Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Sydney, Australia, have been selected by UNESCO to host the annual International Jazz Day celebrations in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The International Jazz Day initiative started in 2011 with United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock leading the annual flagship concert, takes place annually on April 30.
Previous host cities have been New Orleans, U.S. (2011), New York City, U.S. and Paris, France (2012), Istanbul, Turkey (2013), Osaka, Japan (2014), Paris, France (2015), the White House in Washington D.C., U.S. (2016), and Havana, Cuba (2017).
Festivities are set to take place in some of Saint Petersburg’s most significant venues, such as the Mariinsky Theatre. Saint Petersburg’s bid to become a host city was supported by renowned Russian saxophonist Igor Butman.
In Australia, jazz is a flourishing art form, which in recent years has seen an increasing number of players and growing audiences. Sydney plans to hold the flagship All Star-Global Concert in the iconic Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the streets of the city will come alive with jazz through a daylong programme of “Jazz in Squares,” featuring school bands and jazz combos.
In addition to the main events in Saint Petersburg and Sydney, UNESCO will continue to encourage the participation of schools, universities and non-governmental organizations, as well as public radio and public television around the world. Various performing arts venues, community centres, artists, arts organizations, libraries and educational institutes will also organize activities around jazz.
For more information, go to https://jazzday.com/