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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. Please follow current health and safety guidelines when finding ways to appreciate jazz. For instance, tune into a livestream of a concert instead of attending one in person.:

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
  • Connect with a local jazz society or organization and see if they offer 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
  • Connect with a local jazz society or organization and see if they offer 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
  • Connect with a local jazz society or organization and see if they offer any jazz education programs

 

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
  • Connect with a local jazz society or organization and see if they offer any jazz education programs or 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 or organization (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 or organization (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.