Massachusetts Celebrates Jazz

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April 30 is International Jazz Day, when musicians and music lovers around the world celebrate jazz by performing live concerts, bringing music to the classrooms and singing the praises of this distinctly American art form that is now shared around the globe.

In Massachusetts, every day seems like international jazz day: the Commonwealth has a vibrant, year-round jazz scene that attracts musicians from across the globe, including Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Many come here to study or teach at schools like the Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, and UMass/Amherst and many others. See a list of Massachusetts colleges offering jazz courses.

Earlier this month, Governor Charlie Baker issued a Proclamation declaring April to be Jazz Month in Massachusetts, calling jazz “one of America’s most treasured imports” and praising the state’s “rich jazz heritage.”JazzProclamation_2015

Massachusetts may be the only state in the USA to have developed a specific tourism initiative to promote jazz to visitors coming to the state. MassJazz was launched in 2009 to provide year-round information on the state’s many jazz resources, from festivals, concerts and campus events to jazz in hotels, restaurants and night clubs. Run out of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, MassJazz updates jazz listings on its web site, and issues a free annual travel guide each summer that is distributed at visitor stops around the state.

The summer and fall are particularly good times to hear jazz in Massachusetts, with dozens of outdoor jazz festivals running from May through October. Here is the 2015 Jazz Festival schedule.

Also of interest is the 9th annual Jazz Week 2015, which runs April 25-May 3, 2015. It is organized by JazzBoston, a non-profit group that celebrates the area’s jazz scene and also brings jazz education into local schools.

Live jazz is just one of the many performing arts idioms that make Massachusetts an exciting destination for visitors interested in arts and culture. You can find details of upcoming cultural activities at MassVacation.com.