What will you choose
Ella, Frank, or
a bit of the blues?
Jazz Appreciation Month
April 2014

Jazz Appreciation Month

What a fantastic idea! Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) ... A whole month dedicated to the celebration of jazz as something to treasure as part of our past, and present.

JAM will be all about encouraging musicians, radio stations, concert halls and more local facilities to promote the month by offering themed programmes to the public.

The world has a rich history when it comes to jazz.  Especially in America!  Ragtime, bebop, the blues  are all types of jazz that have developed into the wide range of music we can hear today.   But back in the 1800s in the American south jazz originated from slave plantations when the working slaves would try to break up the boredom of their day by singing.   This accompanied the European-American musical tradition to create the basis for jazz.

Some of the great jazz artists include Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and a singer I really love, Bessie Smith.  Which is fitting because its also her birthday in April!

So, is jazz just for people that already love jazz and want to celebrate it further?  The answer is yes and no!

Yes, this gives jazz-lovers a great excuse to participate in jazz-related activities for the month - but it also gives them the chance to introduce an exciting genre of music to those less familiar!

Each year the event has a different theme.  So, what is he reason for this?   By introducing a theme, the Smithsonian Museum hopes to show how jazz can reach across different cultures, music genres, technology, gender and race! Phew!

For a list of Jam Director, Joann Stevens' list of favourite jazz songs, click here. Keep an eye on the Jazz Appreciation Month website for more updates on the 2014 activities.

And don't forget that on 30 April it is International Jazz Day.  UNESCO proclaimed the day in November 2011 and the aim of the day is to raise awareness of jazz in education, peace and unity.  The promotion of jazz will not only encourage people to appreciate the music but it is also a great way of joy and reducing tensions around the world.

Meanwhile, why not take some inspiration from 112 ways to celebrate jazz.  There are endless ideas, so there's no excuse not to take part!

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