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Smithsonian launched April's Jazz Appreciation Month events on March 26

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"Spring will be a little late this year," but the Smithsonian will begin celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) a little early, on March 26.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History (NMAH) launches JAM March 26 with a full day honoring John Coltrane -- including a webcast with never-before-seen images of the jazz legend, and a performance by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Quartet.

Most, but not all events, will be held at the National Museum of American History -- part of celebrations for its 50th anniversary.

For a full list of the Smithsonian's jazz concerts, workshops, discussions, and far more, visit http://smithsonianjazz.org.

All that jazz (descriptions by the NMAH):

  • Webcast: Jazz Appreciation Month Launch

Wednesday, March 26; 11 A.M.
Warner Bros. Theater, First Floor, National Museum of American History (NMAH)

This webcast kicks off the 13th annual Jazz Appreciation Month with jazz photographer Chuck Stewart, who will donate rare and never-before-seen images of jazz legend John Coltrane. Coltrane’s son, Ravi Coltrane, will discuss his father’s career and his Grammy Hall of Fame album, "A Love Supreme" -- celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Quartet will perform.

  • Workshop: Jazz Education

Wednesday, March 26; 1:30 P.M.
Warner Bros. Theater, First Floor, NMAH

Ravi Coltrane and “Kids for Coltrane” educator Christine Passarella will host a jazz workshop for music educators, students, and the public.

  • Performance: The Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Wednesday, March 26; 7:30 P.M.
Lisner Auditorium; George Washington University
Tickets Required: Free, please reserve and RSVP at NMAH

The Ravi Coltrane Quartet presents an evening of jazz honoring John Coltrane and the 50th anniversary of "A Love Supreme". Co-produced with The George Washington University (GWU) Music Department, this performance marks the launch of the 13th annual Jazz Appreciation Month. The event includes additional performances by GWU Jazz Combos under the direction of Peter Fraize and Herman Burney. Guests with tickets will receive first access to the venue until capacity is reached.

  • Workshop and Performance: Latin Jazz

Friday, April 4; workshop at 1:30 P.M. and concert at 6 P.M.
Warner Bros. Theater, First Floor, NMAH
Reservations Recommended: Please RSVP to SLCEvents@si.edu.

Celebrate with Latin jazz legend Bobby Sanabría & Quarteto Aché. In the workshop, musicians of all ages can participate in a moderated conversation with Sanabría and an interactive music demonstration with his band. Then, attend a special Latin jazz concert with Bobby Sanabría & Quarteto Aché, dedicated to trailblazing curator Marvette Pérez (1961-2013). She laid a foundation for scholarship, collecting, and exhibition around Latin jazz and Latin music at the Smithsonian. Seating is first come, first served.

  • Performance: Jazz in Flag Hall

Every Friday in April; performances at 3 P.M. and 4 P.M.
Flag Hall, Second Floor, NMAH

The U.S. Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note will perform April 4 and 25. Members of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra will perform April 11 and 18.​

  • Performance: Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra: Forms of the Blues

Saturday, April 12; 7:30 P.M.
Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History
Tickets Required: $25, click here.

This concert marks the 100 years since the publication of W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues”. Handy was dubbed the "father of the blues". The concert features large and combo ensembles, focusing on the evolution of the blues from the early 20th century to its present-day “jazz ensemble” styling.

  • Performance: Blues and Jazz Piano

Thursday, April 24; 12 – 12:30 P.M.
Luce Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Curator and Duke Ellington biographer, John Edward Hasse plays a program of blues and jazz piano to celebrate JAM. Hasse's "Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington" (Da Capo Press) is the first biography to draw on the Smithsonian's vast Ellington archives. The Washington, D.C. native's elegant and sophisticated music was “beyond category”, to use Ellington’s favorite phrase. Hasse also founded the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

  • Panel Discussion: Jazz Diplomacy

Thursday, April 24; 7:30 P.M.
William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives

John Edward Hasse will moderate the "Jazz Diplomacy" panel discussion that will explore how the U.S. government used jazz as a diplomatic tool during the Cold War. The panel includes David Ensor and Eric Felton of Voice of America, historian and author Peggy M. Von Eschen, and Ambassador David Killion from the State Department and UNESCO.

Also in April, the National Museum of American History will open new displays related to the 50th anniversary of its opening in 1964:

  • The Early Sixties: American Science

April 25 – Dec. 14
History Highlights Case, First Floor Center

The early 1960s saw rapid innovations in American science, medicine and computing that reshaped the American experience. This display, with objects circa 1964, showcases how the museum encouraged such change by making its visitors better aware of past scientific accomplishments.

  • The Early Sixties: American Culture

April 25 – Dec. 14
History Highlights Case, First Floor Center

This display celebrates the early 1960s as the background for the opening of the museum -- broad-based countercultural and reactionary expressions in response to demands for individual and community freedoms in the arts, economics, politics, environmental, and civil rights issues.

So, let's celebrate JAM and also the early 1960s.

For more info: National Museum of American History, http://americanhistory.si.edu/, on the National Mall, Constitution Avenue and 4th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 202-633-1000. Jazz Appreciation Month, http://smithsonianjazz.org. All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. The museum will have extended hours, staying open until 7:30 P.M. from March 20 - April 20 for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, (March 20 - April 13).

Jazz legend John Coltrane, 1963
Jazz legend John Coltrane, 1963 Photo by Hugo van Gelderen / Anefo, Dutch National Archives, The Hague, The Netherlands

Jazz legend John Coltrane, 1963

The Smithsonian begins celebrating April's Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) early, on March 26, with a full day honoring John Coltrane, including a webcast with never-before-seen images of him.

Duke Ellington plugs his ears to help hear his band members play at NYC's Hurricane Ballroom, April 1943
Duke Ellington plugs his ears to help hear his band members play at NYC's Hurricane Ballroom, April 1943 Photo by Gordon Parks. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Duke Ellington plugs his ears to help hear his band members play at NYC's Hurricane Ballroom, April 1943

Duke Ellington plugs his ears to help hear his band members play at NYC's Hurricane Ballroom, April 1943. Photo by the famed Gordon Parks.

Duke Ellington mural on U Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. -- birthplace of the Duke
Duke Ellington mural on U Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. -- birthplace of the Duke Photo by Carol Highsmith, 2010. George F. Landegger Collection of D.C. Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Duke Ellington mural on U Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. -- birthplace of the Duke

Duke Ellington mural on U Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. The George F. Landegger Collection of D.C. Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division 

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra www.smithsonianassociates.org

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and its quartet perform several times for Jazz Appreciation Month. Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra founder John Edward Hasse gives a blues and jazz piano program, and also moderates a panel on "Jazz Diplomacy". Hasse wrote the Duke Ellington biography "Beyond Category".

Latin jazz legend Bobby Sanabría will give a concert and workshop April 4 for Jazz Appreciation Month
Latin jazz legend Bobby Sanabría will give a concert and workshop April 4 for Jazz Appreciation Month www.bobbysanabria.com

Latin jazz legend Bobby Sanabría will give a concert and workshop April 4 for Jazz Appreciation Month

Bobby Sanabría & Quarteto Aché will give a concert and workshop April 4 for Jazz Appreciation Month. Free, but reservations are recommended.

John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame
John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame Album cover by Impulse! Records

John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame

On March 26, the Ravi Coltrane Quartet presents an evening of jazz honoring his father, John Coltrane, and the 50th anniversary of "A Love Supreme". It is in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. Smithsonian launches Jazz Appreciation Month a few days early, with all-day events honoring John Coltrane.

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