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International Jazz Day Concert Set for April 30 in Havana, Cuba

All-star lineup includes Herbie Hancock, Cassandra Wilson, Kurt Elling, Esperanza Spalding, Chucho Valdés and many more

Ambrose Akinmusire
Ambrose Akinmusire (photo courtesy of UNESCO)
Chucho Valdes
Chucho Valdes (photo courtesy of UNESCO)
Cassandra Wilson (photo courtesy of UNESCO)
Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling (photo courtesy of UNESCO)
Melissa Aldana
Melissa Aldana (photo courtesy of UNESCO)

The International Jazz Day Global Concert, a worldwide event produced by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, will take place April 30 at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Aonso in Havana, Cuba. The concert will also be live streamed worldwide.

UNESCO goodwill ambassador Herbie Hancock and Chucho Valdés are the artist directors for the event with John Beasley and Emilio Vega serving as musical co-directors.

The international roster of performers includes Ambrose Akinmusire, Melissa Aldana, Marc Antoine, Richard Bona, Till Brönner, Igor Butman, Regina Carter, Kurt Elling, Kenny Garrett, Herbie Hancock, Takuya Kuroda, Ivan Lins, Sixto Llorente, Youn Sun Nah, Gianluca Petrella, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Antonio Sánchez, Esperanza Spalding, Chucho Valdés, Tarek Yamani, Dhafer Youssef and others.

International Jazz Day

Beginning on April 24th, musicians and educators from Cuba and around the world will provide free concerts, master classes, workshops and outreach throughout Havana, this year’s host city. In addition, thousands of International Jazz Day performances, educational activities and community service programs will take place in over 190 countries.

In a press release sent to JazzTimes, Herbie Hancock states: “Afro-Cuban jazz and its rich history have played a pivotal role in the evolution and enrichment of the entire jazz genre. The incomparable trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie along with beloved Cuban musicians Mario Bauzá, Machito and Chano Pozo, infused American jazz with Afro-Cuban rhythms to create a brand new, energetic sound that defined modern music. We are so pleased that Havana, Cuba, will serve as the Global Host City for International Jazz Day 2017. On behalf of the worldwide family of jazz musicians, educators and enthusiasts, I would like to thank the citizens of Havana and Cuba for their enormous support of this truly global musical art form.”

For more information about the International Jazz Day 2017 live stream, and to register events on the official website, visit or

Originally Published