Jazz Appreciation Month Posters

Celebrate jazz with a new poster and the 2018 limited release free poster giveaway!

2018 Poster | Poster Giveaway | Past Posters


2018 Poster: Jazz and Justice

Colorful painting featuring six musicians and text that reads "Jazz Appreciation Month 2018"

Part Two of the Big Band JAM Poster Series (2017-2019)

The 2018 Jazz Appreciation Month Poster is the second in a special three-year series featuring the center section of LeRoy Neiman's Big Band, a large-scale painting that hangs on the first floor of the National Museum of American History. The JAM Posters from 2017 and 2019 feature the left and right side of the painting respectively, so that when all three are hung next to each other, the iconic painting can be recreated! Big Band is a gift of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation.

This year, JAM invites all jazz fans and appreciators to look beyond the music to the dynamic ways jazz has played a transformative role in social justice, musicians' rights, and equality. Our featured JAM artist this year, producer Norman Granz, devoted his life to civil rights and equality - within the music industry and beyond. Through numerous record labels and his iconic touring show, Jazz at the Philharmonic, he helped propel many jazz musicians to greatness. Fittingly, all the musicians featured in this section of the JAM poster had careers that overlapped or were influenced by Norman Granz:

  • Charles Mingus (bass) - performed with Jazz at the Philharmonic in 1945.
  • Benny Goodman (clarinet) - while Benny Goodman didn't publicly work with Norman Granz, he was an iconic musician in his own right and important to LeRoy Neiman (the artist behind this painting).
  • Gerry Mulligan (saxophone) - had multiple albums produced under Norman's lable, Verve Records, including Blues in TimeJazz Giants '58Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster, and more.
  • Lester Young (saxophone) - performed with Jazz at the Philharmonic for 12 years and recorded a couple albums produced by Norman Granz.
  • Charlie Parker (saxophone) - performed with Jazz at the Philharmonic and recoreded Charlie Parker with Strings produced by Norman Granz under Verve Records in 1949-50, fulfilling a long-held desire to perform with a string section.
  • John Coltrane (saxophone) - toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic during its later years and released several albums under one of Norman Granz's earlier labels, Pablo Records, including Afro Blue Impressions.

This poster helps form the larger whole of Big Band and, with the 2017 poster, illustrates the diverse performers and styles that defined jazz as an inclusive space. This inclusivity extended beyond the musicians to the people behind the scenes, including our featured artist, producer Norman Granz. Check our featured artist page here to learn more about his work and legacy.

LeRoy Neiman (1921 – 2012) was an American artist known for his brilliantly colored, expressionist paintings and screen prints of athletes, musicians and sporting events. Neiman had a great love for jazz and spent more than 50 years sketching and painting musicians in an attempt to portray how it felt to watch jazz performances as well as how the sounds and colors evoked emotions and movement. Completed in 2005, Neiman’s painting, Big Band depicts performers he saw in concert from the 1950-80s. Learn more about the painting and its musicians here and here.

 


JAM 2018 Limited Release Free Poster Giveaway

For JAM 2018, the National Museum of American History will be holding a limited free poster giveaway on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.

JAM posters will be mailed out during the months of March and April 2018. Limit one poster per person or organization

The request period for the JAM 2018 Poster Giveaway will begin on March 1. Want to receive a notificatoin when the form is open? We recommend signing up for the e-newsletter from Smithsonian Jazz or following Smithsonian Jazz on Facebook.

 


Past JAM Posters

 

2017- Big Band Part 1 • 2016 - Benny Carter • 2015 – Billy Strayhorn

2014 – John Coltrane • 2013 – Lionel Hampton • 2012 – Frank Sinatra • 

2011 – Mary Lou Williams • 2010 – Dave Brubeck • 2009 – Benny Goodman • 

2008 – Ella Fitzgerald • 2007 – Louis Armstrong • 2006 – Duke Ellington • 

2005 – Tito Puente • 2004 – Artie Shaw • 2003 – Billie Holiday 

2002 – Dizzy Gillespie

 

JAM 2017: Big Band Part 1 (Click to download PDF)

Painting with musicians and text that reads "Jazz Appreciation Month"

The 2017 Jazz Appreciation Month poster is the first in a special three-year series featuring LeRoy Neiman’s Big Band, a large-scale painting that hangs on the first floor of the National Museum of American History, gift of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation.

