Have you always wanted to learn more about Jazz, maybe dip into some of its many sounds, but you keep putting it off? Well there’s no better time than RIGHT NOW to get your act in gear. And whether you’re completely in the dark or just want to learn more about a particular aspect of Jazz, the Sheridan Libraries and the Baltimore community have plenty of resources to keep you going all month long.
- For a fantastic overview of the subject, check out our DVD of the Ken Burns PBS series (called “Jazz,” naturally). While learning about Jazz’s roots and development, you’ll also get the sights and sounds, the personalities and the voices necessary for the full effect.
- If that’s too much of a commitment, then just browse through the series’ companion book, Jazz: A History of America’s Music.
- And if PBS isn’t your bag, then take your pick from our hundreds of print and e-books on the topic—biography, analysis of the musical form, other written histories, Jazz in specific locations, and oral histories.
But all that’s just a preamble to the real thing: Listening to (and playing) the music.
- Would you be surprised to learn that we have over 3,000 listings of recorded Jazz in our catalog? Many of them can be requested from or picked up at the Peabody Institute's Friedheim Music Library, while 215 are available for immediate streaming. Pretty cool, eh?
- If playing an instrument is your bag, there’s no better time to sample some of our 240 sheet music titles, most of which you can request online or pick up at the Friedheim.
The ultimate thrill, though, is to experience the Jazz phenomenon up close and personal in one of Baltimore’s clubs or concert venues.
- The easiest way to do that is to visit BaltimoreJazz.com, the official website of the Baltimore Jazz Alliance, and browse the “jazz calendar,” read bios of locally-based musicians, download the BJA newsletter, and shop their collection of CDs and sheet music put out by local talent. There’s even a list of links to local Jazz radio stations and a smattering of reminiscences of now-defunct clubs of past eras.
- The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is putting on a special jazz appreciation program for kids on Saturday, April 14 called “Jazz It Up!”
Still want more? The Smithsonian Institution has created a beautiful, full-color, 16-page, suggestion-filled e-brochure called "How to Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month." It has separate lists of ideas for collectors, band leaders, fans, foundations, preservationists, Jazz societies, libraries, museums and historical societies, parents, performing arts centers, philanthropists, public radio and TV stations, students at all levels, teachers, and working musicians!
After all that, the only thing left to do is dig out the axe you stashed under your bed after you graduated from high school, and blow, baby, blow.