Billie Holiday was an American jazz and swing music singer. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner, Lester Young, Holiday made a significant contribution to jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly influenced by jazz instrumentalists, inspired a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

Born: April 7, 1915, Philadelphia, PA
Died: July 17, 1959 (age 44 years), New York, NY
Genres: Jazz; swing; blues; traditional pop

Every day on KUVO is Jazz Appreciation Day, but since 2001, the Smithsonian Institution (aka the National Museum of American History) has coordinated events, recognition, and resources to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz throughout April. At KUVO, we use Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) to dig a little deeper and present why this music is so amazing and so important.

Throughout the month, KUVO will spotlight many of the jazz birthdays in April, and we’ll finish the month with deep dives into some of the cities and regions that have spawned so much music (NYC, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago, Latin America, Washington D.C. and Baltimore, the Midwest, including Kansas City, Memphis and Dallas, and the West Coast. We’ll also highlight music in the KUVO library from the many great jazz festivals around the world. On April 30, we’ll celebrate International Jazz Day with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Herbie Hancock.

Our sister station on the TV side Rocky Mountain PBS has a great lineup of TV specials, documentaries, and features to entertain and enlighten. See the list here: RMPBS Jazz Appreciation Month Lineup

The Smithsonian Jazz project’s Education page is a motherlode of jazz training content, including text and commentary on figures like Benny Carter and Duke Ellington, and an 88-page curriculum on the impact of Louis Armstrong. It’s got full music tracks of classic, modern, and contemporary jazz designed to capture the attention of elementary and middle school students. There’s even an oral history tutorial for teachers and students. American History /Smithsonian Jazz Education

Also, the Smithsonian Jazz project has loads of ideas to help you celebrate, with specific individual strategies for parents, historians, collectors, and more. Organizations like museums, foundations, libraries, worship centers, and jazz societies will find unique ways to celebrate JAM at the Smithsonian Jazz Hub. American History / Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Month / Ways to Celebrate

Click here for free downloads of the 2024 Leroy Neiman poster of Duke Ellington, or previous years’ posters

Stay connected to KUVO’s programs and our community! Sign up for the Oasis E-News today!

Become a Member

Join the growing family of people who believe that music is essential to our community. Your donation supports the work we do, the programs you count on, and the events you enjoy.

Download the App

Download KUVO's FREE app today! The KUVO Public Radio App allows you to take KUVO's music and news with you anywhere, anytime!