Thursday, March 25, 2010

April is Jazz Appreciation Month

Once again this year, April has been designated Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History as a way of "paying tribute to jazz both as a historic and living American art form."

According the Smithsonian's website, JAM is "intended to stimulate the current jazz scene and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz — to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and support institutional jazz programs."

To promote JAM, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has commissioned a poster of a jazz legend again this year. This year's poster (pictured) features an image of pianist Dave Brubeck, a 2009 Kennedy Center honoree, created by artist Leroy Neiman. The museum has printed 250,000 posters for free distribution to music and jazz educators, librarians, music merchants and manufacturers, radio stations, arts presenters, and U.S. embassies worldwide. To request a copy, send an email to You can also download the poster in PDF format.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is home to jazz collections that include 100,000 pages of Duke Ellington’s unpublished music and objects such as Ella Fitzgerald’s famous red dress, Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme manuscript and Benny Goodman’s clarinet. The museum has reopened after a two-year renovation.

To help interested listeners find jazz events during the month, The Smithsonian also publishes a calendar of JAM-related events nationwide. While no St. Louis presenters have announced plans for a formal celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, there will be plenty of live jazz to enjoy here in April, and you can see a schedule of upcoming events by visiting the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar.

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