For Jazz Appreciation Month, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum is the place to be

Special thanks for this guest post to Dr. David Taft Terry, Executive Director, at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland.  

Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Jazz Alliance.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture will celebrate this wonderful art form with great enthusiasm.  For more than a century, jazz has been the sound of democracy; it has grown and expanded as an expression of freedom around the world.  Drawn from African and European influences and developed in the distinctive historical milieu of the American Experience, jazz is “us” – all of us.  And, from ragtime to swing, bop to avante garde, Latin to contemporary, expressions of jazz are as diverse as the musicians that create it.  Jazz is my favorite music. 

Spice Band performs April 1, 2011. Photo courtesy of the band.

Maryland and her citizens have played critical roles in the development of jazz from its beginnings, and that influence continues to the present day: Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, Chick Webb, Billie Holiday, Ethel Ennis, Lester Bowie, Winard Harper, Cyrus Chestnut, Dontae Winslow, Lafayette Gilchrist, Carl Grubbs – the list goes on!  You can learn about jazz history in Maryland in the “Pennsylvania Avenue” installation inside our Strength of the Mind gallery, one of the permanent galleries located on the third floor of our museum.  You can experience jazz live through our exciting Jazz Appreciation Month programs.   

I invite you to join us this April.  

Reginald F. Lewis Museum Jazz Appreciation Month Programs:

Friday, April 1, 7:30 p.m. 
FIRST FRIDAYS: Spice Band featuring Vocalist Debbie Poole
Poole brings her unique vocals to classic Phyllis Hyman songs such as “Meet Me on the Moon” and “The Answer Is You.”
Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members. Doors open at 7 p.m. Sponsored in part by AARP (includes light food and drinks) 

Saturday, April 16, 3 p.m.
Drama Presentation: “Satchmo and Baby Dolly”
Explore the special bond between early jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Baltimore native Blanche Calloway in this toe-tapping drama by Camay Calloway Murphy and Randy Smith.
Museum admission required. 

Saturday, April 30, Noon
SATURDAY’S CHILD: Music Program: Jazz for Kids (Ages 6-12)
Enjoy children’s songs performed by the Baltimore Jazz Alliance, and try jazz instruments including the flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano, bass and drums.
Museum admission required. 

Saturday, April 30, 2 p.m.
Book Talk: Music at the CrossRoads, Lives & Legacies of Baltimore Jazz
Uncover Baltimore’s rich jazz history with editor Mark Osteen, Loyola University professor and president of Baltimore Jazz Alliance, and co-writers Jennifer Margaret Nordmark and Bob Jacobsen.
Museum admission required. 

For more information, please visit our website.

For more information about JAM programs, visit the National Museum of American History’s Smithsonian Jazz website.

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