Smithsonian Jazz

Smithsonian Jazz Welcome to Smithsonian Jazz at the National Museum of American History. Exhibits, Concerts, Programs, and the home of Jazz Appreciation Month!

At the National Museum of American History, we explore America's fundamental ideas and ideals to help people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. By learning more about the history of jazz in America, and the values inherent in jazz such as risk-taking, collaboration, individuality, and freedom, we can better understand the roles we play as musicians, students, teachers, audience members, supporters, and leaders. Through the museum's world-class collections, scholarship, concerts by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Jazz Appreciation Month, exhibitions, programs, and more, Smithsonian Jazz at the National Museum of American History is committed to exploring and celebrating the American experience through the transformative power of jazz. Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your experience. We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect. The Smithsonian also monitors and may remove posts consistent with its terms of use, as described at http://si.edu/Termsofuse#user-gen. For our Privacy Policy: http://www.si.edu/Privacy

MCG Jazz
09/30/2020

MCG Jazz

On March 21, 2013, Marty Ashby of MCG Jazz and Ken Kimery of the Smithsonian sat with newly inducted Pittsburgh Jazz Legend Joe Negri to document a discussion about his life, career, and contributions to Pittsburgh’s jazz legacy. To conclude September’s Learning About the Legends series, we are releasing an excerpt of the transcription of Joe Negri’s Oral History for you to read.

If you are interested in the full transcript, please contact MCG Jazz Education & Archives Manager Mark Jackovic.

Be sure to check out our page every Tuesday in October to learn about our next legend, James Guerra!

http://mcgjazz.org/_wp/wp-content/uploads/Joe-Negri-partial-Oral-History.pdf

#MCGJazzArchives #JazzEndures #mcgjazz #PittsburghJazzLegend #LearningaboutLegends

Looking forward to our upcoming “Jazz from Broadway to Hollywood” performances at the Museum of Arts and Sciences on Sep...
08/23/2019

Looking forward to our upcoming “Jazz from Broadway to Hollywood” performances at the Museum of Arts and Sciences on September 28.

Join the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in the Root Family Museum at MOAS for a delightful jazz concert - inspired by Broadway and Hollywood. 📽️

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Matinee Concert
🎟Sat. 09/28 – Matinee Performance [3:00-5:00PM]
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Evening Concert
🎟Sat. 09/28 - Evening Performance [7:00-9:00PM]

🎼🎵🎶 🎼🎵🎶 🎼🎵🎶 🎼🎵🎶 🎼🎵🎶 🎼🎵🎶
$20 for members, $35 for future members.
For Tickets: 386-255-0285, in person at #MOAS, or online at http://bit.ly/SJMO2019. 🎷🎹🥁🎻🎺✨

03/11/2019

As a special thank you to our Facebook followers, a limited number of FREE tickets are now available to see the 19-piece Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra with internationally renowned flutist Hubert Laws. Woven within this bespoke concert experience is a historical narrative of Chicago’s influences on the evolution of jazz including the music of Fred Fisher, Django Reinhardt, Leonard Bernstein and more!

Request free tickets here: https://s.si.edu/ChicagoSJMO

Serious
03/04/2019
Serious

Serious

Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra with Hubert Laws
Sat 6 Apr | LONDON Milton Court Barbican Centre

Smithsonian Jazz and legendary flautist Hubert Laws perform a once-in-a-lifetime London show of jazz classics from Duke Ellington - Verve Records and Ella Fitzgerald, and contemporary big band pieces

More info at serious.org.uk/smithsonian

🎷 Happy Friday, jazz fans! A few photos from our "The Evolving Jazz Culture" concert last week. For those of you who wer...
10/26/2018

🎷 Happy Friday, jazz fans! A few photos from our "The Evolving Jazz Culture" concert last week. For those of you who were there, thanks for joining us! 🎺

Don't miss future concerts like this one. Sign up for our newsletter: https://s.si.edu/newsletter

Here at National Museum of American History, we're so excited to be part of the just-announced Smithsonian Year of Music...
10/22/2018
Smithsonian Music

Here at National Museum of American History, we're so excited to be part of the just-announced Smithsonian Year of Music. The Institution-wide initiative will celebrate our vast musical collections and include at least one musical event—a performance, lecture, music release, or workshop—every day for 365 days in 2019.

