|Click here to listen to a Jazz Appreciation Month message from Pat Metheny (:33)|
|Click here to listen to a to listen to a Jazz Appreciation Month message from Chick Corea (:39)|
|Click here to visit the official Jazz Appreciation Month web site|
During the press conference, the families of Latin jazz legends Chico O'Farrill, Mongo Santamaria, and Tito Puente, were on hand to donate personal items, instruments and compositions from their distinguished careers. The donated items will join the museum's collection of memorabilia from other jazz musicians including Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington.
|Pictured at the JAM kick off event are Dr. Brent Glass, Director, Smithsonian National Museum of American History; Chico O'Farrill's son and his widow Lupe O'Farrill; John Hasse, JAM curator; Tito Puente's widow and their son Daniel Puente; BMI Latin jazz legend Paquito d'Rivera; and Mongo Santamaria's daughter Nancy Anderson.|
April was chosen for JAM to honor the birthdays of such jazz legends as Ellington, Fitzgerald, Puente, Charles Mingus and Gerry Mulligan. Throughout the entire month, the museum will highlight jazz music through concerts, programs and displays. Schools, colleges, museums, concert halls, libraries and public broadcasters are encouraged to offer special programs (pdf) of their own every April.
|BMI Latin jazz great Paquito D'Rivera shows off some of the donated items to JAM curator John Hasse and BMI's Robbin Ahrold|
The Smithsonian operates the world's most comprehensive set of jazz programs: it collects jazz artifacts, documents, recordings, and oral histories; curates exhibitions and traveling exhibitions; operates its own big band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra; publishes books and recordings on jazz; offers fellowships for research in its collections; and offers concerts, educational workshops, master classes, lectures, seminars, and symposia.
With an impressive roster of jazz legends that includes Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton and Charles Mingus, as well as today's new jazz stars like Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, Kevin Eubanks, Joshua Redman, Mark Whitfield and Bobby Watson, BMI has supported jazz from the start and continues today with programs such as the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, the BMI Foundation/Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize, and the BMI/Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Composers Competition.