2013 Jazz Appreciation Month Has a Cool Vibe

April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), and the 2013 theme is “The Spirit and Rhythms of Jazz.” This year’s theme highlights the social cultural history of jazz, musical rhythms and cultures that gave birth to jazz, and how jazz influences other music.

This year marks the 12th anniversary for JAM, created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Online events and live performances are planned at the Smithsonian, and by communities in Washington, D.C., every state, and some 40 countries.

Visit the website to view the JAM events calendars, “112 Ways to Celebrate Jazz,” archived performances, live webcasts, and educational materials. NAfME collaborates with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History for JAM.

The featured artist for 2013 is Lionel Hampton. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in Chicago, Hampton was a jazz musician and bandleader, known for the rhythmic vitality of his playing and his showmanship as a performer.

Best known for his work on the vibraphone, Lionel Hampton was also a skilled drummer, pianist, composer, and singer. As a member of Benny Goodman’s group, he broke the jazz music color barrier and made some of his best-known recordings, soloing on such songs as “Dizzy Spells” and “Moonglow.”

He also worked with such legendary musicians as Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, Buddy Rich, Nat Cole, and Quincy Jones.

The 2013 poster features Hampton.  The poster is based on a 1997 Lionel Hampton portrait by Frederick J. Brown on display at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Consult the Smithsonian Jazz website for resources about Hampton and other featured artists to help celebrate JAM and International Jazz Day, April 30. The  Smithsonian’s Facebook page also includes information about events.

NAfME resources for JAM 

Poster Courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Roz Fehr, NAfME managing editor for news, April 4, 2013. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)