April 7, 2016 by Helen Borgers

And I don’t mean boysenberry or strawberry! “J” for JAZZ, “A” for APPRECIATION, “M” for MONTH…that means “April.” 

 Child at Jazz Fest

Photo of young jazz fan at the Watts Towers Jazz Festival 2015 by Christopher Garcia


"JAM” was created in 2002 by the National Museum of American Heritage in order to, “stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz - to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.”


It’s hard to believe for those of us who love this music, but there are many people – particularly young people – who have no idea who some of the greatest contributors to America’s heritage are! Or, if they’ve heard of them, they have not heard them.


Despite the fact that JAZZ was “officially recognized” by Congress in 1986, 


"Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that it is the sense of Congress that jazz is hereby designated as a rare and valuable national American treasure to which we should devote our attention, support and resources to make certain it is preserved, understood and promulgated,”


it took an additional 16 years before JAZZ got its own Appreciation Month! 


But the best news is that our country seems finally to have caught on to what the world recognized years ago, that our national music, JAZZ, is an international language that eliminates all sorts of barriers: age, politics, religion, culture, and so on.


KJazz has been celebrating this music for over 35 years on the radio at FM88.1.  Thanks to the internet, we now not only serve our own local community, but also the international community!


I thought I might take this opportunity to share a few of my favorite examples of the diversity of this music. I invite you to share yours! Please go to our FaceBook page and share your favorite tunes!


In no particular order, here are just a few of the many samples of our American Music!


Toshiko Akiyoshi performs “The Village.”


Duke Ellington and the Orchestra play “Satin Doll.”



Wynton Marsalis and Mark O’Connor “Boil That Cabbage Down”


 And last -- but certainly, not least! -- is an all-star JAM!

Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Snny Stitt, Kai Winding, Art Blakey, Al McKibbon, Giants of Jazz in Copenhagen, 1971

“’Round Midnight”

“Tour de Force”

“Lover Man” “Tin Tin Deo” (played by Al McKibbon & Dizzy, who plays both trumpet and piano!)

“Everything Happens to Me”

“A Night in Tunisia”





On-air personality, Helen Borgers, can be heard on KJazz 88.1 FM from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. As a jazz broadcaster, Helen has been invited to give pre-concert lectures at various performing arts centers, served on panels in jazz conventions all over the world, and lectured about the history of jazz in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. She has also written articles for international jazz publications and regularly emcees concerts, festivals, and club dates throughout southern California.

Classical music is back on 88.1 HD2

Jazz After Midnight
12am - 8am
listen now
7:18 AM Vince Guaraldi
The Lady's In Love With You
7:14 AM Sara Gazarek
Cheek To Cheek
7:10 AM Pearl Django
Floyd Hoyt Rides Again
full playlist
Upcoming events, exclusive offers and more all sent to your inbox twice a month
sign up now
listen  |  pledge  |  contact
Jazz Birthdays
Blues Birthdays

There are no birthdays today