Turning the calendar page from March to April is a cause for celebration on many fronts – the end of winter, the blooming of spring flowers, and an official reason to celebrate jazz! Yes, April is National Jazz Appreciation Month and Pennsylvania has a long, rich history with the musical genre.  Jazz has its roots in the African-American communities of the American South, but made its way north during the Great Migration in the 1910s and 20s.  Artists and organizations from Pennsylvania, especially Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, were hugely influential in the evolution of jazz and numerous communities built concert halls that  hosted some of the most legendary performers on their cross country tours.  Pennsylvania’s role in the history of jazz is so significant that Explorepahistory.com has a whole section devoted to the subject, including photos, recordings, and lesson plans.  Continue reading