Sam Stephenson had a documentary brainchild, and its name was the Jazz Loft Project. The decade-long CDS project was based on W. Eugene Smith’s photographs and audiotapes, including recordings of the jazz world’s greatest musicians.

The unique intersection of history, documentary, and original archival material yielded an incredibly multifaceted project that extended far beyond the walls of CDS. An exhibition curated by Courtney Reid-Eaton traveled to the New York Public Library, Chicago Culture Center, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and Center for Creative Photography in Tucson.

Additionally, the Jazz Loft Project included an extensive oral history component, a critically acclaimed book by Sam Stephenson (one of only thirteen books to make the 2009 Year End lists of Publisher’s Weekly, Amazon, and the New York Times, Knopf), a ten-part radio series produced by WNYC and the Center for Documentary Studies, a series of theatrical and musical performances, and a multimedia website.