In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Institute is the lead non-profit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing this annual celebration.
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.
International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month, which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April. In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly formally welcomed the decision by the UNESCO General Conference to proclaim April 30 as International Jazz Day. The United Nations and UNESCO now both recognize International Jazz Day on their official calendars.
International Jazz Day 2015
Paris, France has been named the 2015 Host City. Rich in history and culture, the City of Lights is a fitting choice for this year’s host celebration given its historically vibrant and innovative jazz scene. A daylong series of performances and education programs, including workshops, master classes, jam sessions and panel discussions, will take place across all 20 city districts, with several modules to be webcast live. An array of French and international artists will participate, ensuring that the streets of Paris will ring with the sounds and sights of jazz from morning until night on April 30.
In conjunction with UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary celebration, a spectacular All-Star Global Concert will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on the Place de Fontenoy, featuring more than 20 extraordinary artists from around the world. The cast will include pianists John Beasley (Music Director), A Bu, Antonio Faraò and Herbie Hancock; trumpeters Till Brönner, Ibrahim Maalouf, Hugh Masekela and Claudio Roditi; vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, Rudy Pérez and Dianne Reeves; saxophonists Igor Butman, Ravi Coltrane, Femi Kuti, Guillaume Perret and Wayne Shorter; bassists James Genus and Marcus Miller; guitarist Lee Ritenour; drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and harmonica player Grégoire Maret. In attendance will be numerous figures from the diplomatic, cultural and artistic communities, as well as representatives from the French government.
The concert will be webcast live beginning at 7 pm local time, and will be available for on-demand viewing later in the evening. The Paris celebration will be one part of a massive worldwide observance of International Jazz Day, with events once again anticipated in all 196 UN and UNESCO member states. Visit our registration page to submit your event today.