Jazz Appreciation Month

Jam Appreciation Month

Dexter Gordon jazz quote

JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH

I’ll remember April, April in Paris, When April Comes… one can find a good number of Jazz songs about April. There’s a reason why this lovely spring month is designated as the Jazz Appreciation Month (also known as “JAM”) – as the weather starts warming up, and nature is teeming with life, people feel a sense of adventure. This atmosphere is very much reflected in Jazz. Also, many Jazz musicians were born during this month (more on that below). The Holiday was created by the Smithsonian museum in 2001 to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz for the entire month of April. JAM is intended to stimulate 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 more.

Jazz appreciation month

JAZZ AS AN AMERICAN ART FORM

Jazz stands as an emblematic American art form, embodying the nation’s cultural diversity, innovation, and freedom of expression. Rooted in African rhythms, European harmonies, and American blues, Jazz emerged in the early 20th century, flourishing in the vibrant cultural cities like New Orleans, Chicago, and New York. Its improvisational nature reflects the spirit of individualism and creativity, while its syncopated rhythms and complex harmonies mirror the complexities of American society. From the pioneering works of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to the avant-garde experiments of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, Jazz has continually evolved, absorbing influences from various genres and cultures, yet retaining its distinctiveness. Beyond music, jazz embodies a spirit of democracy, inclusivity, and resilience, making it a quintessential expression of the American experience.

DUKE ELLINGTON’S 125TH BIRTHDAY

Jazz Appreciation Month

This year’s Jazz Appreciation Month also coincides with the 125th birthday of Duke Ellington. Ellington was one of Jazz legends who inspired and continues to inspire many musicians. Born on April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C., Duke’s early exposure to music came from his parents, Daisy Ellington and James Edward Ellington, who were both pianists. His exposure, parental support and private piano lessons provided a critical foundation in his early development as a pianist and musician. Duke Ellington composed dynamic music throughout his lifetime that inspired vivid visual imagery and emotion. Combining his unconventional orchestration technique with the unique talent of his individual orchestra members, Ellington was able to transpose everyday life into musical works of art.

To mark what would have been his 125th year, the Smithsonian will be featuring Duke Ellington on this year’s Jazz Appreciation Month poster through the evocative and colorful painting from LeRoy Neiman. Read about the legacy of Duke Ellington in our post about the artist.

Learn more about the Smithsonian celebration on the museum’s website

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY

Jazz Appreciation Month culminates in IJD (International Jazz Day) on April 30th. This year’s celebration takes place in Tangier in Morocco, with musicians from diverse backgrounds coming together to honor the rich cultural heritage of jazz. We’re extremely proud of our very own T.K. Blue, who will be participating in the concert. If you can’t make it to the show, enjoy T.K.’s latest release, Bluebird – Blue’s Bird, a rendition of a famous Charlie Parker tune.

Learn more about IJD by visiting their website.

Herbie Hancock jazz quote 1

ARKADIA RECORDS CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY

As a Jazz-focused Label, we at Arkadia are especially fond of Jazz Appreciation Month. We’re releasing new Singles by T.K. Blue, Benny Golson and Arkadia Jazz All-Stars. We just released our very first vinyl record collection, which includes 10 NEA Jazz Masters. And we launched Arkadia Concerts – a streaming video-on-demand channel that puts Jazz in the front row.  

We sincerely hope you enjoy Jazz Appreciation Month as much as we do!

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