By Scott Vezdos
Director of Marketing & Communications, Jazz Arts Group
The sweet sounds of jazz will fill the spring air throughout the month of April.The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) will help celebrate the 13th anniversary of Jazz Appreciation Month locally with a host of activities all month long. Each April, Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) shines the spotlight on the extraordinary history of jazz and its importance in American culture. Through concerts, lectures, films, and other programs, JAM encourages people of all ages to attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, study the music, and support institutional jazz programs.
Here are some ways you can help celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month:
- Attend a live concert by the Columbus Jazz Orchestra or members of the Columbus jazz community including the CJO’s “Trumpet Summit” featuring trumpeter/composer/educator Sean Jones (April 10-13, Southern Theatre), and the Inside Track series finale, “Brass & Grass,” featuring the New Basics Brass Band & The Relentless Mules (April 26, Lincoln Theatre).
- Attend a concert by your high school or college jazz band including the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra (April 13, Southern Theatre).
- Listen to a jazz CD that is new to you. Try to stretch your ears. If you need some guidance, try The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 4th edition, by Richard Cook and Brian Morton, or Tom Piazza’s Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz.
- Read a good book on jazz, including Ohio Jazz: A History of Jazz in the Buckeye State by David Meyers, Candice Watkins, Arnett Howard and James Loeffler.
- Find a new jazz website – AllAboutJazz.com and jazzcolumbus.com are great places to start!
- Listen to a radio station that plays genuine jazz, including your local NPR station, WCBE 90.5 FM.
- Pay a pilgrimage to your favorite jazz city, or to a jazz museum, or to a musician’s birthplace or gravesite.
- If you travel in the United States, use The Da Capo Jazz and Blues Lover’s Guide to the U.S., by Christiane Bird, as your guide to jazz clubs and historical locations in 25 cities.
- Join your local jazz society. If none exists, organize one.
- Subscribe to a jazz magazine, such as DownBeat, Jazz Times, or Jazziz.
- Host jazz listening sessions in your home.
- Hold a jazz-themed party in honor of a favorite musician, or to celebrate jazz in general.
- Consider a jazz-related artwork (such as those reproduced in Seeing Jazz: Artists and Writers on Jazz, compiled by the Smithsonian Institution’s Marquette Folley-Cooper, Deborah Macanic, and Janice O’Neil.)
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will mark the 13th annual Jazz Appreciation Month in April with a month-long celebration of jazz featuring performances, talks, tours and family-oriented events. The museum launched JAM in 2001 as an annual event that pays tribute to jazz both as a historic and living American art form. It has since grown to include celebrations in all 50 states and 40 other countries. Jazz Alchemy: A Love Supreme is the 2014 JAM theme to pay tribute to John Coltrane and the 50th anniversary of his composition “A Love Supreme.”
About the Jazz Arts Group:
The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world’s finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG’s extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Inside Track, a jazz and blues performance series produced at the historic Lincoln Theatre and beyond; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians. More information is available by visiting www.jazzartsgroup.org.