International Jazz Day

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Flashmob of Cologne jazz musicians to celebrate the first International Jazz Day in 2012

International Jazz Day is an International Day declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011 "to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe."[1] It is celebrated annually on April 30.[2] The brainchild of jazz pianist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, Jazz Day is chaired by Hancock along with the sitting UNESCO Director-General. The celebration is recognized on the calendars of both UNESCO and the United Nations.[3][4]

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, an American NGO also chaired by Hancock, is the lead organizational partner for Jazz Day. The Institute coordinates activities in the UNESCO member states as well as the Global Host Celebration. Events in the Host City culminate in an All-Star Global Concert, which typically involves over two-dozen high-profile jazz musicians from around the world performing in or around an historical landmark.

The 2017 Jazz Day was hosted by Havana, Cuba.[5] The Host Celebration included weeklong series of education and community outreach programs featuring jazz artists Esperanza Spalding, Richard Bona, Melissa Aldana, Tarek Yamani, Antonio Hart, and Regina Carter, among others. The culminating All-Star Global Concert took place at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso and included fifty-five musicians from Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Tunisia, and the United States.[6]


Inception and declaration[edit]

Upon his designation as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue on July 22, 2011,[7] Herbie Hancock announced his intention to create an International Day celebrating the diplomatic role of jazz music. In November 2011, following a favorable recommendation by the 187th Executive Board, UNESCO's General Conference officially proclaimed April 30 as International Jazz Day, recognizing jazz as "a means to develop and increase intercultural exchanges and understanding between cultures for the purpose of mutual comprehension and tolerance."[8] The date of April 30 was initially proposed to position International Jazz Day as the culmination of the Smithsonian Institution's April Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), though no formal connection exists between JAM and International Jazz Day.

The United Nations General Assembly formally recognized International Jazz Day on its official calendar in December of 2012.[9]


  1. ^ "About | International Jazz Day". International Jazz Day. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  2. ^ "International Jazz Day, 30 April". Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  3. ^ "International Days". UNESCO. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  4. ^ "International Days". Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  5. ^ Section, United Nations News Service (2017-04-28). "UN News - FEATURE: International Jazz Day – a global celebration of creativity and diversity". UN News Service Section. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  6. ^ "Global Concert | International Jazz Day". International Jazz Day. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  7. ^ Roberts, Nigel. "Jazzman Herbie Hancock Named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador". Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  8. ^ "Records of the General Conference, Volume 1: Resolutions, 36 C/Res. 39" (PDF). UNESCO. Paris, France: UNESCO. 2012. 
  9. ^ "About | International Jazz Day". International Jazz Day. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 

External links[edit]