JazzApril 2015: FAQs

Here are some answers to the questions we're asked most about JazzApril.  It's time to celebrate-- and participate.

What IS JazzApril?

It's a shorthand way to say "April is Jazz Month" and to tie together the Smithsonian's annual celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month in April and International Jazz Day on April 30. The Jazz Journalists Association began its JazzApril project in 2012 to celebrate and promote both JAM and IJD. As part of that project, the JJA works with members of LOCAL jazz communities to:

  • raise the profile of jazz in the media, especially local media
  • reach out to people who aren't already part of the jazz audience and share the music and its history
  • strengthen local, national and international jazz NETWORKS
  • give some props to the people who keep jazz alive locally via the JJA's Jazz Hero awards.
You, yes, you can participate as an individual, or as part of an organization, school, business or media outlet. 

Wait a minute: Why do we need a special month for jazz? I play/listen to/teach about/promote/celebrate jazz all year.

So do we! But we think it can be very effective, once a year, to make a special, united effort to show the world that there are lots of us who play, listen to, teach about, work to further, and care about the music. With the decline of the recording industry, and the shrinkage of record company promotional budgets, it's all too easy for non-jazz media to overlook the ongoing creativity and productivity of  jazz musicians, and to ignore the important contributions of jazz educators, organizations and businesses to local cultural and economic life. In short, we know jazz is alive and well, and we want everyone else to know it, too. 

OK then-- so how can I participate in JazzApril?

Below are some things everyone can do; on other pages of this site you'll find additional ways musicians, educatorsjournalists/media makers, broadcasters and businesses and organizations can participate.

Whoever you are, you can spread the word about JazzApril and about Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day by doing the following:
  • Add the JazzApril ribbon ("Twibbon") to your Facebook and Twitter icon.
  • Use Facebook, Twitter and other social media to tell your friends about your April jazz activities --whether that means performing at or attending a jazz concert, teaching your class about jazz history, or listening to a jazz record you love.  Include #jazzapril or #jazzday and #celebrateJAM and your Tweet will be seen on the Twitter widget on this site.
  • Add JazzApril logos to your website or blog They are available in many sizes and shapes and two color schemes right here.  (You can also get the Jazz Appreciation Month and Jazz Day logos there.) And if you email us the link to the page where you've added the JazzApril logo, we may mention you on our Facebook page. Email jazzapril@jazzjournalists.org
  • Contact your local newspapers, online publications and broadcasters about their jazz coverage. If it's a publication that covers jazz frequently or a station with a jazz program(s), thank them. If it isn't doing such a good job of including jazz, tell them that you are a jazz supporter and you'd like to see more jazz coverage or programming.  Either way, mention that April is Jazz Month and that this would be a good time to do a roundup of local jazz activities.
  • And, of course, you should keep an eye out for local Jazz Appreciation Month, Jazz Day and JazzApril  activities and attend and support them!  Both JAM and IJD have online event calendars, as does Jazz Near You, a year-round worldwide jazz event calendar. If you are organizing an April jazz event, you can get them listed on those calendars. 
Take an extra step to support the music financially during April:
We know your budget is tight-- but if all of us don't support jazz, who will?
  • Go out and hear some live jazz in a local venue.  Take a friend (or two), especially if your friend(s) aren't already jazz fans. Thank the musicians personally for their work.
  • Buy some jazz recordings-- stretch your taste by trying something you haven't heard before or fill out your collection of classics.
  • Make a contribution to a local non-profit jazz organization, broadcaster, blogger, publication or school. Many accept donations on their websites. Tell them it's to celebrate Jazz Month. 

We'll be posting other easy ways for you to participate in JazzApril on the JJA Facebook page and Twitter feed throughout April. Please "like" and "follow" us to get these updates.