“Jazz was born in New Orleans but spent a lot of time growing up in Harlem,” says award-winning bandleader Christian McBride who, with award-winning bandleader Jon Batiste, serves as National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NJMH) Artistic Director.
With NJMH’s commitment to making the “jazz in Harlem experience” accessible to everyone on the planet, they are proud to participate as a featured partner in the Google Arts & Culture Black History Month project.
The Black History and Culture project focuses on and celebrates Black creatives. NJMH joins 80+ partners with their expertise and storytelling about Black history onto the platform.
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Beginning February 15, 2021, as a part of Google Arts & Culture’s Black History Month project, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem may be visited virtually from anywhere in the world via the site https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-national-jazz-museum-in-harlem.
This free, virtual tour will allow viewers to access high-resolution images and videos of jazz artifacts from the Museum’s exhibits and collections and get a glimpse into the Museum and what it does.
Inspired by news of the Museum’s partnership with Google Arts & Culture, the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation has offered to match every dollar contributed to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem during Black History Month up to $5,000. To contribute to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, go to https://bit.ly/3cwc09n.
“Jazz music is a centerpiece of Black history, culture, and art,” said Simon Delacroix, US Lead for Google Arts & Culture. “During Black History Month, we’re proud to welcome the National Jazz Museum in Harlem to the Google Arts & Culture platform. Now everyone can experience the magic of the genre and the artists who created it.”
While the Museum will be available for a virtual visit as a partner of Google Arts & Culture, NJMH is preparing to reopen its doors to the public at its physical location. Executive Director Tracy Hyter-Suffern says reopening the Museum is important because “Jazz is a living, breathing, evolving organism expressed through connections with real people. We are a gathering space for jazz artists, educators, scholars, and the audiences who miss them terribly. Jazz is the US and global history. Jazz engages people with each other. The Museum is physical. Jazz is physical. You are supposed to feel it, touch it, be in it. We need the Museum and spaces like it where the community can connect and renew their spirit – a space for celebration. The Museum is an important place in Harlem where artists come to play, rehearse, create or drop-in, even when no one else is there, just to be in a space that has jazz history in the air they breathe. During this pandemic we have seen the vital role music and the arts, in general, play in anchoring us. Reopening the Museum will play an important role for those in the neighborhood and visitors to Harlem.”
The pandemic has had a particularly disastrous impact on Black and other communities of color. The effect on the jazz community has been even more severe.
Black, Latino and senior jazz artists are among the highest risk categories. Hundreds of jazz innovators have passed away during this time.
This makes it critical to share the history and legacy of this uniquely American art form, to protect it by keeping jazz artists working, and for the Museum to serve as a facilitator that bridges the generations of jazz.
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is located at 58 West 129th St between Malcolm X Boulevard & 5th Avenue in New York City.
The Museum looks forward to reopening in the Spring depending on the pandemic. Hours will be announced. For more information visit https://jazzmuseuminharlem.org.
The mission of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem is to promote, preserve and present jazz locally, nationally, and internationally. The Museum offers a wide range of free online programming to educate, entertain and connect audiences with jazz artists and scholars.
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is a “museum for the people” and center for jazz that welcomes everyone from all walks of life.
The Museum is committed to keeping jazz present, alive and accessible. Every year, NJMH produces and presents more than 100 free jazz education and performance events in New York City and online and engages hundreds of professional jazz artists.
In the last year, with the generous support of donors, the Museum has reached audiences around the US and around the world with free programming.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while the physical Museum space has remained closed, staff continue to present digital programming that has reached over 85,000 jazz fans.
Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories, and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at your fingertips.
If Google’s mission is to make the world’s information more accessible, then Arts & Culture’s mission is to make the world’s culture accessible to anyone, anywhere.
It’s your doorway to explore art, history, and wonders of the world. Discover stories about cultural heritage ranging from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings, Puerto Rico’s heritage, Sports in Australia or the women’s right movement to ancient Maya temples, Japanese Food, and Indian Railways.
The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation was established by the great “First Lady of Song” herself back in 1993. Based in Los Angeles, it continues to carry on the charitable legacy of the world’s greatest female vocalist.
A small, private foundation, it makes grants in music, education, literacy, and healthcare. To learn more about Ella and her Foundation, please visit www.ellafitzgerald.com