place.

Another concern is that most of the posters are not printed on acid free paper and will deteriorate over time. It is necessary to have them mounted on "linen", which is really a form of canvas. This is done to archively protect them. It is often more expensive than the poster itself, but it is necessary to preserve these "historical" documents.

Luckily for jazz fans, many jazz venue posters are now available for the last few years from the above mentioned dealers. This of course is mostly for the groups that are well known by the younger people. Those who are interested in the older jazz groups will really have to search to find what they want.


The following posters were designed by Dan Grzeca of Chicago for local Chicago jazz events. His work also includes posters for rock groups in and outside of Chicago. This is the complete, to date, series of eight posters for the Empty Bottle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music.

RIGHT: Harry Connick, Jr tour of Great Britain. March 12-17, 2000. Size: 19 x 27

Art Ensemble of Chicago Posters

Posters of Art Ensemble Members

Jazz Posters 2

Jazz Posters 3

Jazz Posters 4

Jazz Posters 5

Jazz Posters 6

Jazz Poster 7

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