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Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz Appreciation Month

Dutch smooth jazz alto saxophonist Candy Dulfer. Photo: RvB

Dutch smooth jazz alto saxophonist Candy Dulfer. Photo: RvB

Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) is a music festival held every April in the United States, in honor of jazz as an original American art form.

It is an annual event that pays tribute to jazz as both a living and as a historic music.

Schools, and other organizations, celebrate JAM with events ranging from free concerts to educational programs.

Useful Links

  • The Real Ambassadors: America Exports Jazz
    The Real Ambassadors: America Exports Jazz

    From the 1950s to the 1970s — as jazz took the world by storm, thanks to popular jazz broadcasts like Willis Conover’s Voice of America radio show, Music USA — the U.S. Department of State sent dozens of America’s greatest jazz musicians to tour the globe sharing their unique talents. 

  • “Ambassador” Armstrong Challenged U.S. Government Policies
    “Ambassador” Armstrong Challenged U.S. Government Policies

    The Jazz Ambassadors who toured the globe for the U.S. Department of State from the 1950s to the 1960s represented the United States during a time of intense social turmoil. Many of the traveling jazz bands included both white and African-American artists — a powerful symbol of integration at a time when many U.S. cities and towns were still segregated. 

  • Jazz Pianist Brubeck Expanded Musical and Social Frontiers
    Jazz Pianist Brubeck Expanded Musical and Social Frontiers

    In 1959, after a State Department–sponsored tour as a cultural ambassador, jazz musician Dave Brubeck released the album Time Out, incorporating some of the time signatures he and his band had been exposed to during their Eurasian travels, including the songs “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” which his record label doubted would win the appeal of American jazz fans. 

  • All-Female Jazz Band Breaks Stereotypes
    All-Female Jazz Band Breaks Stereotypes

    San Francisco — If an American music lover from the 1940s heard a performance by the DIVA Jazz Orchestra in 2010, the music would sound very familiar, but the 15 musicians playing the intricate tunes with a mix of trumpets, trombones, bass, drums, piano and saxophones would be a big surprise. 

  • Smithsonian Jazz
    Smithsonian Jazz | Resources & Real Treasures to Explore, Apppreciate, & Experience Jazz

    April 2013 marks the 12th year of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History’s Jazz Appreciation Month initiative, which aims to draw greater public attention globally to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz as America's original music, a global cultural treasure. 

  • History of Jazz

    Did you know that jazz was born in the United States? Did you know that the drum set was invented by jazz musicians? Did you know that the word "cool" and "hip" were originally jazz terms?  

  • Podcast image
    Listen to Jazz - National Endownment for the Arts Jazz Masters

    Interviews with legendary and contemporary jazz artists about their own work and that of other artists. 

  • Wynton Marsalis. Photo: AP
    Photo Gallery: Jazz in America

    Learn about some of the great jazz performers in American history.