Fun fact: The Smithsonian's combined musical resources would make us the world's largest museum of music.

Explore: http://music.si.edu

Whether it's turtle-shell rattles at the American Indian Museum, ancient Chinese bells at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, or the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra at the American History Museum, the opportunities to engage with music at the Smithsonian are practically endless.

What's on our playlist today? "A Night in Tunisia" by Dizzy Gillespie. The music manuscript is among the National Museum...
10/21/2018

What's on our playlist today? "A Night in Tunisia" by Dizzy Gillespie. The music manuscript is among the National Museum of American History's Dizzy Gillespie Records in our Archives Center. Today would have been Dizzy's birthday. What's up with his trumpet? Its uniquely shaped upturned bell was Dizzy's trademark.

Here's our set list for our Friday, October 19 jazz concert. See any favorites? Join us for Evolving Jazz Culture at Nat...
09/19/2018

Here's our set list for our Friday, October 19 jazz concert. See any favorites? Join us for Evolving Jazz Culture at National Museum of American History: https://s.si.edu/jazz1019

Today in 1917:  Ella Fitzgerald is born in Newport News, Virginia. Known as the “First Lady of Song,” Ella was an iconic...
04/25/2018
A-tisket, a-tasket, a hit song in her basket: Ella's rise to fame

Today in 1917: Ella Fitzgerald is born in Newport News, Virginia.

Known as the “First Lady of Song,” Ella was an iconic vocalist who won 13 Grammys and sold over 40 million albums. Take a break today and mark her 101st birthday with this dive into the recording that helped launch her career: http://s.si.edu/atisket

"A-Tisket, A-Tasket" is arguably one of the catchiest tunes in jazz. This piece of music recorded on May 2, 1938, single-handedly launched Ella Fitzgerald, "The First Lady of Song," into fame and traveled with her throughout an extremely successful career.

04/23/2018

It’s the last week of Jazz Appreciation Month! End your month on a high note—join us here at the National Museum of American History for a jazz-filled weekend.

Curious what we're planning? Start your jazz weekend on Thursday with free performances by our own Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Ensemble. Then stop in on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for powerful free performances in partnership with the Blues Alley Jazz Society:

➡️ Big Band JAM! presents free adjudicated performances every hour by college and high school jazz bands outside on the museum’s terrace.

➡️ The 2018 Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Competition finalists join us for their final performance, judged by guitarist John Pizzarelli and free to attend.

What are you doing for Jazz Appreciation Month? Still looking for ideas and inspiration? We’ve heard the musicians featu...
04/12/2018

What are you doing for Jazz Appreciation Month? Still looking for ideas and inspiration? We’ve heard the musicians featured on the Jazz Appreciation Month poster are always a great place to start—and this year there are six!

Throw a jam session, go to concert, or host a conversation about Charles Mingus, Benny Goodman, Gerry Mulligan, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, or John Coltrane.

This year's poster is from the middle section of LeRoy Neiman’s “Big Band” painting, considered to be one of his greatest works. You can learn more about the painting and all the musicians here: http://s.si.edu/jazztitans2

(P.S.: Free copies of the poster are available first come, first served until supplies run out . . . and we're down to our last 100 posters: http://s.si.edu/JAMposter)

Norman Granz was chosen as this year’s featured Jazz Appreciation Month artist for his contributions to jazz: his innova...
04/11/2018
In other words: Norman Granz, by the musicians who knew him

Norman Granz was chosen as this year’s featured Jazz Appreciation Month artist for his contributions to jazz: his innovative work as a producer, tireless promotion of musicians, and uncompromising stance on civil rights.

Let the musicians who worked with him tell you more about Norman in their own words.

During this year’s Jazz Appreciation Month, we are exploring the relationship between jazz and justice by looking at the dynamic ways jazz has played a transformative role in social justice, musicians’ rights, and equality since its birth in America. For the first time in Jazz Appreciation Month...

Today is a great day for birthdays in #JazzHistory! Join us as we salute vocalist Billie Holiday (born in 1915 in Philad...
04/07/2018

Today is a great day for birthdays in #JazzHistory!

