April is Jazz Appreciation Month

April is Jazz Appreciation Month (aka "JAM"), which was created in 2001 by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. “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.”

This year’s theme is “Jazz and Justice,” and to that end “for the first time JAM will not feature a musician but instead highlight ‘one of the most influential nonmusicians in jazz history,’ producer Norman Granz, and his work as an innovative producer, tireless promoter for his musicians, and uncompromising advocate for civil rights.”

Read more about Granz and other aspects of Jazz Appreciation Month at


There are more resources on Granz in the Biographies in Context and the Biographies Reference Center databases (from the Library's homepage, choose Online Library, Subjects, Biography).

The Library has plenty of offerings on jazz, including close to 300 Music CDs and numerous books. Two books that offer a comprehensive history of the art are Jazz, by Gary Giddins; and Jazz: a history of America's music, by Geoffrey Ward.

Hoopla offers lots of jazz music as well (you can browse through the “jazz” category). Hoopla also has eBooks and eAudiobooks about jazz. Among the latter, you might check out Jazz 101, by John F. Szwed; and Louis Armstrong's New Orleans, by Joe Bevilacqua.

Okay, cats, let's go out and listen to some jazz. I'll leave you with a couple of my favorites. Miles Davis, Kind of blue; and Let's Get Lost: the Best of Chet Baker Sings.