Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) is a music festival held every April in recognition of the significant contribution that jazz music has made to society. The aim of this annual event is to pay tribute to jazz for its historic and cultural significance by encouraging schools, governments and organizations to participate in various events such as free jazz concerts and educational programs.
JAM was first established in 2001 by John Edward Hasse, a curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. It was initially funded by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, whose archives are currently housed at the Smithsonian.
In 2012, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings group received permission from the estate of Louis Armstrong (the well-known jazz trumpet player) to release his recordings on a new album titled Satchmo. The release was made at the National Press Club as part of the 2012 annual Jazz Appreciation Month events.
Through jazz-focused events, JAM works to support today’s jazz scene and encourage an appreciation of jazz music in people of all ages. Throughout the month of April, people will be encouraged to participate in jazz activities such as studying jazz music, attending jazz concerts, reading books, or just simply listening to good jazz music on the radio.