Join us as we salute vocalist Billie Holiday (born in 1915 in Philadelphia, PA), conga player and bandleader Mongo Santamaria (born in 1922 in Havana, Cuba), and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard (born in 1938 in Indianapolis, IN) on their shared birthday! What songs are you listening to in celebration?

📷: National Museum of American History and Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Today in 1927: Saxophonist and composer Gerry Mulligan is born in New York, NY. Gerry is one of musicians featured in th...
04/06/2018

Today in 1927: Saxophonist and composer Gerry Mulligan is born in New York, NY.

Gerry is one of musicians featured in this year's Jazz Appreciation Month poster and posing in this striking black-and-white portrait by Bob Willoughby, courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.

Learn more about the poster's musicians this year and request your own free copy of the poster: http://s.si.edu/JAMposter

Our featured #JazzAppreciationMonth artist, Norman Granz, was one of the most influential people in the 20th century jaz...
04/03/2018
Norman Granz: Revolutionizing jazz for social justice

Our featured #JazzAppreciationMonth artist, Norman Granz, was one of the most influential people in the 20th century jazz scene. He helped propel musicians like Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson to greatness, created the Jazz at the Philharmonic concert series, and changed how audiences listen to jazz.

Most importantly, Granz was also a devoted civil rights advocate who used his work in the industry to push for equality and justice. His work is our source of inspiration for this year's Jazz Appreciation Month theme: Jazz & Justice.

A civil rights protest often invokes the vivid images of sit-ins, boycotts, and marches, but the fight for racial equality took many different forms. One of them was jazz. Norman Granz, a renowned impresario—producer, artist manager, and promoter—recognized the value of jazz, and music, as a too...

It's officially Jazz Appreciation Month! This year we're celebrating a theme of Jazz & Justice, exploring how jazz has p...
04/02/2018

It's officially Jazz Appreciation Month! This year we're celebrating a theme of Jazz & Justice, exploring how jazz has played a transformative role in social justice, musicians' rights, and equality throughout history.

Here's some quick ways to join in and kick your month off:

1⃣ Meet our featured #JazzAppreciationMonth artist, Norman Granz. Our first nonmusician to be featured for JAM, Granz was an innovative producer, manager, and civil rights activist. We'll be sharing stories about Granz all month, but you can learn more about him right here too: https://s.si.edu/2pJsmCb

2⃣ Check out the 2018 JAM Poster featuring Charles Mingus, Benny Goodman, Gerry Mulligan, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane! Request a free copy before supplies run out: http://s.si.edu/JAMposter

3⃣ Plan your own JAM celebration with our handy guide! Jazz Appreciation Month is fundamentally about enjoying, playing, listening to, and talking about jazz with others. It's easy: https://s.si.edu/CelebrateJAM

Today in 1924: Vocalist Sarah Vaughan is born in Newark, New Jersey. Known as "The Divine One," Vaughan was a four-time ...
03/27/2018

Today in 1924: Vocalist Sarah Vaughan is born in Newark, New Jersey.

Known as "The Divine One," Vaughan was a four-time Grammy Award winner, Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and named an NEA Jazz Master. This image from our Ella Fitzgerald Collection in the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History shows Sarah Vaughan with Ella Fitzgerald circa 1950.

Today in 1918: English-American jazz pianist Marian McPartland is born. This publicity photoprint taken by Wayne Siedel,...
03/20/2018

Today in 1918: English-American jazz pianist Marian McPartland is born. This publicity photoprint taken by Wayne Siedel, now in the Archives Center here at the National Museum of American History, shows Marian with saxophonist Benny Carter.

Marian's legacy as a pianist and radio host helped popularize the genre. Remembered as the welcoming host of NPR's weekly radio program "Piano Jazz," she interviewed many jazz greats on her show.

Marian also worked with the Benny Goodman Sextet, played with Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, Ellis Larkins, Benny Carter, and others, and composed on her own as well. Marian received numerous awards in her lifetime, including a DownBeat Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 and was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2000.

Join us as we salute Marian's legacy on her centennial! Did you ever listen to "Piano Jazz?" Do you have any favorite memories or interviews from the show?

One month until Jazz Appreciation Month! Are you ready? Today we're excited to unveil the 2018 Jazz Appreciation Month p...
03/01/2018

One month until Jazz Appreciation Month! Are you ready?

Today we're excited to unveil the 2018 Jazz Appreciation Month poster which features a lively section of LeRoy Neiman's "Big Band" painting.

