Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jazz Appreciation Month


Move to their 
own beat, but
keep the melody.
Improvise, and
work in harmony.
Sing the blues, yet
make it through.
Jump sometimes,
Bop in long lines, or
merge in fusion.
Never stop swingin’.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. This initiative has been spear-headed by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. Go to for a history of the initiative and information regarding this year's celebration.

In perusing the Smithsonian's site, I realized that there are three L's that can help us participate in this month-Learn, Listen and Local.

  1. Learn more about the art form. This includes the history and contemporary jazz. Read a book or do research online.  The Smithsonian Jazz Site has oral histories of NEA Jazz Masters. You may listen or read a transcript. The site also has the "Today in Jazz History" calendar, which gives you a day-by-day accounting of some of the music's most important events.
  2. Listen to the music. After all, that is really what the art form is about. Settle in with some old favorites or use your research to explore some new artists. 
  3. Support your local musicians, clubs and radio stations. If there is a museum or musicians birthplace in your area support that, too. Art inspires other art so there may be jazz poets or visual artists who incorporate jazz influences in their work. Give them a look or listen, too.
Most importantly, continue to enjoy and celebrate the music all year long.

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