On March 22, the United Nations hosted a concert in acknowledgment of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This particular concert program was designed to follow the trade route through Africa, the Caribbean and North America. Performances were offered by artists and ensembles representing a variety of musical genres and cultural heritages, among them the National Ballet of Cameroon, Benyoro, Somi, Steel Pulse and recently designated UNESCO Artist for Peace Marcus Miller. To learn more about the concert, please visit Slavery Remembrance Day Concert.
Miller is a two-time Grammy Award-winning American jazz bassist, musician, composer and radio host. He has collaborated with jazz greats including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Luther Vandross and David Sanborn. His work with UNESCO began in 2012 when he performed with Hugh Masekela and presented youth master classes as part of the organization’s first International Jazz Day, organized in conjunction with the Thelonious Monk Institute. Miller’s recently released Renaissance is one of the NAACP Image Award Outstanding Jazz Album nominees for 2013. Along with his new band, Miller plans to travel the world to present this collection of original compositions while connecting with communities and promoting cross-cultural understanding.
On July 4, Miller will officially be recognized during a ceremony held in Paris, at the UNESCO Headquarters. He will continue to work on behalf of UNESCO to develop the Slave Route Project, and to promote the use of music as medium for engaging people in discourse about social issues.
Recognition of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery was established by UNESCO to honor those subjected to slavery, and to raise awareness of contemporary discriminatory and prejudicial practices. The theme of this year’s event is “Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation.” More information about the celebration can be found on the Remember Slavery website at Remember Slavery and on the @rememberslavery twitter feed.