The National Jazz Museum In Harlem Provides a Tour of The Roots & Routes of Jazz

May 1, 2021

This spring the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NJMH) will take jazz fans, music lovers, history buffs and any interested parties on a tour of the Roots & Routes of Jazz.

Beginning on April 30th, 2021, International Jazz Day, the Museum kicks off its “Gala Season” with the first in a series of events that explore jazz and its cultural impact on the world.

The online series of music and discussions sets the stage for the Museum’s annual gala on June 8th, 2021.

Award-winning musician, Musical Director of Late Night with Stephen Colbert and NJMH Artistic Director Jon Batiste says “Jazz is an American art form that has impacted cultures worldwide. We’re looking forward to exploring that impact to inform how the genre continues to move forward, and the Museum will be at the center of that movement.”

The first event on April 30th, “International Jazz Day: Jazz &… Laos!,” unites the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, social justice organization Legacies of War and social enterprise ARTICLE22 (A22) to feature the rich and diverse talents of Lao jazz musicians and engage in a discussion about art and activism.

The event will feature Lao Jazzanova and a duo performance with Cuban vocalist/pianist Melvis Santa and Venezuelan bassist Bam Rodriguez who represent NJMH and A22’s Artists + Activists.

The series continues on May 11th with Jazz &… Amsterdam! and New Amsterdam Jazz bands SMANDEM and Fuensanta’s Ensemble Grande and a band led by Benjamin Herman, plus a panel discussion that will explore the past, present and future of jazz in The Netherlands. GRAMMY award winning artist and NJMH Artistic Director Christian McBride says “The history of Harlem and the Netherlands are deeply intertwined and that extends from the naming of Harlem itself to the music [jazz] that is so associated with Harlem. So as the National Jazz Museum in Harlem we want to make sure that we understand, acknowledge and celebrate that part of the music’s history and legacy that continues to be built.”

The third event in the series takes place on May 25th with community partner The National Arts Club and features a live outdoor pop-up performance Jazz &… Peru! with Hector Morales and the Afro-Peruvian Ensemble celebrating Afro Latino jazz and culture. NJMH Executive Director Tracy Hyter-Suffern says “This series is created to share the history of jazz from its African origins to the ways it continues to move culture in Harlem and around the world, and this music is the backdrop for art and activism. Jazz like other music has been the soundtrack of social movements. This series highlights the ways culture changes culture. This series, which takes us to Zimbabwe, the Philippines and lands us in Central Harlem right at the Museum’s front door, is an opportunity to look at how the Museum is a part of that cultural growth and influence.”

All events take place on the Museum’s Facebook and Youtube channels and lead up to the NJMH’S Annual Gala on June 8th. For more information on the events, to attend the gala, and to contribute to the Museum visit

The National Jazz Museum In Harlem

The mission of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NJMH) is to preserve, promote and present jazz by inspiring knowledge, appreciation, and the celebration of jazz locally, nationally, and internationally.

We tell the truth about jazz and fuel our mission through four Core Programs: Education; Jazz &… (Community Engagement & Performance); Exhibits & Collections; and Partnerships & Collaborations.

Our programming and our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy represent our commitment to showcasing jazz and jazz-adjacent voices and perspectives that characterize and welcome the most inclusive diversity of audiences.

Each year, because of the generosity of our supporters, we produce over 100 free and highly subsidized jazz workshops, performances, and events that serve more than 100,000 people in Harlem, New York City, the U.S. and the world.

Hundreds of artists representing the broadest diversity of jazz and jazz in Harlem find an arts home at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, whether online or at our physical location at 58 West 129th Street in Central Harlem’s cultural and entertainment district.

Our space, our virtual platforms and our collaborations are designed to offer our visitors immersive jazz experiences offered from the heart of Harlem.

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