Jazz April is the combination of Jazz Appreciation Month, and the second annual International Jazz Day, April 30, 2013.
Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) is intended to draw public attention to the glories of jazz as both an historical and a living treasure. The idea is to encourage musicians, concert halls, schools, colleges, museums, libraries, and public broadcasters to offer special programs on jazz every April. Quincy Jones helped the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announce the Jazz Appreciation Month initiative, at a press conference in July 2001. Branford Marsalis helped kick off the first JAM, in April 2002.
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.
In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month, and each International Jazz Day features concerts and other activities around the world. This year’s host city is Istanbul, Turkey.
Opportunities to hear and learn about jazz are as close as your nearest jazz radio station, your local high school or college jazz band, festivals, concerts or nightclubs. Other resources for celebrating America’s musical gift to the world can be found at www.smithsonianjazz.org, jazzday.com and jazzapril.com.