This year, JAM 2017 invites all jazz fans and appreciators to celebrate women throughout the history of jazz, and so the 2017 poster kicks off the LeRoy Neiman Big Band series with the left side of the painting, featuring Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. The JAM posters in 2018 and 2019 will feature the center and right side of the painting respectively, so that when all three are hung next to each other, the iconic painting can be recreated!

LeRoy Neiman (1921 – 2012) was an American artist known for his brilliantly colored, expressionist paintings and screen prints of athletes, musicians and sporting events. Neiman had a great love for jazz and spent more than 50 years sketching and painting musicians in an attempt to portray how it felt to watch jazz performances as well as how the sounds and colors evoked emotions and movement. Completed in 2005, Neiman’s painting, Big Band depicts performers he saw in concert from the 1950-80s. The musicians depicted in this section of the painting (from top to bottom) are Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. Learn more about the painting and its musicians here and here.

Featuring Ella Fitzgerald in the 2017 poster is especially important as this year also marks Ella’s centennial (the singer was born April 25, 1917). Join our celebrations of this important anniversary in jazz history – check out our featured musician page all about Ella here or visit us at the museum for programs and a brand new display. 

(Click to download PDF of the 2017 JAM Poster)

 

 

JAM 2016 Poster: Benny Carter (Click to download PDF)

This photograph of performer, bandleader, and composer Benny Carter was chosen for the 2016 Jazz Appreciation Month Poster. This photo originated from the Benny Carter Collection, located in the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History.

Benny Carter, known simply as “King” to his fellow musicians, was a largely self-taught  musician who became one of founding fathers of big band swing music. Early in his career, Carter arranged and composed scores for Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, Chick Webb, and McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, as well as for his own highly respected orchestras. Carter was also known as a pioneer in breaking down racial boundaries in jazz. In 1937, Carter led the first interracial, multi-national orchestra while living in Europe. After his three-year residency in Europe, which was dedicated to spreading jazz throughout the continent, Carter settled down in Los Angles, where he become one of the first African Americans to compose music for films and television. 

In a salute to Carter’s contribution to jazz as well as to highlight his exhaustive collection at the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra presented “Benny Carter: The Groundbreaking King of Jazz” to kick off Jazz Appreciation Month 2016. 

 

 

 JAM 2015 Poster: Billy Strayhorn (PNG)

This joyful portrait of pianist and composer Billy Strayhorn was painted by artist Keith Henry Brown for the 2015 Jazz Appreciation Month Poster at the National Museum of American History.

Billy Strayhorn, known to friends as "Strays" or "Swee' Pea," was a prodigious composer known for his work with Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Johnny Hodges, and more.  He is the genius behind Ellington's signature tune "Take the A Train", and he collaborated with Ellington for the majority of his career. Learn more about Strayhorn and Ellington's work together through the museum's online gallery.

In addition to his work with Ellington, Strayhorn is the author of the unparalleled song "Lush Life," which has since been covered by many musicians. During his time in New York City, Strayhorn also reigned as the president of the Copascetics, a Harlem-based entertainment organization, and had a strong solo career.  Strayhorn had incredible talent and was regarded as a quiet but powerful jazz artist.

2015 would have been Strayhorn's centennial. In a salute to his work and contribution to jazz, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra held several concerts over the course of April in venues around Washington, DC.

 

 

 JAM 2014 Poster (JPG)

This powerful, brooding image of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane titled “Jazz” (1990) was created by American painter and print maker Joseph Holston and is featured on the 2014 Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) poster developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Holston, a native of suburban Maryland, has created colorful, cubist abstractionist images that chronicle the African American experience form slavery to jazz and contemporary life. “Jazz” was included in the exhibition “Convergence: Jazz, Film, Dance and the Visual Arts”  at the Smithsonian Affiliate, the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, MO., in 2014.

“Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad” features 50 of Holston’s paintings, etchings and drawings and was exhibited at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Holston's work included in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Library of Congress Fine Print Collection, the U.S. Federal Reserve Fine Art Collection, and museums and galleries nationwide.

 

 JAM 2013 Poster (PDF 395 KB)

This portrait of Lionel Hampton was created in 1997 by the late Frederick J. Brown, an African American artist whose passion for jazz, blues and American culture provided the artistic inspiration for his work.  Brown presented this portrait to Hampton at an 89th birthday party held at Brown’s loft in New York City.

Born February 6, 1945 in Greensboro, GA., Brown grew up on the south side of Chicago. He was a largely self-taught artist, who earned a degree in art and psychology from Southern Illinois University. Brown was influenced by the German Expressionists and Abstract Expressionists like Willem de Kooning, who was a mentor.

