A Smithsonian Year of Music

A special report pulling together our coverage of music within the Smithsonian collections and around the world

Marina Amaral can often find clues to inform her colorization in the shades of gray in the original image

No Color Photos of Jazz Singer Mildred Bailey Existed... Until Now

An artist shows us that the past was not black-and-white

"Lost" John Coltrane Album to Be Released

<i>Both Directions At Once</i> was recorded in 1963 by the classic quartet and reveals Coltrane's journey from melodic standards to avant-garde jazz

Brown’s portable instrument, 40 inches high by 50 inches wide, had a signature flourish: silver trim.

The Electric Organ That Gave James Brown His Unstoppable Energy

What was it about the Hammond organ that made the 'Godfather of Soul' say please, please, please?

AP file photo of musician Coco Schumann taken on August 16, 1997.

Coco Schumann, the Holocaust Survivor who Played Jazz at Auschwitz, Dies at 93

The Berlin native returned to the city after the war and became renowned for playing the electric guitar

The creative output of Fats Domino, who died October 25, 2017 at the age of 89, was consistently compelling, and fans were delighted to eat it all up.

Fats Domino's Infectious Rhythms Set a Nation in Motion

This Rock ’n’ Roll maverick was a true New Orleans original

In a First, Archival-Quality Performances Are Preserved in DNA

Songs by Miles Davis and Deep Purple at the Montreux Jazz Festival will live on in the ultra-compact, long-lasting format

His teeming canvases were like a “browser window with lots of different tabs open,” says Nairne.

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Artwork Is Appreciated Now More Than Ever

Decades later, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s complex works are increasingly prescient—and valuable

Les choses de Paul Poiret (Paul Poiret's Things), 1911

Esperanza Spalding: Jazz Musician, Grammy Award Winner and Now Museum Curator

The title of her latest album "D + Evolution" is also the theme of a new exhibition at the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt

Sidney Bechet, one of the early jazz greats, made his name on the clarinet, not the cornet or trumpet.

Listen to This First 1920s Recording By One of the Kings of Jazz

Sidney Bechet was one of the first big jazz soloists, and brought the soprano saxophone into the jazz fold

Muse with Violin Screen (detail), 1930. Rose Iron Works, Inc. (American, Cleveland, est. 1904). Paul Fehér (Hungarian, 1898–1990), designer. Wrought iron, brass; silver and gold plating

How Jazz, Flappers, European Émigrés, Booze and Cigarettes Transformed Design

A new Cooper-Hewitt exhibition explores the Jazz Age as a catalyst in popular style

April 25, 2017, marks the centennial birthday of Ella Fitzgerald (above, in a triple-exposure undated photograph).

Never Mind Her Stellar Jazz Career, Young Ella Fitzgerald Just Wanted to Dance

The preeminent vocalist didn't actually start out as a singer

The Original Dixieland Jass Band included cornetist Nick LaRocca, trombonist Eddie Edwards, clarinetist Larry Shields, pianist Henry Ragas, and drummer Tony Sbarbaro.

The First Jazz Recording Was Made by a Group of White Guys?

A century ago, a recording of the startlingly novel "Livery Stable Blues" helped launch a new genre

Interior of Historic RCA Studio B today.

Play Paul Simon's Piano or Croon Into Elvis' Mic at These Seven Historic Recording Studios

Take a tour through Americana music history

Mount McKinley

Visit These Ten Sites Celebrating Major Anniversaries in 2017

From Jane Austen’s 200th anniversary to the founding of Denali National Park, there are plenty of events to fill your calendar

The word “jazz” was first used in print in California sportswriting around 1912.

This Is the "Jass" Record That Introduced Millions of Americans to a New Kind of Music

The record that introduced millions of Americans to a new kind of music

Carl Kress, performer of "Heat Wave" on Volume I, focuses absolutely on his guitar-playing.

How Countless Hours of Live Jazz Were Saved from Obscurity

The Savory Collection breathes fresh life into jazz

Sarah Vaughan by Herman Leonard, 1949

Jazz Has Never Looked Cooler Than It Does in This New Exhibition

These evocative images by photographer Herman Leonard call to mind a bygone era

This conception of jazz as a means of bringing people together is manifested nowhere better than in Benny Carter (above, 1986).

It’s Springtime and Jazz Is In Bloom

This year's Jazz Appreciation Month celebrates the singularly talented alto saxophonist Benny Carter

Wayne Shorter and McCoy Tyner at Shorter's April 29, 1964 session for "Night Dreamer" at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

These Rarely Seen Images Show Jazz Greats Pouring Out Their Hearts

Frank Wolff's gritty portraits, the hallmark of Blue Note Records, became a visual catalog of jazz in action

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