Covid-19 Blows Jazz out of Town Covid-19 Blows Jazz out of Town


Yinka Olatunbosun

Tradition had been broken. April is observed globally as the Jazz Appreciation Month in honour of jazz heritage. Created in 2001 by John Edward Haase, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the concept of Jazz Appreciation has been celebrated across the world with concerts, festivals and artist talks. But some fractions of the jazz community has organised into groups to raise funds to support jazz artists and venues while others performed online.

April had been selected as the Jazz Appreciation Month because many jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Herbie Hancock, Carmen McRae and many more had been born in this month.

Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) aims to encourage people to learn the history of this music genre. In 2018, as part of the JAM, NRW Kulture Sekretariat hosted six select international journalists to visit Bonn, Germany to explore the heritage of the music genre. One of the tourist sites visited was the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven.

This year, the celebration of JAM will be virtual. Courtesy Jazz Philadelphia, V-Jam Philly will enable the Jazz community to come together and show strengths, celebrate talents and give jazz lovers the music they crave using live stream concerts, blog posts, photo series and fund raising activities, the Jazz community is united in exuding resilience.

In Lagos, the Lagos International Jazz Festival has been cancelled for the year and in the past week, its founder, Ayoola Shadare had taken to the social media to share pictures from the maiden edition of the festival.