2nd International Jazz Day to Take Place in Istanbul April 30

Nearly 80 events scheduled in more than 30 countries

Wayne Shorter, International Jazz Day, NYC, 4-12
Hugh Masekela, International Jazz Day, NYC, 4-12

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The second annual International Jazz Day will take place on April 30, with the main concert to be held in Istanbul, Turkey. The event is jointly presented by UNESCO, the Republic of Turkey and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The announcement was made today by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Herbie Hancock, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu and its Minister of Culture and Tourism, ?-mer Çelik.

International Jazz Day, according to a press release, “brings together communities, schools and groups from across the world to celebrate jazz, learn about its roots and highlight its important role as a form of communication that transcends differences … Taken forward in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, International Jazz Day was adopted by UNESCO Member States on the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, in order to encourage and highlight jazz’s unique power for advancing intercultural dialogue and understanding across the world. International Jazz Day is recognized on the official calendars of UNESCO and the United Nations. Its programs and events will be coordinated with all 195 Member States of UNESCO.”

The Istanbul event will begin with an early morning performance for high school students conducted by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others. The evening concert at Istanbul’s Hagia Irene will feature performances by pianists John Beasley, George Duke, Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim, Keiko Matsui and Eddie Palmieri; vocalists Al Jarreau, Milton Nascimento and Dianne Reeves; trumpeters Hugh Masekela, Imer Demirer and Christian Scott; bassists James Genus, Marcus Miller and Ben Williams; drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Vinnie Colaiuta; guitarists Bilal Karaman, John McLaughlin, Lee Ritenour and Joe Louis Walker; saxophonists Dale Barlow, Igor Butman, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter and Liu Yuan; clarinetists Anat Cohen and Husnu Senlendirici; violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; Pedro Martinez on percussion and other special guests to be announced in the weeks ahead. John Beasley will be the event’s musical director.

In addition, the press release said, “The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will work with UNESCO and its 195 Member States, national commissions, UNESCO networks, UNESCO Associated Schools, universities and institutes, public radio, public television, and NGOs to organize and promote Jazz Day events worldwide. Libraries, schools, performing arts centers, artists and arts organizations of all disciplines throughout the world will be encouraged to celebrate the day through presentations, concerts, and other jazz-focused activities.”

In addition to the Istanbul event, nearly 80 events have been organized in more than 30 countries, including Argentina, Australia, the Republic of Korea, France, Gabon, Malaysia and Trinidad and Tobago. In Armenia, the Municipality of Yerevan is organizing an open-air concert and will introduce jazz history and jazz performance in several schools around Yerevan. In Mexico, more than 10 jazz concerts are scheduled throughout the country. Denmark will host “Jazz as a Verb” in Copenhagen, a day seminar and evening concert for both Danish and international musicians. In India, Jazz Goa in will celebrate the Day with a mega event featuring jazz artists from all over the world. In Swaziland, a special program “Jazz across Borders and Cultures” will include workshops, jam sessions, and concerts over three days. Additional events are being confirmed each day.

According to the press release, “The objectives of International Jazz Day are to:

· Encourage exchange and understanding between cultures and employ these means to enhance tolerance;

· Offer effective tools at international, regional, sub regional and national levels to foster intercultural dialogue;

· Raise public awareness about the role jazz music plays to help spread the universal values of UNESCO’s mandate;

· Promote intercultural dialogue towards the eradication of racial tensions and gender inequality and to reinforce the role of youth for social change;

· Recognize jazz as a universal language of freedom;

· Promote social progress with a special focus on developing countries utilizing new technologies and communications tools such as social networks;

· Contribute to UNESCO’s initiatives to promote mutual understanding among cultures, with a focus on education of young people in marginalized communities.”

For more information about International Jazz Day, visit UNESCO Jazz Day and Jazzday.com. Organizations that would like to participate can register their activities on each of them.