Jiving with Blue Star Museums
Get those jazz hands ready, faithful readers. Today we announced the 2014 class of NEA Jazz Masters! We are thrilled to welcome these living legends as the newest NEA Jazz Masters. The four individuals announced today are recognized for their dedication to the advancement of jazz and are awarded with the highest national honor bestowed to jazz musicians. Congratulations to them all!
If today's announcement has you tapping your toes and jonesing for some jazz, Blue Star Museums have plenty of soulful solutions. If you are in the Kansas City area, visit the American Jazz Museum for a one-stop-shop jazz emporium. Listen to historical musical performances at the famed Blue Room, learn about the history of the genre, or check out Louis Armstrong’s trumpet and Ella Fitzgerald’s sequined gown.
While the American Jazz Museum offers a specific focus on the history of the musical genre in America, many other museums around the U.S. are taking advantage of the summertime energy and hosting jazz programs of their own.
A full house enjoys a jazz performance at the Dallas Museum of Art. Image courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, Texas)
Each Thursday evening, the Dallas Museum of Art presents Jazz in the Atrium as part of their Thursday Night Live series. The July line-up for Jazz in the Atrium features two of the museum's more popular performers, Mario Cruz and the Quamon Fowler Quintet. According to one patron, the program is a perfect way to "decompress" from a busy week and is enjoyable for everyone from jazz aficionado to novices. So what can you expect after a Thursday night at the Dallas Museum of Art? Take a peek at the museum's video interviews with returning patrons who have come to understand the "spirit of art" at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, Virginia)
The Jazz Café at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presents varying jazz ensembles each Thursday night for an eclectic choice of musical entertainment. Taking place in the museum's Best Café, the weekly concerts are offered to the public free of charge and are organized in partnership with the Richmond Jazz Society.
The audience at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art catches a Friday evening jazz performance. Image courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, California)
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) jazz program has hosted and celebrated the area's leading jazz musicians for more than 20 years. Their list of impressive performers has included former NEA Jazz Masters Wayne Shorter and Kenny Burrell as well as California jazz legends John Clayton, Billy Childs, and Arturo Sandoval. The Jazz at LACMA program attracts more than 42,000 visitors each year and the free concert series is held each Friday from April to November.
Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
In Philly, jazz takes center stage at the Philadelphia Museum of Art after operating hours. The museum’s Art After 5 program includes both emerging and established jazz musicians as well as international artists in the weekly concert series. In addition to the live performances, guided gallery tours are also offered to visitors. Tomorrow’s Art After 5 concert hosts Dutch jazz pianist Peter Beets. The young Beets has preformed with NEA Jazz Masters Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis, and is heralded for combining the classical melodies of Chopin with jazz improvisation.
Jazz percussionist Steven Kroon wows listeners at the 2012 Jazz in the Garden concert series at The Newark Museum. Image courtesy of The Newark Museum
Newark Museum (Newark, New Jersey)
For nearly 50 years, The Newark Museum has presented their Jazz in the Garden series. Considered one of the nation’s longest-running jazz events, the series’ 48th year will kick off with jazz musician Nat Adderley, Jr. on June 27, 2013. NEA Jazz Master Lou Donaldson preformed during the 2009 Jazz in the Garden season, just four years before he received the national award. Perhaps you might catch a performance by a Jazz Master-in-the-making if you visit the Newark Museum this summer!
SPECIAL JAZZ BONUS: 2013 NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri and his Salsa Orchestra will be performing on August 3, 2013, at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park during its outdoor summer concert series, Celebrate Brooklyn.