Keiko Matsui, Photo credit: Jun Sato
On April 30, the main event for the second annual International Jazz Day will take place in Istanbul, Turkey.
The day will kick off with a special morning performance for high school students conducted by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others. The evening concert at Istanbul’s famed Hagia Irene will feature performances by musicians from around the world, including pianists John Beasley, George Duke, Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim, Keiko Matsui (pictured above) 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 Hüsnü Şenlendirici; violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; and percussionist Pedro Martinez. John Beasley will be the event’s musical director.
Held every year on April 30th, International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools and groups from across the world to celebrate jazz, learn about its roots and highlight its role as a form of communication that transcends differences. Organized 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. The 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.
“International Jazz Day is a means to highlight, support and leverage the unifying attributes of music through worldwide celebratory events and activities on April 30th each year.” says Hancock. “On International Jazz Day, jazz is celebrated, studied, and performed continuously around the world for 24 hours. Collaborations abound among jazz icons, scholars, composers, musicians, dancers, writers and thinkers who embrace the beauty, spirit and principles of jazz, freely sharing experiences and performances in our big cities and in our small towns, all across our seven continents.”
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will work with UNESCO and its 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. To date, 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 Swaziland, “Jazz across Borders and Cultures” will include workshops, jam sessions, and concerts over three days. Additional events are being confirmed.
For more information about International Jazz Day, go to: www.unesco.org/new/en/jazz-day and www.jazzday.com.