Ways to Celebrate

Four saxophonists

Looking for ideas and other ways to celebrate jazz during April and year-round? Find the category that best suits you or your organization and read through some of our favorite ways to celebrate and participate with jazz:

Individuals:

Teachers | Students | Parents | Band Directors | Fans | Musicians | Historians | Collectors | Philanthropists

Organizations:

Libraries | Churches | Jazz Societies | Museums & Historical Societies | Performing Arts Organizations | Foundations | Public Radio Stations

 


Teachers 

  • Read your class a jazz poem
  • Show your students jazz-related artwork or have them create their own artwork inspired by jazz
  • Go to Today in Jazz History and find an anniversary that you could use with your students.
  • Have your students write a skit or play based on the life of a great jazz musician and organize a student production of that play
  • Create a lesson or activity on one of the jazz legends whose birthday falls in April: Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Dodds, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Shorty Rogers, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Freddie Hubbard, Randy Weston, or Herbie Hancock.
  • Search for lesson plans and jazz teaching resources through Jazz in America
  • Join the Jazz Educators Network or the National Association for Music Education
  • Contact your local jazz society to see if it offers any jazz education programs

 

Students

  • Organize a jam session with your friends or through your music teacher
  • Learn a new piece of music by one of your favorite jazz musicians
  • Attend a jazz concert at a local concert hall, performing arts organization, church, school, college, or jazz society
  • Watch a jazz documentary, film, or performance
  • Follow your favorite musicians or groups on social media
  • Read Gene Seymour's overview of the music, Jazz: The Great American Art
  • Read Langston Hughes's First Book of Jazz
  • Read a biography about one of your favorite jazz musicians
  • Ask your teacher to organize an in-class or after school jazz appreciation activity
  • Contact your local jazz society to see if it offers any jazz education programs

 

Parents

  • Take your kid(s) to a jazz concert or other live jazz opportunity at a local concert hall, performing arts organization, church, school, college, or jazz society
  • Play jazz music at home and talk to your kid(s) about what they like about different musicians, who their favorite jazz artists are, and more
  • Watch a jazz documentary, film, or performance with your kid(s)
  • Visit a local jazz exhibition, jazz museum, or historic jazz site with your kid(s)
  • Read a jazz book or poem with your kid(s), or get your kid(s) a jazz book for their reading level
  • Contact your local jazz society to see if it offers any jazz education program

 

Band Directors

  • Invite a professional jazz musician to serve as a guest soloist or guest teacher for your students
  • Organize a special Jazz Appreciation Month concert or performance for your students to present to their local community
  • Take your students on a field trip to a local jazz exhibition, jazz museum, or historic jazz site
  • Select music or create a program focused on one of the jazz legends whose birthdays fall in April: Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Dodds, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Shorty Rogers, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Freddie Hubbard, Randy Weston, or Herbie Hancock
  • Join the Jazz Educators Network or the National Association for Music Education
  • Enter your high school ensemble in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival, a free program for high school jazz bands
  • Contact your local jazz society to see if it offers jazz education programs or for partnership opportunities

 

Fans

  • Attend a jazz concert at a local concert hall, performing arts organization, church, school, college, or jazz society
  • Follow your favorite musicians or groups on social media
  • Seek out new jazz music, musicians, and albums
  • Share your favorite music, musicians, or new finds with friends and peers
  • Read a biography about one of your favorite jazz musicians, jazz poetry, or other jazz book – fiction or nonfiction
  • Tune into a local jazz radio station or online radio station or playlist
  • Make a pilgrimage to your favorite jazz city, jazz museum, or to a musician's birthplace or gravesite
  • Watch a jazz documentary, film, or performance
  • Join your local jazz society (If none exists, organize one!)
  • Subscribe to a jazz magazine or other publication online or in print
  • Host jazz listening sessions
  • Hold a jazz-themed party in honor of a favorite musician, or to celebrate jazz in general

 

Musicians

  • Partner with a local elementary, middle, high school or college for a concert, masterclass, or workshop for students
  • Go to Today in Jazz History and find an anniversary around which you could perform a piece, dedicate a tune, compose a piece or more
  • Partner with other local musicians and music organizations to organize a city-wide "Jazz Day" or "Jazz Night" and have a city-wide JAM session
  • Share your upcoming concerts and programs online and connect with other musicians
  • Participate in or organize a local jam session or jazz open mic night
  • Join your local jazz society (If none exists, organize one!)
  • Subscribe to a jazz magazine or other publication online or in print

 

Historians

  • Look into preserving a local jazz shrine, musician birthplace, or other historic jazz site
  • Partner with a local elementary, middle, high school or college to offer a jazz history class for local students
  • Share your work and writing online
  • Visit a local jazz exhibition, jazz museum, or historic jazz site
  • Research a new musician or seek out the collections and archives of musicians in line with your research focus

 

