In 2011, the UNESCO organization designated every April 30th worldwide as International Jazz Day. This year the worldwide webcast and concert took place in Osaka, Japan. The legendary Herbie Hancock serves as the ambassador of UNESCO for this special day and throughout the year. In addition, he is Master of Ceremony for the worldwide webcast. A host of jazz all-stars performed also.
The purpose of International Jazz Day is described as follows:
International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.
There were over 200 events planned worldwide today across the globe to celebrate International Jazz Day. It is also the closing act for the entire month of celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month. Bringing to a close a month of jazz appreciation and numerous events held throughout the world highlighting the cultural impact of jazz.
Here is the webcast of the International Jazz Day concert, which took place in Osaka, Japan today. The stars came out for this concert and features Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Roy Hargrove, Gregory Porter, Marcus Miller, Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, and many more:
My hope is next year on April 30th, the Buffalo community will have an event to celebrate International Jazz Day. As our jazz community continues to grow and emerge into a jazz center in our region, this is an event we should be a part of – holding a local event to support the impact of jazz in Buffalo and throughout the world.
Join in and let us start planning!