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Dallas Museum of Art’s Jazz in the Atrium Celebrates the Music of the 20th Century

Join the Dallas Museum of Art for Jazz in the Atrium during the month of April as we take you on a journey through the decades of the 20th century to highlight four popular eras of jazz music, starting with the Roaring Twenties, the focus of our newest exhibition Youth and Beauty. Join some of Dallas’s favorite musicians and bands, such as the Dallas Jazz Orchestra and Dave Zoller, as they perform selections from specific eras of jazz to celebrate the first annual Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month (DJAM).

For additional information, visit the Museum’s website at

Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz in the Atrium, Thursdays, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Included in general admission to the Museum

Thursday, April 5: Texas Gypsies
Music of the 1920s and 30s

Jazz gained widespread popularity in America and worldwide by the 1920s. New, exuberant dances were devised to take advantage of the upbeat tempos of jazz and ragtime music.

The Texas Gypsies are an award-winning band with a unique and eclectic retro style and sound all their own. The band will perform a mix of some of America’s earliest jazz styles including Gypsy jazz, New Orleans jazz, and more, with some toe-tapping favorite selections such as “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Avalon,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing.”

Thursday, April 12: The Dallas Jazz Orchestra
Music of the 1930s and 40s

By the mid-1930s and into the 1940s, big band, and swing-style jazz had taken America by storm. Using a strong rhythm section as an anchor for the lilting “swing” rhythms, big bands brought to prominence the featured soloist, who would improvise on the melody while supported by the rest of the band.

The Dallas Jazz Orchestra (DJO) is a jazz big band based in Dallas and founded by Thom Mason and Galen Jeter. Since its beginning in 1973, the DJO has produced numerous notable recordings, two of which were Grammy nominated, and has performed internationally in concerts and jazz festivals. DJO will present classic big band works from Herman to Kenton.

Thursday, April 19: Dave Zoller and Friends present Coltrane
Music of the 1950s and 60s

The 1950s brought about a shift from jazz being intended for “dancing” to jazz being an art form for “listening.” More complex use of chords and dissonance were explored, which led to the various “bop” styles, modal jazz and free jazz. Saxophonist John Coltrane was a leader in the bop and free jazz movements, recording dozens of albums and influencing all aspects of jazz.

Dave Zoller, composer, arranger, and pianist, performs the music of John Coltrane with leading musicians from the Dallas jazz scene. Zoller has backed such top acts as Kay Starr, Gloria Loring, George Kirby, and the Smothers Brothers.

Thursday, April 26: Tom Braxton
Music of the 1970s and 80s

Jazz continued to evolve throughout the 1970s to styles such as Latin, fusion, and funk. Funk, characterized by a strong back beat or groove and electrified sounds, paved the way to the next step in jazz evolution: smooth jazz. Smooth jazz slowed the driving tempos of early jazz styles and more heavily features the saxophone as the leading melody-playing instrument.

Saxophonist Tom Braxton blends jazz, Latin, funk, and R&B to create an innovative sound. He has shared the stage with many well-known artists including Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, George Duke, and Marcus Miller.

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