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April is Jazz Appreciation Month

One of the first things I do when I visit any library is check out their music collection. I realize that in the age of digital music streamed through the cloud and seemingly endless YouTube videos that it may be odd to flip through CDs (or better yet, vinyl, when it’s available!) but I still like liner notes and album covers. I’m not necessarily looking for specific albums, but instead I like to see how many “old friends” I can find on the shelves. UDPL has an excellent music collection that is definitely worth a look if you’ve never checked it out before!

We are also celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month at UDPL with a presentation by retired Penn State Lecturer, Michael B. Kane, on Wednesday, April 8th at 7pm. Kane will discuss the development of an American-style music, formed, primarily, in New Orleans and spread nationally. His presentation examines the geographical, political, and social conditions that led to this music and the events that caused jazz to migrate to all corners of the country and, then, the world. Starting with its brass band beginnings, jazz developed through ragtime, big band, be-bop, hard bop, third stream, fusion, and other styles.

Kane himself is a life-long musician and his been playing in a variety of bands since high school. While working at Penn State, he played keyboard and harmonica in a Blues band fronted by another Penn State professor. He currently plays with the Ron Nolen Concept, which will performing later this month at the Philadelphia’s Yard’s Brewery’s Real Ale Festival! Although he won’t be playing any live music at Wednesday’s lecture, the presentation will include sound bites and video clips of some of jazz’s great performers.

Kane is a dynamic and engaging speaker, which I can tell you from years of experience since he’s also my father!


Michael B. Kane plays keyboards with the Ron Nolen Concept