Collectors

  • If you have extra or unwanted recordings, sheet music, or books, donate them to a local school, college, nursing home, community center, or other local organization with jazz programming
  • Join the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors
  • To honor the musicians whom you revere, make sure your collection is being properly preserved -- consider donating it to an appropriate institution
  • Partner with a local elementary, middle, high school or college to offer a jazz history class for local students
  • Partner with a local performing arts organization, museum, or jazz site to organize an exhibition or program
     

Philanthropists

  • Donate musical instrument to your local school or college
  • Assist a local school or college with instituting a jazz band or jazz program for students
  • Assist your local jazz society to offer a non-curricular or after-school jazz program
  • Assist a local school or college with teaching materials and more to establish a jazz history course
  • Donate to a local public radio station in support of jazz programming
  • Donate to a local performing arts organization, museum, jazz site, or other non-profit who holds jazz programs, concerts, and educational offerings
  • Donate jazz books, biographies, films, and other media to your local library, school, or college

 


 

Libraries

  • Build a display of jazz highlights from your holdings
  • Create a flyer featuring your jazz holdings and displays
  • Subscribe to a jazz magazine or other publication
  • Organize or host a jazz lecture series, jazz film series, or jazz concert series for local students, fans, and other appreciators
  • Partner with a local museum, college, jazz society, public radio or TV station, arts and humanities councils, or performing arts center to create a community-wide celebration
  • Share your upcoming jazz programs, jazz materials, and more online
  • Partner with a local school or college to offer a jazz class or seminar

 

Churches

  • Hold a Jazz Vespers service
  • Commission a concert of Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts, one of the religious works composed by Mary Lou Williams or Dave Brubeck, or another sacred composition in the jazz idiom
  • Organize or host a jazz lecture series, jazz film series, or jazz concert series for local students, musicians, fans, and other appreciators
  • Offer an education space for local music teachers to hold lessons
  • Partner with a local museum, college, jazz society, public radio or TV station, arts and humanities councils, or performing arts center to create a community-wide celebration
  • Share your upcoming jazz programs online

 

Jazz Societies

  • Organize and offer jazz education programs, seminars, or masterclasses for local students, schools, musicians, and other jazz appreciators
  • Partner with local musicians and teachers to boost your educational offerings
  • Partner with your local library to help them highlight and feature jazz CDs, books, and videos from their holdings
  • Partner with a local museum or historical society to organize a special exhibition or program during April
  • Partner with the local museum, public library, college, public radio or TV station, arts and humanities councils, or performing arts center to create a community-wide celebration.
  • Organize a tour of locally significant jazz sites, museums, or exhibition
  • Connect with other jazz societies in your region to arrange a block booking of a touring jazz band
  • Organize a jazz dance or jazz ball featuring a certain theme, musician, or era for local musicians, fans, and other jazz appreciators
  • Organize a disc drive to collect unwanted or extra jazz cds or albums to donate to local schools, colleges, and nursing homes
  • Follow and connect with local musicians, concert halls, and music organizations online
  • Share your upcoming programs and classes online for your audiences

 

Museums and Historical Societies

  • Organize an oral history project about the jazz history of your area or a local jazz musician
  • Curate an exhibition about the jazz history of your area or a local jazz musician
  • Organize a jazz education program, film series, concert series, jazz symposium, or other program for local students, teachers, fans, and other appreciators
  • Organize and host a tour of locally significant jazz history sites
  • Partner with the local jazz society, public library, college, public radio or TV station, or performing arts center to create a community-wide celebration
  • Organize a jazz dance or jazz ball featuring a certain theme, musician, or era for local musicians, fans, and other jazz appreciators
  • Share your upcoming programs online for your audiences
  • Offer an education space for local music teachers to hold lessons

 

Performing Arts Organizations

  • Organize a city-wide "Jazz Day" or "Jazz Night" and have a city-wide JAM session
  • Organize a special concert series during Jazz Appreciation Month.
  • Offer half-price "rush" or discount tickets to students
  • To mark JAM, collaborate with the local jazz society, public library, museum, college, arts/humanities council, and public radio/TV station to create a community-wide celebration
  • Organize a jazz education program, film series, concert series, jazz symposium, or other program for local students, teachers, fans, and other appreciators

 

Foundations

  • Sponsor or organize a free jazz concert series in the community
  • Sponsor local jazz musicians performing in local schools and colleges
  • Endow a chair in your local jazz orchestra, or in one of the national jazz orchestras
  • Support or partner with a national jazz program
  • Support the preservation of an endangered jazz building

 

Public Radio Stations

  • Add another network or syndicated jazz program to your line-up
  • Create a locally-produced jazz radio program
  • Create and air PSAs about Jazz Appreciation Month
  • Commission a series about the jazz history of your community or great jazz artists
  • Partner with the local jazz society, public library, museum, college, public TV station, and performing arts center to create a community-wide celebration
  • Create a program on the jazz legends whose birthdays fall in April: Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Dodds, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Shorty Rogers, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Freddie Hubbard, Randy Weston, or Herbie Hancock.