Learn more about this year's poster and request your own copy: http://s.si.edu/JAMposter

This plane ticket on Capital Airlines was issued on today's date in 1959 for jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, America's "Fir...
01/14/2018

This plane ticket on Capital Airlines was issued on today's date in 1959 for jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, America's "First Lady of Song."

The National Museum of American History's Fitzgerald archive includes sound recordings, concert programs, photographs, awards and honors, and newspaper clippings.

Ella Fitzgerald Papers, ca. 1935 - 1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

Have a jazzy start to your 2018, history fans! This is a 1955 program for Norman Granz' Jazz at the Philharmonic, 16th N...
12/31/2017

Have a jazzy start to your 2018, history fans! This is a 1955 program for Norman Granz' Jazz at the Philharmonic, 16th National Tour.

Ella Fitzgerald Papers, 1935-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Today in 1905: Earl "Fatha" Hines, father of modern jazz piano, is born. This is a 1963 recording in the collection of t...
12/28/2017

Today in 1905: Earl "Fatha" Hines, father of modern jazz piano, is born. This is a 1963 recording in the collection of the National Museum of American History.

A special holiday gift from Duke Ellington.
12/24/2017
Duke Ellington's Christmas gift

A special holiday gift from Duke Ellington.

What does a world-famous musician put under the tree for the woman he loves . . . when he happens to be married to someone else?

Have you heard "The Nutcracker Suite" by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington? This suite was first composed as a ballet s...
12/22/2017
On our holiday playlist: Duke Ellington's "Nutcracker" and a special suite for the Queen

Have you heard "The Nutcracker Suite" by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington? This suite was first composed as a ballet score by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1892. It wasn't until 68 years later that Ellington and Strayhorn released their own version, refocused through the lens of big band jazz.

Smithsonian Jazz Intern Jake Huss shares the stories behind the selections heard at the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra's holiday concert this year. The Queen's Suite is as beautiful and fascinating as the story of its creation, which begins when an American Duke met the Queen of England. Ell...

Smithsonian Jazz
12/21/2017
Smithsonian Jazz

Smithsonian Jazz

Today in 1931: Jazz master David Baker is born. He led "the nation's jazz orchestra" at the Smithsonian.

Today in 1931: Jazz master David Baker is born. He led "the nation's jazz orchestra" at the Smithsonian.
12/21/2017
A tribute to David Baker, Smithsonian jazz master

Today in 1931: Jazz master David Baker is born. He led "the nation's jazz orchestra" at the Smithsonian.

Editor's note: David Baker died on Marc 26, 2016. He will be remembered for his commitment to jazz and his incredible service to the Smithsonian and its audiences around the world.

Today in 1989: "The Simpsons" premieres. What famous Duke Ellington tune has been featured on the show? http://ow.ly/ns2...
12/17/2017

Today in 1989: "The Simpsons" premieres. What famous Duke Ellington tune has been featured on the show? http://ow.ly/ns2V30hfx88

What's on your holiday playlist, jazz fans? This is sheet music for a "Cool Yule" 1950s Decca recording. ☃️Sam DeVincent...
12/13/2017

What's on your holiday playlist, jazz fans? This is sheet music for a "Cool Yule" 1950s Decca recording. ☃️

Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, 1790-1980s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

Sign up for our newsletter to avoid missing fun music happenings at the museum in 2018: http://s.si.edu/Newsletter

Today in 1915: Singer Frank Sinatra is born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He and Ella Fitzgerald performed at the Kennedy Inau...
12/12/2017
Ella at the gala: Ella Fitzgerald's performance at the Kennedy Inaugural Gala

Today in 1915: Singer Frank Sinatra is born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He and Ella Fitzgerald performed at the Kennedy Inaugural Gala. 🎶

Within the Ella Fitzgerald Papers collection, a hidden gem reveals a surprising connection between Fitzgerald and President John F. Kennedy's inauguration. On January 19, 1961, at the National Armory in Washington, D.C., stars gathered to celebrate John F. Kennedy's inauguration. The Inaugural Gala?...

