On April 30, 2012 the world took part in one of the most important cultural events that paid tribute in honor to America’s only true art-form, jazz music. For 24 hours, many live concerts, jazz seminars, documentary screenings, and jazz music workshops were held on the first International Jazz Day created by 14 time Grammy-Award winning pianist and composer Herbie Hancock. Hancock, is UESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
“In November 2011, during the UNESCO General Conference, the international community proclaimed April 30 as ‘International Jazz Day.’ UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization along with Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, were this year’s keynote organizers of this global gala. The festivities kicked off in Paris, France with performances and educational programs at UESCO headquarters. Then, a special sunrise concert in New Orleans, Louisiana, the birthplace of jazz music at the famed Congo Square. International Jazz Day concluded at General Assembly Hall at the United Nations for a special sunset concert in downtown New York City.
This year’s International Day participants included: Terence Blanchard, Tony Bennett, Richard Bona, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Ron Carter, Vinnie Colaiuta, Robert Cray, Eli Degibri, Jack DeJohnette, Sheila E., Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Zakir Hassain, Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo, Lang Lang, Joe Lovano, Romero Lubambo, Shankar Mahadevan, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, Danilo Perez, Bobby Sanabria, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spaulding, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Hiromi Uehara, and Tarek Yamani.
To find out more about next year’s International Jazz Day or to watch the entire sunset concert, please visit them on the web at unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/international-jazz-day/