Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz appreciation month logo

Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as "JAM") was created right here at the museum in 2001 to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz for the entire month of April.

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.


Jazz Appreciation Month 2020: Women in Jazz

This year, JAM celebrates the dynamic impact of the often-overlooked contributions that women have made to jazz, both on and off the stage. As performers and conductors, educators, and producers and directors of jazz festivals, women have made their mark but have continued to struggle for recognition on par with their male counterparts.

This year, Smithsonian Jazz is highlighting a multitude of women artists on student-made posters from the Duke Ellington High School for the Arts. Features include Mary Lou Williams, the Sweethearts of Rhythm, Leigh Pilzer, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others. The winning poster features pianist, band leader, and composer Toshiko Akiyoshi.

2020 Featured Artist: Toshiko Akiyoshi



Explore Women in Jazz at the Museum


Saturday, March 28, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
National Museum of American History

Though often overlooked, the contributions of women have had, and continue to have, a dynamic impact on jazz. Their influence can be seen in the ways they’ve embraced opportunities for creative expression in the multifaceted field of jazz. As performers and conductors, as educators, and as producers and directors of jazz festivals, they’ve made their mark but still struggled for recognition on par with their male counterparts. To kick off our Jazz Appreciation Month festivities, the SJMO will highlight contributions to the field of jazz by select women, including Mary Lou Williams, the Sweethearts of Rhythm, Amy Shook, Leigh Pilzer, Jennifer Krupa, Amy Bormet, and those who have contributed off the concert stage.




Man playing drumsJAM at the Museum

Join us for our annual kick-off concert, free daytime activies, and more.



Woman playing saxophoneWays to Celebrate JAM

Hold your own JAM event with this handy list of ways to celebrate jazz.



White background with black text that says "JAM"Resources

Everything else you might need for your own JAM events – including the JAM logo, and radio announcements.



Smithsonian Jazz is made possible through leadership 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