The National Archives is launching a new series of programs focused on jazz, featuring concerts, discussions, film screenings and special events.
The new series "Jazz at the National Archives'' opens Thursday and runs through August. The opening discussion Thursday evening focuses on how U.S. government agencies used jazz as a diplomatic tool during the Cold War.
In May, the archives will host several screenings of Ken Burns' documentary film series "Jazz,'' following the history of jazz as distinctly American music. And a family day in June will feature performances, an instrument "petting zoo'' for children and other activities.
Also in June, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra will host a concert celebrating the 60th annual Newport Jazz Festival.
The nonprofit Foundation for the National Archives is helping to fund the program.