Celebrate “April Is Jazz Appreciation Month” With Special Concerts

In April of 2001, Jazz Appreciation Month was founded by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  The annual celebration shines a light on the heritage and contributions of jazz to American History.

This year, Jazz Appreciation Month will explore the cross-pollination of Afro-Caribbean music and jazz leading into the formation of Latin jazz. Since the 1950s, Latin Jazz has grown with increasing popularity. Today, Latin Jazz represents a significant category of music in the jazz idiom.

Israel “Cachao” López photograph courtesy of Tom Ehrlich.

Each year, the institution chooses a featured jazz artist.  In 2022, Israel “Cachao” López is the chosen featured artist.  In the pantheon of Latino contributions to Jazz, Israel “Cachao” López stands out. The Cuban bass player helped invent the mambo style in the late 1930s, speeding up the traditional Cuban dance music danzón by inserting a swing into it. The springy bass lines Cachao played, alongside his brother, pianist/cellist Orestes López, became a foundation of modern Cuban music, later influencing salsa, Latin-infused rock ‘n’ roll, and R&B.

Israel “Cachao” López

In April, you can enjoy a variety of jazz concerts throughout the region to help celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month. The month culminates on Saturday, April 30th with International Jazz Day. In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role in uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.

This year, there are a few special concerts you can attend via JazzBuffalo partners to help celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month. We list them here for you:

Gwen Laster’s New MUSE4tet

Thursday, April 7 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pmHallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202 United States + Google Map$15 – $20

Born in October 2015 and founded by Violinist/Composer Gwen Laster, New MUSE4tet is an improvising string quartet offering 20th and 21st century new works and original compositions as a vehicle for social activism. Her commissioned work “Black Lives Matter Suite” premiered shortly after the inception of the ensemble and continues to draw great audiences and critical acclaim. New MUSE4tet sheds new interpretive light on familiar works and introduces audiences to the voices of the now. The artists joining Gwen are violinist Hsinwei…

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Art of Jazz | Ethan Iverson & Tom Harrell Duo

Friday, April 8 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pmKleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201 United States + Google Map$34

Two of modern jazz’s leading lights unite to explore the classic post-war jazz repertoire that made New York City the “Jazz Capital of the World.” A founding member of the Bad Plus, one of the most successful and groundbreaking jazz groups of the 21st century, pianist Ethan Iverson is a restless visionary with a deep respect for jazz history. Tom Harrell, voted trumpeter of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, is one of the most creative and lyrical jazz…

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Brian Culbertson

Saturday, April 9 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pmBuffalo State Performing Arts Center, 1300 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY United States + Google Map$37 – $125

Over the course of crafting a 20-album catalogue and architecting more than 30 Billboard No. 1 singles as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Brian Culbertson has charted his own unique course in music. Label him jazz and he makes a funk record. Call him an R&B artist and he drops an acoustic jazz trio collection. Brand him pop and he creates a 32-minute New Age opus. And you’d be hard pressed to name another instrumentalist of his ilk who can mount an…

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Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble

Thursday, April 21 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pmHallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202 United States + Google Map$15 – $25

Nicole M. Mitchell is an award-winning creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having been repeatedly awarded “Top Flutist of the Year” by Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association (2010-2017). Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late 90s, and her music celebrates contemporary African American culture. She is the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Sonic Projections…

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Gospel According to Swing with Byron Stripling

Saturday, April 30 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm|Recurring Event (See all)Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201 United States + Google Map$41 – $64

Byron Stripling, conductor, trumpet, vocals A jubilant concert experience bursting with the spirit of gospel music, and bubbling with the influences of jazz and blues, including He’s Got the Whole World, Go Tell It On the Mountain, and Amazing Grace. From Mahalia Jackson to Aretha Franklin, through the influences of Bessie Smith and Duke Ellington, this stirring concert will set your soul on fire! This performance is being filmed for later broadcast as part of our BPOnDemand series. Click here to learn more and purchase virtual…

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Live at Seneca One I Anaïs Reno with Juliet Kurtzman and Pete Malinverni (International Jazz Day Celebration)

Saturday, April 30 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pmSeneca One Tower, 1 Seneca Street
Buffalo, NY United States + Google Map$20.00

“…The most impressive new jazz singer to appear on the scene since Veronica Swift.” – SCOTT YANO, L.A. JAZZ SCENE “With her grace, gravitas, serenity, and prodigious skills—one can proclaim that the work of Anaïs is impressive without any added qualifier/caveat like “…for someone her age…”’ – ROB LESTER, TALKIN’ BROADWAY “…This is a once in a lifetime voice..” – STEPHEN MOSHER, BROADWAY WORLD “…you’ll know you’re in the presence of pure young vocal genius when you hear her sing…

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And, Buffalo will be getting a very special visit in June from the organizer and spokesperson for International Jazz Day that takes place on April 30th, Herbie Hancock. He will be appearing at Kleinhans Music Hall:

Herbie Hancock Live in Concert

Friday, June 17 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pmKleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201 United States + Google Map$49 – $99

HERBIE HANCOCK Live in Concert presented by Kleinhans Music Hall Friday, June 17th, 8:00 PM We are pleased to welcome legendary pianist and jazz artist, Herbie Hancock on June 17th!   An icon of acoustic and electronic jazz!  Ticket sales are now opened up to the general public. JazzBuffalo is serving as a media and promotional partner to this very special presentation by Kleinhans Music Hall! Tickets are on sale NOW to the general public!  Tickets start at $49 and a…

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Throughout the month of April, continue to check Upcoming Jazz at JazzBuffalo.org. Do what you can to support jazz and the continuing American appreciation for our original art form.  This month we celebrate this important heritage and its contributions to the evolving American story. 

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