21 Swingin’ Book Selections for Jazz Appreciation Month

It’s spring.

April is in full swing

hoppin’ and beboppin’

like cool jazz music.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM)! Celebrating the history of jazz is only one of the reasons to participate in the month-long festivities. Jazz was birthed in New Orleans and is considered to be “one of America’s original art forms.” Although it was created before Louis Armstrong was born, he had such an impact on the way people composed, played, and listened to jazz; he is accepted by many as its “founding father.” One of the selections listed below, Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong is a picture book biography that tells about his childhood and music accomplishments. The other books are a mix of fiction and nonfiction picture, middle grade and young adult reads. To learn more about JAM, see sources and additional reading below.




Jazz Baby – Carole Boston Weatherford

Jazz Baby – Carole Boston Weatherford

A Tisket, A Tasket – Ella Fitzgerald

A Tisket, A Tasket – Ella Fitzgerald

Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band – Kwame Alexander

Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band – Kwame Alexander

Stompin' at the Savoy – Bebe Moore Campbell

Stompin' at the Savoy – Bebe Moore Campbell

Willie Jerome – Alice Faye Duncan

Willie Jerome – Alice Faye Duncan

Trombone Shorty – Troy Andrews

Trombone Shorty – Troy Andrews

Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History – Lesa Cline Ransome

Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History – Lesa Cline Ransome

Jazz on a Saturday Night – Leo & Diane Dillon

Jazz on a Saturday Night – Leo & Diane Dillon

Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong – Lesa Cline Ransome

Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong – Lesa Cline Ransome

Jazz – Walter Dean Myers

Jazz – Walter Dean Myers

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa – Andrea Davis Pinkney

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa – Andrea Davis Pinkney

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra – Andrea Davis Pinkney

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra – Andrea Davis Pinkney

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone – Katheryn Russell-Brown

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone – Katheryn Russell-Brown

Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane – Carole Boston Weatherford

Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane – Carole Boston Weatherford

Becoming Billie Holiday – Carole Boston Weatherford

Becoming Billie Holiday – Carole Boston Weatherford

Jazz ABZ: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits – Wynton Marsalis

Jazz ABZ: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits – Wynton Marsalis

First Book of Jazz – Langston Hughes

First Book of Jazz – Langston Hughes

Take-Off: American All-Girl Bands During World War II – Tonya Bolden

Take-Off: American All-Girl Bands During World War II – Tonya Bolden

The Cotton Club – James Haskins

The Cotton Club – James Haskins

To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road – Wynton Marsalis

To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road – Wynton Marsalis

Hamp – Lionel Hampton & James Haskins

Hamp – Lionel Hampton & James Haskins
Sources and Additional Reading: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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