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It's easy to expand your jazz appreciation beyond April

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For jazz fans, the past month was likely one big celebration of their favorite musical genre. April is - or I should say was - the month for jazz appreciation across the United States. Jazz Appreciation Month has officially been around for thirteen years and there's no sign of it going away any time soon.

It is a celebration of a music style that is purely and uniquely American, born from the nightclubs and bars of the cities and ended up making the twenties so iconic in sound. We wouldn't have such classic works of literature like those of F. Scott Fitzgerald without the Jazz Age and the culture that came from jazz music.

But though it may be the month of May, and Jazz Appreciation Month may be over, it doesn't mean you have to wait until next year to fully celebrate this style of music. If you live in Saint Louis, it's easy to see that the spirit of jazz is alive and well in the city. There are several ways to stay local and love jazz, if you know where to look.

See jazz performed live.
See jazz performed live. Peter Wochniak / Jazz St. Louis

See jazz performed live.

There are many places in Saint Louis that are home to live jazz performances. Jazz St. Louis regularly holds shows throughout the year at their Jazz at the Bistro location on Washington Avenue and tickets are amazingly affordable. The University of Missouri – Saint Louis holds an annual jazz festival every April and it simply cannot be missed.

Buy jazz records.
Buy jazz records. Euclid Records' website

Buy jazz records.

From Vintage Vinyl to Euclid Records, many record shops in Saint Louis have the jazz sounds you're looking for. You can always stream your jazz online, but why bother when you can hold them in your hand and get a deeper experience? There's really nothing like sitting back and listening to your favorite Miles Davis record on actual vinyl.

Support local jazz artists.
Support local jazz artists. Christina Rutz / Flickr

Support local jazz artists.

You can't walk very far through parts of Saint Louis without running into an aspiring musician with a trumpet or a saxophone. If you know of a local jazz artist and you've enjoyed their music, pay it forward! Buy their records, attend their local gigs, and make sure to tell your friends about them as well. You never know which one of them could end up joining the best Saint Louis jazz musicians of all time.