April marks the start of National Jazz Appreciation Month, and there are many ways the community can take full advantage of the soulful sounds that combine African and European music.

Papa Jazz Record Shoppe and Chayz Lounge in Columbia are two of the jazz locations individuals could stop in to visit.

Woody Jones, the assistant manager at Papa Jazz Record Shope, is a firm believer that great music can impact the lives of people directly, especially jazz music.

“Jazz music is, well, you know, is one of the most important musical art forms that this country has ever produced,” Jones said.

According to The National Association for Music Merchants, music also has the ability to heal. NAMM found that listening to music reduces heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety in heart disease patients.

Chaye Alexander, the owner of Chayz Lounge, agrees.

“Jazz music automatically reduces stress, it lowers your heart rate, it just calms you. The cool factor coupled with the health benefits it just aids the popularity of jazz music,” Chaye said.

There are so many positive health benefits to enjoying music, according to a local Prisma Health Music therapist, Becca Kelly. Kelly said music is used for a different goal in music therapy.

“I am not using music because I want you to learn how to use the ukulele and be the best ukulele player ever. I am using music, or to play an ukulele with a kid, because I want them to have a coping skill,” Kelly said.

Music has the ability to change the moods of individuals, allowing them to work out with a ‘positive vibe’ or possibly help a child develop a coping skill. According to Kelly, music has the ability to have a lasting positive impact on the lives of individuals.