Launched in 2002 by the National Museum of American History, a division of the Smithsonian Institute, Jazz Appreciation Month celebrates the first all-American art form. Jazz descended from a mix of cultural styles brought over through the slave trade.
Its roots grew amongst African slaves in the southern United States. After the Civil War, free blacks developed their cultural music with its distinct rhythms and free expression into the style of music we know today. Jazz would go on to inspire an explosion of musical styles from big-band swing to rock and roll and beyond.
Now, we celebrate the indispensable impact of jazz music on our American society. From the start of the month to International Jazz Day on April 30th, groups across the nation are putting on a myriad of events to celebrate. The Smithsonian is offering free posters to help schools and music directors promote the celebration. This year’s poster features Billy Strayhorn, legendary member of Duke Ellington’s band.
J.W. Pepper is celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month with master class clips from two of the biggest names in jazz today. Earlier in the year, we hosted guitarist Pat Martino and trumpeter Roger Ingram. They both spoke to and played for captivated audiences, teaching technique and talking about their musical journeys. Stay tuned for videos from both the classes and the one-on one-interviews.