Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), set in April every year, is intended to draw public attention to the glories of jazz as both an historical and a living treasure. The idea is to encourage musicians, concert halls, schools, colleges, museums, libraries, jazz presenters and public broadcasters to offer special programs on jazz every April.

In August 2003, at the behest of the Smithsonian, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 108-72, legislation signed by the President, declaring: “(1) the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History should be commended for establishing a Jazz Appreciation Month; and (2) musicians, schools, colleges, libraries, concert halls, museums, radio and television stations, and other organizations should develop programs to explore, perpetuate, and honor jazz as a national and world treasure.”

The purpose of JAM is to draw greater public attention to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz and its importance as an American cultural heritage. Also, JAM is intended to stimulate the current jazz scene 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 support institutional jazz programs. Organizations and communities all over the country are encouraged to participate in their own way.

In honor of this important national initiative, a number of jazz presenters, jazz educators, and jazz supporters in Dallas created a collective initiative called D’JAM or Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month. In April 2017 D’JAM will present a series of events to highlight and showcase jazz in the greater Dallas community. This volunteer collective includes nonprofit arts groups, universities, festivals, Arts Magnet high schools, cultural centers, jazz clubs, and churches. D’JAM 2017 is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.


Booker T. Washington HSPVA – Jazz Studies Department
Bishop Arts Theatre Center - Jazz Series
Dallas Jazz Piano Society
Helbing Jazz Initiative - Institute
KERA - Art & Seek
Latino Cultural Center
Sammons Center for the Arts - Sammons Jazz
Sandaga Jazz
SMU - Meadows School for the Arts
South Dallas Cultural Center
Southside on Lamar Gallery
Tuesday Nite Jazz
University of North Texas - School of Music
University of Texas Dallas – School of Arts & Humanities
Uptown Jazz Dallas
the USA Film Festival
African American Museum
Special Advisors to D’JAM – Stan Levenson, Roger Boykin, James Gilyard
Media Partners:  KERA-Art&Seek, Theater Jones


D’JAM presented the first Jazz Legend Awards in 2013. The four current award categories are Jazz Artist, Jazz Educator, Jazz Innovator, and Jazz Supporter. An award is given in each category to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the development of jazz in our community over many years.

For a list of honorees, click here