WHAT IS JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH?
Jazz Appreciation Month, set in April every year, 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, jazz presenters and public broadcasters to offer special programs on jazz every April.
In August, 2003 at the behest of the Smithsonian the U.S. Congress passed legislation which was signed by the President: Public Law 108-72, declaring:
“(1) the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History should be commended for establishing a Jazz Appreciation Month; and (2) musicians, schools, colleges, libraries, concert halls, museums, radio and television stations, and other organizations should develop programs to explore, perpetuate, and honor jazz as a national and world treasure.”
The purpose of Jazz Appreciation Month is to draw greater public attention to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz and its importance as an American cultural heritage. In addition, 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. Organizations and communities all over the country are encouraged to participate in their own way.
In honor of this important national initiative, a number of jazz presenters, jazz educators and jazz supporters in Dallas came together to create a collective initiative which is now called D’JAM or Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month, and are presenting a series of events in April of 2012 highlighting and showcasing jazz in the greater Dallas community. This volunteer
collective includes nonprofit arts groups, universities, festivals, Arts Magnet high schools, cultural centers, jazz clubs and churches.
DALLAS PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS:
Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts – Jazz Studies Dept
Dallas Jazz Piano Society
Dallas Museum of Art – Jazz in the Atrium KERA - Art & Seek
Sammons Center for the Arts - Sammons Jazz Sandaga Jazz
SMU - Meadows School for the Arts
South Dallas Cultural Center
Southside on Lamar Gallery
St. Paul United Methodist Church
Teco Theater – Bishop Arts Theater Center Jazz Series University of North Texas - School of Music
University of Texas Dallas – School of Arts & Humanities Uptown Jazz Dallas
Special Advisors to D’JAM – Levenson and Brinker, Roger Boykin, James Gilyard
There are numerous events scheduled throughout the month of April in many venues in Dallas and beyond. A calendar of events is being developed and will be posted on KERA’s ArtandSeek website as well as www.dallasjazz.org and UptownJazzDallas.com. To kick off Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month, the collective organizers of D’JAM are planning to recreate the famous photograph shot by Art Kane in August of 1958 of 57 significant jazz musicians entitled “Great Day In Harlem” on March 31st and invite jazz artists from around the Metroplex to participate in the photograph. The original photo included jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Thelonius Monk.
PURPOSE OF DALLAS JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH:
There is a pervasive misconception that there is no jazz in Dallas. In fact there is a lot of great jazz music being produced in our community and Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month is designed to educate the public about where they can find this great music right here in our own community. This is the first full-fledged effort to participate in National Jazz Appreciation Month from April 1st – April 30th of 2012 building on a shorter, one-week effort in 2011. It is our hope that we will be able to grow this initiative into an exciting month of jazz events each year that will showcase the talented jazz artists in our community, and attract visitors and tourists to enjoy jazz events in Dallas year-round.