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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Smithsonian Jazz

National and International Jazz Appreciation Month happens to be April, but this shouldn't stop visitors from celebrating the richness of this form of musical expression during any of the other eleven months of the calendar. The Smithsonian Jazz initiative has created this very fine website that brings together oral histories from jazz greats such as Artie Shaw, information about the Smithsonian's own Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and a very fun "This Day in Jazz History" feature. Amidst all these gems, the interactive exhibit on the very real and enduring musical brilliance of the late Duke Ellington should be looked at in close detail. Here, visitors can listen to clips of some of his musical compositions, and learn about his work as a composer, bandleader, and pianist.