What is D’JAM?

Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month (D’JAM) is a special monthlong celebration of all things jazz, including the amazing jazz artists, past and present, legends and rising stars, who call North Texas home. Held each April as part of the national program called Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), D’JAM presents a variety of events highlighting and showcasing jazz in the greater Dallas area. The local initiative is coordinated by a volunteer collective of jazz presenters, jazz educators, and jazz supporters that includes nonprofit arts groups, universities, festivals, high schools, cultural centers, jazz clubs, and museums.

The National Initiative

2022 JAM Poster: Latin Jazz and the Spirit of ‘Cachao” López

“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 Jazz Appreciation Month (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.

JAM is intended to draw public attention to the glories of jazz as both a 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. Organizations and communities all over the country are encouraged to participate in their own way.”

Listen to a recorded message from the late great Roy Hargrove, who grew up in Dallas, as he explains the importance of JAM.



Saturday, April 16 | 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | FREE

Now in its ninth year, Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month (D’JAM) features a variety of events, from concerts to film screenings, to celebrate the national treasure known as jazz. The annual salute is highlighted by a free public event at Moody Performance Hall (2520 Flora St.), featuring live music by GDYO Jazz Orchestra, GDYO Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Becuzz and Erskine Hawkins III and presentation of the D’JAM Jazz Legends Awards to:

Jonathan Fisher – Artist

Jim Riggs – Educator

Vicki Meek – Supporter

Bobby Sparks – Innovator

This event has passed but check out more D’JAM events on the Upcoming Events page.


April 23 | FREE

Angelika Film Center Dallas, 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln, Dallas.

Southwest Film Premieres hosted by USA Film Festival and Sammons Jazz 

“Oscar Peterson: Black + White” at 3:00 p.m.

Oscar Peterson: Black + White, a celebration of the life and work of the legendary Canadian jazz pianist, features a bounty of archival footage and interviews with Peterson’s friends, colleagues, historians, jazz critics and admirers like Jon Batiste and Billy Joel. Sammons Jazz and the USA Film Festival follow up the 90-minute-long film with a conversation between Sammons Jazz Artistic Director Arlington Jones (who is another Peterson admirer) and the film’s director, Barry Avrich, and producer, Mark Selby.

Trailer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRJYcLWNXfc

This event has passed but check out more D’JAM events on the Upcoming Events page.

“Omar Sosa: 88 Well-Tuned Drums” at 5:00 p.m.

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well Tuned Drums is a feature-length documentary film on the life and music of the renowned pianist and composer. Born in Cuba in 1965, the multiple Grammy-nominee Sosa is one of the most versatile jazz artists on the scene today. He fuses a wide range of jazz, world music, and electronic elements with his native Afro-Cuban roots to create a fresh and original sound with a Latin jazz heart. The film, written and directed by Soren Sorensen, features interviews with Sosa and musicians including Peter Apfelbaum, Gustavo Ovalles and Childo Tomas. Sosa and Sorensen will be in attendance.

Trailer link: http://sorensorensen.net/#/omar

This event has passed but check out more D’JAM events on the Upcoming Events page.

More Online Resources