You can find Hampton’s portrait on display alongside portraits of other jazz legends including Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Thelonious Monk, and Lena Horne in the National Portrait Gallery’s ongoing Bravo! exhibit in Washington, D.C. In 1994, Brown was also featured in the traveling exhibition “Free Within Ourselves” which displayed the work of African American artists taken from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art.  Artwork from Brown’s “Magic Man” series of Native Americans is featured in the Museum’s online exhibition.

 

 

 JAM 2012 Poster (PDF 5.3 MB)

Frank Sinatra is the entertainer featured on the 2012 Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) poster for this April’s global celebration. 

John Edward Hasse, the National Museum of American History’s Curator of American Music, worked with the renowned artist LeRoy Neiman and Frank Sinatra Enterprises to secure the artwork featured on Mr. Sinatra’s 1993 album Duets

This is the fourth JAM poster to highlight artwork from Mr. Neiman’s jazz collection. The others are: Duke Ellington (2006), Louis Armstrong (2007), and Dave Brubeck (2010), which features a portrait that Mr. Neiman created for JAM to pay tribute to Mr. Brubeck’s career and recognition as a 2009 Kennedy Center Honoree.

The museum has printed nearly 200,000 posters for free distribution to schools, libraries, music and jazz educators, radio stations, U.S. embassies worldwide, and others. 

 

 

 JAM 2011 Poster (PDF 2.3 MB)

The National Museum of American History (NMAH) has developed a poster of the legendary jazz artist Mary Lou Williams to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Jazz Appreciation Month in April 2011. The innovative jazz pianist, composer, and arranger who performed with Andy Kirk and the Clouds of Joy, Duke Ellington, and others is one of a handful of women jazz artists included in the new Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology that examines the history of jazz in music and narrative.

The graceful portrait of Ms. Williams was developed for JAM by Keith Henry Brown, a young African American artist with a passion for jazz and a legacy as the former Creative Art Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center.

 

 

 

 

 JAM 2010 Poster (PDF 764 KB) 

The National Museum of American History (NMAH) has developed a poster of the legendary jazz artist Dave Brubeck to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month in April.

NMAH Curator of American Music John Hasse worked with the artist LeRoy Neiman to have him create the portrait in tribute to Brubeck. Neiman has provided other jazz works for JAM posters featuring Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

Brubeck is a 2009 Kennedy Center Honoree. In a White House reception for the Kennedy Center honorees, President Barack Obama remarked that he became a lifelong jazz fan after attending a Dave Brubeck concert with his father.

The museum has printed 250,000 posters for free distribution to schools, libraries, music and jazz educators, music merchants and manufacturers, radio stations, arts presenters, and U.S. embassies worldwide. 

 

 

 JAM 2009 Poster (PDF 764 KB)

The National Museum of American History has developed a 2009 poster of Benny Goodman to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month.  The poster features the Al Hirschfeld caricature of Benny Goodman, “The King of Swing,” used with permission by the Benny Goodman.

The museum has printed 250,000 posters for free distribution to schools, libraries, music and jazz educators, music merchants and manufacturers, radio stations, arts presenters, and U.S. embassies worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 


 JAM 2008 Poster (PDF 764 KB)

The National Museum of American History has issued a new poster to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month.  The poster features Ella Fitzgerald, “The First Lady of Song,” with an illustration by the American artist Jeffrey Fulvimari. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JAM 2007 Poster (PDF 474k)

Featuring a drawing of Louis Armstrong by LeRoy Neiman. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JAM 2006 Poster (PDF 344k)

Featuring a portrait of Duke Ellington by LeRoy Neiman. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JAM 2005 Poster (PDF 1.2MB)
Featuring composer-bandleader-percussionist Tito Puente. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JAM 2004 Poster (PDF 30k)
Featuring a drawing by Al Hirschfeld of clarinetist-bandleader Artie Shaw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JAM 2003 Poster (JPG 241 KB) 
Featuring Billie Holiday. Lady Day, linoleum print, by artist Peter Bodge from the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JAM 2002 Poster (PDF 311k)
Featuring a linoleum print of Dizzy Gillespie by the artist Peter Bodge.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jazz Appreciation Month is made possible through generous support from:

The LeRoy Neiman Foundation

The Argus Fund

The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation

David C. Frederick and Sophia Lynn

Goldman Sachs

The John Hammond Performance Series Endowment Fund