Educators, Frank Sinatra's birthday is coming up soon. Perhaps this blog post will spark discussion among your students....
12/08/2017
100 years of Frank Sinatra and jazz

Educators, Frank Sinatra's birthday is coming up soon. Perhaps this blog post will spark discussion among your students. Was Sinatra a crooner, a saloon singer, or a jazz singer? 🎶

Do you think of Frank Sinatra as a jazz singer? As we celebrate his 100th birthday, guest author Eric Felten explores this question.When Frank Sinatra took the stage at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival, the "jazz purists" were unhappy (so said Variety). Unhappy not because of "his own brand of casual?...

Today in 1904: Jazz tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins is born. This is a "Jazz at the Philharmonic" concert program from...
11/21/2017

Today in 1904: Jazz tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins is born. This is a "Jazz at the Philharmonic" concert program from Amsterdam from November 1960.

If you love jazz and music history, sign up for our museum newsletter so you don't miss a concert, public program, or exhibition: http://s.si.edu/Newsletter

Benny Carter Collection, 1928-2000, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

"Paris is taken away with [Jazz] and our style of dancing. The girls come after the boys in taxis and beg them to go to ...
11/08/2017

"Paris is taken away with [Jazz] and our style of dancing. The girls come after the boys in taxis and beg them to go to the dance." Learn more about the Great War and jazz from our friens at the The Library of Congress: http://s.si.edu/2AtA33q

Tomorrow, follow the hashtag #WW1Stories for more #WorldWar1 history. You can find National Museum of American History on Twitter and Instagram here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amhistorymuseum
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amhistorymuseum

Happy Saxophone Day! Charlie Parker and his sax are part of this fantasy jam session in LeRoy Neiman's painting, on disp...
11/06/2017
Meet the titans of jazz: A guide to LeRoy Neiman's fantasy jam session

Happy Saxophone Day! Charlie Parker and his sax are part of this fantasy jam session in LeRoy Neiman's painting, on display at National Museum of American History. 🎷

When serious jazz fans namedrop their favorite musicians (and their copious nicknames), it can be a bit intimidating for those of us who are new to jazz appreciation. Don't worry, we're here to help put jazz history's names and faces together—and just in time for Jazz Appreciation Month.

100 years ago today: Jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie is born. This is his custom-made "Silver Flair"  trumpet. A founder o...
10/21/2017

100 years ago today: Jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie is born. This is his custom-made "Silver Flair" trumpet. A founder of the modern jazz style known as bebop, Gillespie was renowned for his musical virtuosity and for his impish good humor and wit. He played this trumpet in the early 1980s. Its uniquely shaped upturned bell was Gillespie's internationally known trademark. It's in the collection of the National Museum of American History.

Want more jazz history? Sign up for our monthly newsletter: http://s.si.edu/Newsletter

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General information

Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your experience. We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect. The Smithsonian also monitors and may remove posts consistent with its terms of use, as described at http://si.edu/Termsofuse#user-gen. For our Privacy Policy: http://www.si.edu/Privacy

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Comments

I realize the situation taking place in America, so I understand the delay, but I was wondering, why haven’t I received my Jazz Appreciation Month poster yet? It’s been almost three months since I requested it. Last year you failed to send me one, also. I am losing faith.
My east bulletin board.
#SmithsonianJazz All the way from the Grace Jordan Elementary Music Room in Boise, Idaho.
The exercise class at Diversified Gym in Frankenmuth MI celebrated Jazz Appreciation Month by working out to recordings of "Benny, Duke, Louis and Ella!"
Hi-I'm looking for chart on Erskine Hawkins' "Tippin' In"-Happy to pay for it. Yours,Dave Whitney Orchestra-Boston.
ALEX BUGNON for 3 nights With the Gerald Veasley band Thursday, May 25, Friday, May 26 & Saturday, May 27 Two Shows per night 7pm & 9pm Tickets and Info: http://goo.gl/cyC9P9 or call 267-225-8018 One of the most versatile pianists on the contemporary jazz scene, Alex Bugnon is as comfortable in an intimate jazz club playing classics as he is in a jazz festival performing his chart topping hits. This Swiss native first came into prominence as a Berklee alumnus who was tapped into studio work with Patti Austin and Freddie Jackson. Before long, he became a recording artist in his own right and now has a legion of loyal fans who love his style of elegantly soulful piano playing. Showtimes 7pm and 9pm. Valet or Easy Street Parking