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International Jazz Day & Jazz Appreciation Month 2024

Hooray, it’s International Jazz Day!

April 30, 2024

As the highlight of Jazz Appreciation Month 2024 - "JAM" for short - International Jazz Day will be celebrated worldwide on 30.04.2024. From New York to Paris, from Tokyo to Johannesburg, concerts, jam sessions, workshops, educational programmes and much more will be organized to celebrate the magic of jazz. Artists from different countries and cultures come together to improvise, make music and experience cultural connection through music.

The JAM MUSIC LAB Private University celebrates the International Jazz Day

JAM naturally honors this day and the people who were, are and will be part of it. International Jazz Day also includes educational initiatives aimed at promoting an understanding of jazz music and providing young people with access to music education. Workshops, lectures and music lessons are organized to inspire and encourage the next generation of jazz musicians. For this reason, JAM is awarding the "Ö1 Jazz Scholarship" for the seventh time. The winner receives a scholarship for the bachelor's or master's program in music at the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University for Jazz and Popular Music in Vienna and a CD production with Quinton Records. The scholarship will be awarded this year on April 30th in Salzburg to coincide with the IJD.

"We at JAM MUSIC LAB have a great responsibility: jazz and popular music play an important role in our world. We take this responsibility seriously by working to preserve, promote and develop jazz and popular music as a valuable cultural asset. Our aim is to give people of all ages, social backgrounds, identities and nationalities a voice through music. We are aware of the culturally and historically important background of this music genre and want to preserve and pass on its heritage, especially in times like these."

-Dr. Ulrike Plettenbacher, Managing Director JML GmbHPoster IJD

"The best thing black people have said about their soul, they've said on the tenor saxophone." This quote from Ornette Coleman illustrates the ability of jazz to act as a universal language and unite people and cultures. With rhythm and improvisation, jazz can enable the expression of emotions, overcome boundaries and promote mutual understanding. The harmony of the bands and the sounds played should be transmitted to the listeners and remind them of what jazz stands for - freedom, hope, human rights and improvisation. We are firmly convinced that jazz and popular music in particular promote creativity, create a positive self-image and strengthen respect for others. For this reason, we are passionate about these styles of music and the musicians who create them. 

"The "Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz" in Washington D.C. was commissioned by UNESCO as "leading partner" to organize the annual main event under the direction of "good will ambassador Herbie Hancock". This year, the event will take place in Tangier, Morocco, but musicians, music clubs, music universities and fans all over the world will also be celebrating the genre of jazz. The JAM MUSIC LAB Private University is taking part in these celebrations this year with a video report on the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Max Steiner. The musicians of a corresponding CD production have their say in this contribution and describe their impressions of the genesis of this music in the context of jazz. In addition to drumming legend Peter Erskine, pianist and arranger Danny Grissett and music producer Jeff Levenson can also be heard.

-Mag. Marcus Ratka, Rector of the JMLU Vienna

Jazz Appreciation Month and Duke Ellington 

On this occasion, we are also remembering and honouring a true legend. One of the most influential American jazz musicians ever: Duke Ellington. He was born 125 years ago on April 29, 1899 and had a far-reaching influence on jazz. Not only was he a pianist, but as a composer he wrote almost 2000 compositions, many of which soon became jazz standards.

"Whatever I play, I can always hear the tradition humming along in my head." This very important quote by Arthur Blythe illustrates Ellingtons deep connection to the jazz tradition and his ability to combine innovation and originality with the classical elements of the genre. Ellington was known for his respect for the jazz tradition and his ability to integrate it into new and unique forms of musical expression. This is why not only 30.04. is repeatedly considered the highlight of the "JAM" this year, but 29.04. may also be duly recognized this year. Ellington's career spanned several decades and included countless recordings, including timeless pieces such as "Take the 'A' Train" and "Mood Indigo". He was known for his unique arrangements, which often emphasized the individual strengths of his band members. His orchestra, known as the "Duke Ellington Orchestra", was one of the longest-lived and most successful formations in jazz history. 

On this day, the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University naturally wants to celebrate every jazz musician and convey the diversity of characters and different styles to the students. Appreciating the modern means respecting the roots. "You can't play nothing on modern trumpet that doesn't come from him, not even modern shit." This quote is our program. Miles Davis said this about Louis Armstrong and refers to his extensive influence on jazz. This diversity is reflected in the JAM courses on offer and provides the best possible training for a creative musical life. JAM is all about creating your own music, which is why, as Billy Holiday said, it encourages inspiration rather than copying: "You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling."

JAM celebrates jazz every day of the year and is deeply committed to the tolerance and innovation that come with it as an institution. In the words of Nina Simone, "Jazz is not just music, it's a way of life, it's a way of being, a way of thinking."

For more information about events in your area, please visit the official website of the International Jazz Day

Authored on April 29th, 2024