As the great Nina Simone said, “Jazz is not just music, it is a way of life, it is a way of being, a way of thinking”. The story of Jazz is written into the quest for human dignity, democracy and civil rights. It has given strength to the struggle against discrimination and racism.
The International Jazz Day is intended to raise awareness of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for empathy, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people. Many governments, civil society organizations, educational institutions, and private citizens currently engaged in the promotion of jazz music will embrace the opportunity to foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.
The 10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day, the world’s largest annual celebration of jazz, will take place on April 30th, with thousands of worldwide programs culminating in a spectacular All-Star Global Concert from New York, Los Angeles, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, Cape Town, Moscow, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and other cities around the globe. Hosted by multi-Academy Award winner Michael Douglas from United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Global Concert will feature performances from an array of jazz icons representing more than 20 countries.
The 2021 All-Star Global Concert will thrill audiences with an historic lineup of performances by some of the world’s greatest jazz masters. Herbie Hancock will serve as Artistic Director, and John Beasley will serve as Musical Director. In New York, artists including Melissa Aldana (Chile), Massimo Biolcati (Italy), A Bu (China), Cyrus Chestnut, Amina Figarova (Azerbaijan), Roberta Gambarini (Italy), Kenny Garrett, James Genus, Stefon Harris, Ingrid Jensen (Canada), Joe Lovano, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Antonio Sánchez (Mexico) and Veronica Swift will deliver a rousing series of performances. In Los Angeles, Herbie Hancock will be joined by Alex Acuña (Peru), Justo Almario (Colombia), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jonathan Butler (South Africa), Mahmoud Chouki (Morocco), Gerald Clayton, Andra Day, Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves, Francisco Torres (Mexico), Justin Tyson and Ben Williams. Leading performances from their home countries will be Igor Butman in Moscow (Russia), Jacob Collier in London (United Kingdom), Mandisi Dyantyis in Cape Town (South Africa), Ivan Lins in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), John McLaughlin in Monaco, James Morrison in Mt. Gambier (Australia) and Junko Onishi in Tokyo (Japan), among others. Renowned Beninese vocalist Angélique Kidjo will contribute a special performance from UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The concert will be presented as a live webcast via YouTube, Facebook, jazzday.com, UN Web TV, UNESCO and U.S. State Department outlets.
International Jazz Day (UNESCO website): en.unesco.org/commemorations/jazzday/