The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will mark the 11th annual Jazz Appreciation Month in April with a monthlong celebration of jazz featuring performances, talks, tours and family-oriented events in venues around Washington, D.C. JAM 2012 programs will show how jazz crosses borders of culture, musical genre, technology, gender and race.
JAM kicks off March 30 with a tribute to tap, including an open house in the museum’s Archives Center where visitors can view jazz, tap and dance collections and hear stories from living dance treasure Harold Cromer of the legendary Vaudeville duo “Stump and Stumpy,” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In the evening, dancers from the DC Tap Festival improvise to a jam session with bassist Ben Williams. Participants include tappers of all ages, including Emmy Award-winner Ted Levy, Chloe and Maud Arnold (founders of DC Tap) and Cromer.
JAM highlights at the museum this year include a Latin jazz master class with Chilean singer/songwriter Claudia Acuña, a showcase of talent from the DC Tap Festival, public programs in which visitors are invited to make their own music in Flag Hall and a hands-on kite-making workshop followed by a kite ballet to the music of Frank Sinatra, the featured artist on this year’s JAM poster.
The museum’s Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra will present a number of small group performances and the month will culminate with three family-oriented programs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Fort Dupont and Anacostia Park. A full schedule of events is available online.
UPDATE: Jazz Appreciation Month kicked off March 30 with a tribute to tap dancing. Visitors to the National Museum of American History’s Archives Center viewed jazz, tap and dance collections and heard stories from living dance treasure Harold Cromer of the legendary Vaudeville duo “Stump and Stumpy.” Later, dancers from the DC Tap Festival improvised to a jam session with bassist Ben Williams. Participants included tappers of all ages, including Emmy Award-winner Ted Levy, Chloe and Maud Arnold (founders of DC Tap) and Cromer. Jazz Appreciation Month continues throughout the month of April. (Photo by Harold Dorwin)
Posted: 30 March 2012