Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz Appreciation Month, opens a new window (JAM) is a music festival held every April in recognition of the significant contribution that jazz music has made to society. The aim of this annual event is to pay tribute to jazz for its historic and cultural significance by encouraging schools, governments and organizations to participate in various events such as free jazz concerts and educational events.

JAM was first established in 2001 by John Edward Hasse, a curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, opens a new window. It was initially funded by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, opens a new window, whose archives are currently housed at the Smithsonian.

Through jazz-focused events, JAM works to support today’s jazz scene and encourage an appreciation of jazz music in people of all ages. Throughout the month of April, people will be encouraged to participate in jazz activities such as studying jazz music, attending jazz concerts, reading books, or just simply listening to good jazz music.

This year the San Mateo County Libraries presents local jazz musicians who embrace the spirit, insight, and beauty of jazz.

Featured Jazz Musicians

Charged Particles Trio
The trio's repertoire blends jazz with elements of Latin music, funk, classical music, and other genres. The group's original compositions are mixtures of complex orchestration and elaborate improvised solos. The band brings a similar approach to playing arrangements of tunes by other jazz artists and traditional jazz standards by the composers of America's most popular songs from decades ago, each played with a new twist.

Dave Bendigkeit Jazz Trio
Dave Bendigkeit (trumpet) has been on the San Francisco music scene since 1974. As a young man, he worked with just about every band and singer that came through town, including Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, George Shearing, Jack Jones, Ray Brown, Shelly Manne, Richie Cole, Grady Tate, Smith Dobson, James Brown and many more. The trio will include David Udolf (pianist) and Chris Amberger (bass).

Paul VornHagen Jazz

Paul Vornhagen presents the American Songbook, featuring composers such as Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Thelonius Monk and others. Paul's Trio is the winner of numerous Detroit Music Awards for Best Jazz Reed, Best Instrumentalist, and Best Jazz recording.

Swing Fever

Swing Fever, a San Francisco swing jazz band with classic big band sound, treats Swing Era music as a living, breathing form, to which the players bring fresh excitement, new arrangements and unusual instrumentation.

Michael O'Neill Quartet

Michael O'Neill hovers between mastery and greatness. His saxophone work is extraordinary and he plays with almost orchestral diction yet with classic jazz chops. It's almost as if he's not only playing but he's teaching saxophone on stage.

Take a look at our full list of events for Jazz in the Library and come enjoy the music. Don't want to wait? Start listening to jazz right now! Hoopla has lots of great jazz albums you can stream from your smartphone, tablet, or computer!