Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

International Jazz Day a Hit on April 30

Hancock, Blanchard, Bennett, De Niro and more at concerts in NOLA and NYC

Herbie Hancock in New Orleans for International Jazz Day
New Orleans' Congo Square Preservation Society celebrates International Jazz Day
Ellis Marsalis, Stephanie Jordan and Roland Guerin (from left) celebrate International Jazz Day in New Orleans
Esperanza Spalding, International Jazz Day, NYC, 4-12
Herbie Hancock and Morgan Freeman backstage at the UN, International Jazz Day, NYC, 4-12
Wayne Shorter, International Jazz Day, UN, NYC, 4-12
Stevie Wonder, International Jazz Day, UN, NYC, 4-12
Herbie Hancock
Musicians, hosts and UN dignitaries prior to International Jazz Day concert, UN, NYC, 4-12
Christian McBride and Wynton Marsalis, International Jazz Day, UN, NYC, 4-12

If you were out and about absorbing music in New Orleans on Sunday night, you probably heard the following query more than once: “Are you staying up for Herbie’s show?” The gig in question was the sunrise kick-off to International Jazz Day, an initiative presented by UNESCO (which last year named Herbie Hancock a Goodwill Ambassador) in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute. A second Jazz Day show would take place that evening in New York; both were streamed live online.

Held in historic Congo Square with a start-time of 7 a.m., the roughly hour-long NOLA component was open to the public and favored music to speeches. There were remarks from host Harry Shearer, Hancock, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and others, but most of the running time was devoted to the tunes. (UNESCO general-director Irina Bokova’s speech, with its sentiments about how “jazz was born [in the U.S.] but now belongs to the world,” hit hardest.)

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published