Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) is a music festival held every April in the United States, in honor of jazz as an early American art form. JAM was created in 2001 by John Edward Hasse, PhD, curator of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Jazz Appreciation Month was created to be an annual event that would pay tribute to jazz as both a living and as a historic music. Schools, organizations, and even governments celebrate JAM with events ranging from free concerts to educational programs. Its first year was 2001, with initial funding provided by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. (Miss Fitzgerald's archives are housed at the Smithsonian.)
In 2012, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings obtained permission from the Louis Armstrong estate to release the recordings on a new album, Satchmo at the National Press Club: Red Beans and Ricely Yours, and timed the release as part of the annual Jazz Appreciation Month.
For 2016 the theme is jazz and democracy, examining how jazz itself is a form of democracy; and the artist in focus is musician and bandleader, Benny Carter, who is featured on the 2016 JAM poster from the National Museum of American History.