We’ve been quite focused on National Poetry Month here at the Library as Incubator Project, but on this last day of April we wanted to make note of the fact that April was also Jazz Appreciation Month. Today is the first annual International Jazz Day, and what better day to celebrate all the creative ways to celebrate jazz at the library — not just in April, but all year round!
We’ve rounded up a few programs and booklists to showcase what’s been going on this Jazz Appreciation Month, and to share some possibilities for the rest of the year. We’re hoping to create a larger kit for celebrating jazz at the library for next year — so please, feel free to share your ideas, programs, and favorite jazz books!
The DC Public Library had an April packed full of jazz programming, including a jazz elements GarageBand workshop for teens, concerts, jazzy storytimes, and open mic poetry set to jazz music. See their full list of programs for inspiration.
Smithsonian Jazz has a section on the website with Duke Ellington activities for kids, featuring a book, craft, and multimedia — perfect for a storytime.
The Smithsonian Folkways Jazz Education site is great for teens and interested adults. The Jazz Mixer allows users to play with levels and explore different instruments, and the interactive timeline and map offer a wealth of information.
Check out the Smithsonian’s guide to celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, which features sections for libraries, educators, fans, museums, and more.
The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) creates booklists and book reviews for librarians and educators. Below is a selection of their recommended books about jazz for kids. Obviously, the list doesn’t end here, but these titles create a great start.
- Boston Weatherford, Carole and Sean Qualls. Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane. Henry Holt, 2008. 26 pages. Ages 5-8.
- Davis Pinkney, Andrea. Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra. Hyperion, 1998. 32 pages. Ages 6-10.
- Ehrhardt, Karen. This Jazz Man. Illustrated by R.G. Roth. Harcourt, 2006. 32 pages. Ages 4-10.
- French, Fiona. Snow White in New York. U.S. edition: Oxford University Press, 1987. 32 pages. Ages 8-12.
- Igus, Toyomi. I See the Rhythm. Children’s Book Press, 1998. Ages 9-14.
- Monceaux, Morgan. Jazz: My Music, My People. Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. 64 pages. Age 11 and older.
- Myers, Walter Dean. Jazz. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. Holiday House, 2006. 44 pages. Age 10 and older.
- Shaik, Fatima. The Jazz of Our Street. Dial, 1998. 28 pages. Ages 5-9.
- Raschka, Chris. John Coltrane’s Giant Steps. A Richard Jackson Book / Atheneum, 2002. 32 pages. Ages 6 – 10.
- Winter, Jonah. Dizzy. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2006. 48 pages. Ages 7-10.
- Down Beat
- Jazz Education Journal
- Jazz Times
- Librarians at the St. Charles Public Library in Illinois have put together an extensive list of jazz titles, including fiction with jazz themes, non-fiction, and recommended recordings.
- The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Jazz! booklist features jazz-centric mysteries, historical novels, comedies, and love stories.
- North Central College Oesterle Library’s Jazz Appreciation Month booklist lists several non-fiction titles.
- Mercer County Library’s list of books about jazz.
How did your library celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month? What are you doing for International Jazz Day? Please, tell us! As mentioned above, we’d love to collect more programs and ideas for an extensive list of ways to celebrate jazz at your library. Contact us by email, in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter!
Happy International Jazz Day!