NEH + Jazz

Jazz Appreciation Month

In partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as several other national organizations, Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) sponsors a number of programs to promote jazz, including concerts, lectures, educational materials, and exhibitions. Details about events and materials related to JAM can be found on the Smithsonian Jazz website.

The Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program was established by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in 1992. The Program seized the opportunity to document more than one hundred senior jazz musicians, performers, relatives, and business associates. Each interview was conducted by a jazz authority and was recorded on digital audiotape by a professional audio engineer. The interviews average six hours in length and cover a wide range of topics including early years, initial involvement in music, generally, and jazz specifically, as well as experiences in the jazz music world, including relationships to musicians.

NEH + Jazz

The National Endowment for the Humanities has funded many jazz projects such as American Routes, the Jazz Loft Project, and Ken Burns' Jazz

NEH honored composer & musician, Wynton Marsalis with a 2015 National Humanities Medal for celebrating the traditions of jazz music from New Orleans to Lincoln Center and beyond. As a virtuoso trumpet player, composer, and educator, he has brought jazz to a wider audience and inspired music lovers to embrace America’s quintessential sound.

Chronicling America: explore the Library of Congress and NEH’s joint project to digitize our nation’s historical newspapers by conducting a keyword search for “jazz.”

African American Sheet Music: browse this extensive collection of early sheet music by African American composers for examples of early jazz and its musical predecessors such as ragtime and the blues.

The Jazz Ambassadors is a two-hour documentary film and website on the influence of the Voice of America’s “Music USA Jazz” radio program and the State Department’s jazz tours during the Cold War.

To learn more about NEH-funded jazz projects, head over to EDSITEment

NEA Jazz Masters

The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship is the highest honor that our nation bestows on jazz artists. Each year since 1982, the program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.

In celebration of the 2019 NEA Jazz Masters—Stanley CrouchBob DoroughAbdullah Ibrahim, and Maria Schneider—the National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will host a free concert in their honor on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. ET in Washington, DC. Watch the live webcast here!

This evening of performances by world-renowned musicians will pay tribute to the NEA Jazz Masters’ careers, with performances by Jay Anderson, Steve Berger, Terence Blanchard, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kurt Elling, Sullivan Fortner, Bill Goodwin, Cleave Guyton, Noah Jackson, 2012 NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, Grace Kelly, Frank Kimbrough, Christian McBride, Charles McPherson, Jason Moran, David Murray, Pat O’Leary, Scott Robinson, and J D Walter.