April 30 – International Jazz Day

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April 30th is International Jazz Day, which started in 2011 as a way to celebrate the influence Jazz has had on the world.

Jazz has long been my musical genre of choice. I’ll take Coltrane’s saxophone over anything on the top 100 any day.

If you’ve watched any amount of Star Trek: TNG, you’ll also know that jazz is the music of the future, so there’s that.

To celebrate International Jazz Day, I’ve put together a list of ten of the best books about jazz and the musicians that shaped a genre.



Miles: The Autobiography by Miles Davis

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The Jazz Theory Book by Mark LeVine

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Freedom of Expression: Interviews with Women in Jazz by Chris Becker

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How to Listen to Jazz by Ted Gioia

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Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn by David Hajdu

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Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans by Louis Armstrong

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The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music by Richard Williams

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Collected Works: A Journal of Jazz 1954-2001 by Whitney Balliett

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Jazz by Gary Giddins & Scott DeVeaux

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Sophisticated Ladies: the Great Women of Jazz by Leslie Gourse

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