Happy International Jazz Day!

Did you know that today, April 30th, is International Jazz Day? The Director-General of UNESCO posted a wonderful message about it. Here’s an excerpt:

Jazz is so much more than music: it is a lifestyle and a tool for dialogue, even social change. The history of jazz tells of the power of music to bring together artists from different cultures and backgrounds, as a driver of integration and mutual respect. Jazz gave rhythm to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the United States, and has done so elsewhere in the world. Through jazz, millions of people have sung and still sing today their desire for freedom, tolerance and human dignity. [...] I invite you to join us in spreading the message of energy, sharing and peace through culture and music.

Well if that’s not something to celebrate, what is?

To get this party started (and because this is an accordion website after all), here’s a healthy dose of jazz from the late, great Art Van Damme:

 

Zack Joseph’s “All in Time” Now on iTunes

A while back I was invited by the folks at The Recording People to add a dash of accordion flavoring to a couple of tracks they were producing for Zack Joseph.

Well those tracks, plus seven more, are now available on iTunes for your listening pleasure. Worth checking out–if not for the excellent, rootsy blend of folk and country, then for the cover alone, which features probably the most awesome photo I’ve seen all month…

coverrrr

The L.A. Times Digs the Accordion

Here’s yet another article about how accordion lessons are making a comeback, thanks to the whole “accordion is cool again” trend. Although this one gets bonus points for noting that, in some communities, the accordion never became uncool in the first place:

More Fans of the Accordion are Squeezing in Lessons

Thanks in part to [...] a general trend of branding the once-weird as hip, the accordion has a new reputation: quirky, modish even.

(Incidentally, if the article inspires you to start taking accordion lessons yourself, well, let’s just say I know a guy…)