International Jazz Day will close out April by showcasing music’s power to inspire, heal and unite for peace with its annual global concert led by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz. The flagship day brings together countries and communities worldwide every year on April 30th.
THE ALL-STAR GLOBAL CONCERT
The flagship Jazz Day event emphasizes the importance of jazz as a means of achieving unity and peace through dialogue and diplomacy. Herbie Hancock will host the All-Star Global Concert with UNESCO featuring performances in 13 global cities simultaneously by some of the world’s most accomplished jazz artists. The cities: Beijing, Beirut, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Marondera, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna, Fairbanks, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC. The artists: Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Somi, Melody Gardot, Sérgio Mendes, Cyrille Aimée, Antonio Sánchez, John Beasley and many more.
The Concert will be webcast worldwide on April 30 at 4 pm EDT/1 pm PDT/10 pm CET on jazzday.com, unesco.org, the International Jazz Day YouTube and Facebook channels, and other outlets.
The worldwide program for International Jazz Day 2023 also includes an extraordinary range of programming in more than 190 countries, with concerts and performance-based initiatives complemented by wide-ranging social outreach and educational activities.
In Brazil, the Música na Árvore Solar Festival will pay homage to Louis Armstrong and feature sustainability in its lineup, powering its stage performances with mobile solar panels. The Croatian Radio Television Jazz Orchestra will be toasting its 75th anniversary on Jazz Day with a concert and live broadcast on Croatian national television. In New Zealand, the Whanganui Collegiate School presents three days of events including a jam session, a gala concert and an open forum with the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, exploring jazz music in education. The Tottori Jazz Festival in Japan hosts a five-day series of concerts in addition to an art exhibit, jam sessions and workshops. The Botswana Society for Jazz Education kicks off a week of music workshops, instrumental clinics, masterclasses and nightly jam sessions, culminating with a grand concert featuring local and international musicians. UNESCO Creative Cities will be hosting a variety of activities around the world, leveraging music as a powerful accelerator for culture-driven sustainable urban development.
Jazz festivals around the world will also be commemorating International Jazz Day through special events. Participating festivals include the Adelaide Jazz Festival (Australia), Baku Jazz Festival (Azerbaijan), Festival Jazz à Ouaga (Burkina Faso), Festival Internacional de Blues y Jazz de Bucuramanga (Colombia), Mladí Ladí Jazz (Czechia), La Esquina Jazz Festival (Guatemala), Jazzfest Budapest (Hungary), Rossini Jazz Festival (Italy), Azalea JazzFEST (Japan), Bishkek International Jazz Festival (Kyrgyzstan), MAMA JAZ (Mauritius), Neuma International Jazz Festival (Mexico), Port Moresby Jazz & Blues Festival (Papua New Guinea), JAZZtrzębie Festiwal (Poland), Scottsdale Jazz Festival and Overtown Jazz Festival (USA) and many more.
To kick off the International Jazz Day weekend, PBS aired a special on Friday evening, April 28 at 10 pm EDT (check your local listings). “International Jazz Day from the United Nations” featured highlights of the 2022 All-Star Global Concert with performances by Herbie Hancock, David Sanborn, Shemekia Copeland, Gregory Porter, Lizz Wright, José James, Hiromi, Marcus Miller, Ravi Coltrane, Terri Lyne Carrington, Zakir Hussain, Brian Blade, Linda May Han Oh, Joey Alexander and more.
International Jazz Day is also the finale to Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) which draws attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April. Past themes highlighted the dynamic role jazz has played in the transformative role in social justice, musicians rights and equality.
Jazz Appreciation Month was created at the National Museum of American History in 2001 to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz for the entire month of April. JAM is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.
Jazz has Socially Sparked our lives through the centuries and continues to play an important and integral role in the world as messenger of social justice disseminated in brilliant musical artistry. So go out and celebrate Jazz Day today or catch a jazz show any day of the week throughout the year. — We are Socially Sparked! Tweet us @sosparkednews & @asparks01