Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month

Smithsonian Jazz

Jazz Appreciation Month (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.

North Texas celebrates Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month (D’JAM) this April with events ranging from concerts and festivals to a visual art exhibit and film screening. The annual salute is highlighted by a free concert and open house held at the Moody Performance Hall in April.  Everybody is invited to come and enjoy live music by four local jazz groups, the new “Great Day in Dallas” poster, featuring nearly 70 local jazz artists photographed by Jesse Hornbuckle, and the D’JAM Jazz Legends Awards presentation.

2019 Poster: Jazz Beyond Borders

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.

What is D’JAM? It’s a special celebration of all things jazz in April, including the amazing jazz artists, past and present, legends and rising stars, who call North Texas home. D’JAM presents a variety of events highlighting and showcasing jazz in the greater Dallas community. This volunteer collective includes nonprofit arts groups, universities, festivals, high schools, cultural centers, jazz clubs, and museums. Listen to a recorded message from the late great Roy Hargrove as he explains the importance of Jazz Appreciation Month.

D’JAM Open House 2019

Photography: Bart Marantz