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April is Jazz Appreciation month, celebrating the genre's extraordinary heritage and history

A colorful abstract poster featuring Cuban bass player Israel “Cachao” López.
National Museum of American History
The official 2022 Jazz Appreciation month poster features Cuban bass player Israel “Cachao” López, who helped invent the mambo style in the late 1930s. The artist for the 2022 JAM poster is Francis Henry Cuadro, a senior visual arts student at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Created in 2001 by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Jazz Appreciation Month recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz throughout the month of April.

American jazz has influenced nearly every style of music in the 20th century, with an impact around the world.

This year, Jazz Appreciation Month will explore the crosspollination of Afro-Caribbean music and jazz, leading to the formation of Latin jazz. One of the iconic figures recognized in the Afro-Caribbean music tradition was bassist, bandleader, composer, and co-creator of mambo, Israel “Cachao” López.

Cachao: Uno Mas | Trailer

The Jazz Journalists Association kicked off Jazz Appreciation Month with the announcement of awards for 28 Jazz Heroes nationwide.

Jazz Heroes are the “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz” who often work behind the scenes to bring jazz to a wider audience. This year, they include broadcasters, educators, festival presenters, concert producers, a publicist, an independent scholar, and several preservers of cultural heritages.

Seattle did not select a Jazz Hero this year, but Jim Wilke, host of KNKX's long-running Jazz Northwest program, was honored with Jazz Journalist Emeritus status, in recognition of his many years of broadcasting and recording jazz.

Nominees for the JJA Jazz Awards for musicians, recordings, photographs and writing will be announced April 15, and the winners on May 4.

The Jazz Journalists Association also launched a new podcast, "The Buzz."

Stay tuned to KNKX on-air and online for more ways to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.