International Jazz Day 2020 to Take Place Virtually; Global Concert Hosted by Herbie Hancock to Feature Performances by Artists Across the Globe

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 9th annual International Jazz Day worldwide celebration will transition to a virtual format for 2020 instead of taking place as previously planned in Cape Town, South Africa and other locations around the world on April 30th.

International Jazz Day 2020 will take place online and be hosted by Herbie Hancock. The day’s centerpiece will be a virtual Global Concert featuring artists from across the globe, streamed live on jazzday.com. The concert will begin at 3 PM US Eastern time (19:00 UTC) and will feature performances by Marcus Miller, Lang Lang, Charlie Puth, Cécile McLorin Salvant, John McLaughlin, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sibongile Khumalo, Alune Wade, John Beasley, Ben Williams, Lizz Wright, John Scofield, Igor Butman, Evgeny Pobozhiy, Youn Sun Nah, A Bu, Jane Monheit, and Joey DeFrancesco, among others.

The virtual Global Concert will be broadcast online at the organization’s YouTube page and at its website jazzday.org.

Leading up to the virtual Global Concert, there will be a free series of educational masterclasses, children’s activities, and discussions via web conference featuring renowned educators and jazz artists, streamed live via jazzday.com.

The program will also include a panel hosted by Nate Chinen, Director of Editorial Content for WBGO and chief jazz contributor to NPR Music, addressing how International Jazz Day, and art in general, can be a relevant response to the social isolation precipitated by the current public health crisis. The panel will feature artist participants including GRAMMY Award-winning bassist and composer Marcus Miller and legendary South African vocalist Sibongile Khumalo. A live audience will be able to submit questions throughout the session. NPR will co-host a live stream of the virtual International Jazz Day activities.

Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Co-Chair of International Jazz Day, said, “These are unprecedented times for world citizens and we are most grateful for the support, understanding, and partnership of our Jazz Day community. Armed with optimism, patience, and grace, we’ll work through these challenges as families, communities, countries, and as a stronger united world. Now more than ever before, let’s band together and spread the ethics of Jazz Day’s global movement around the planet and use this as a golden opportunity for humankind to reconnect, especially in the midst of all this isolation and uncertainty.”

Established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30th to celebrate jazz and highlight the music’s important role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity. International Jazz Day has become a global movement reaching more than two billion people annually on all seven continents, including Antarctica, through education programs, performances, community outreach, radio, television and streaming, along with electronic, print and social media. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s official partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

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