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.Â Â
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.Â 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.Â Drawn from African and European influences and developed in the distinctive historical milieu of the American Experience, jazz is â€œusâ€ â€“ all of us.Â And, from ragtime to swing, bop to avante garde, Latin to contemporary, expressions of jazz are as diverse as the musicians that create it.Â Jazz is my favorite music.Â
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 â€“ the list goes on!Â You can learn about jazz history in Maryland in the â€œPennsylvania Avenueâ€ installation inside our Strength of the Mind gallery, one of the permanent galleries located on the third floor of our museum.Â You can experience jazz live through our exciting Jazz Appreciation Month programs.Â Â Â
I invite you to join us this April.Â Â
Reginald F. Lewis Museum Jazz Appreciation Month Programs:
Friday,Â AprilÂ 1, 7:30 p.m.Â
FIRST FRIDAYS: Spice BandÂ featuringÂ Vocalist DebbieÂ Poole
Poole brings her unique vocals to classic Phyllis Hyman songs such as â€œMeet Me on the Moonâ€ and â€œThe Answer Is You.â€
Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members. Doors open at 7 p.m. Sponsored in part by AARP (includes light food and drinks)Â
Saturday,Â AprilÂ 16,Â 3Â p.m.
DramaÂ Presentation:Â â€œSatchmoÂ andÂ BabyÂ Dollyâ€
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.
MuseumÂ admissionÂ required.Â
Saturday,Â AprilÂ 30,Â Noon
SATURDAYâ€™S CHILD: MusicÂ Program:Â JazzÂ forÂ KidsÂ (AgesÂ 6-12)
Enjoy childrenâ€™s songs performed by the Baltimore Jazz Alliance, and try jazz instruments including the flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano, bass and drums.
Museum admission required.Â
Saturday,Â AprilÂ 30,Â 2Â p.m.
BookÂ Talk:Â MusicÂ atÂ theÂ CrossRoads,Â LivesÂ &Â LegaciesÂ ofÂ BaltimoreÂ Jazz
Uncover Baltimoreâ€™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.Â
For more information, please visit our website.
For more information about JAM programs, visit the National Museum of American History’s Smithsonian Jazz website.