It’s April and that means, among other things that Americans are celebrating National Humor Month, National Welding Month, National Stress Awareness Month, National Poetry Month, and National Pecan Month for all of the nut lovers out there. But this month, the Park Station Blog is going to focus on Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM).
One of the reasons April was chosen as JAM by the National Museum of American History is because many of the great jazz musicians were born in April including Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith, Johnny Dodds, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Gerry Mulligan, Shorty Rogers, Tito Puente, and Herbie Hancock., and Duke Ellington.
Miles Davis, speaking of Duke Ellington said, “At least one day out of the year all musicians should just put their instruments down, and give thanks to Duke Ellington.”
Jazz Appreciation Month was designed so that individuals and organizations could “explore, perpetuate, and honor jazz as a national and world treasure.”1
It has been said that “the birth of Jazz in the multicultural society of America has led intellectuals from around the world to hail Jazz as ‘one of America's original art forms.”2 Jazz is difficult to define, but when you hear it, you know it’s jazz. Traditionally, jazz musicians make extended use of improvisation. In the early New Orleans era of jazz, performers took turns playing the melody, while others improvised countermelodies.
If you are new to jazz, we recommend this Crash Course in Jazz Appreciation, or simply So relax, sit back, and listen to some jazz music tonight! This list of 100 jazz tracks will get you started, or go out to dinner at a place that features jazz music, Yelp has a list of the 10 Best Places for Jazz and Blues near Gaithersburg, MD. Plus here are some additional ways to celebrate JAM.
Who is your favorite jazz artist? Why do you like their music? Feel free to leave a review in the comments, and thanks for reading today’s post about JAM.