In addition to National Poetry Month, April 2010 marks the 9th Annual Celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM)! The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History has led this nationwide effort to draw public attention to jazz as a living and historical treasure.
This year, JAM is promoting a new theme entitled “Jazz and Cultural History.” Since its earliest days on the streets of New Orleans, jazz has brought together communities with diverse ethnic, cultural, and social backgrounds, speaking a common musical language that anyone can understand. With its inherently powerful and hopeful message of equality, jazz has also crossed national borders and challenged the status quo.
A few additional facts:
- 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.
- Any organization can participate in Jazz Appreciation Month by sponsoring a performance, lecture, exhibition or any other activity during the month of April.
- Jazz-related projects and/or events during the month of April can also be submitted for inclusion on the Smithsonian’s National JAM calendar by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The calendar lists events state by state and is updated weekly.
- In August 2003 the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 108-72 declaring “Jazz Appreciation Month as a time when musicians, schools, colleges, libraries, concert halls, museums, radio and television stations, and other organizations should develop programs to explore, perpetuate, and honor jazz as a national and world treasure.”
For more information on Jazz Appreciation Month and to access some of online materials please check the JAM website. If you would like ideas on how you may participate this year in promoting jazz appreciation, you may refer to this guide, which highlights ideas for parents, band directors, foundations, jazz fans, and more.