Various actions for International Jazz Day

Various actions for International Jazz Day



With various actions transmitted in a virtual way, the planet celebrates this April 30 the International Jazz Day, a musical genre that encourages dialogue, the fight against discrimination and the promotion of human dignity, according to UNESCO.

The event, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was held for the first time 10 years ago, at the proposal of prominent American musician Herbie Hancock, Goodwill Ambassador. 

The pianist and composer participates today in a recital, presented by actor Michael Douglas, UN Messenger of Peace, in which Marcus Miller, Andra Day, Dee Dee Bridgewater, John Mc Laughlin, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano also take part.

Angelique Kidjo and John Beasley, who is in charge of the musical direction, among others. In this region, the event is celebrated in an online concert promoted by the Jazz Plaza Festival and the Transcultural Program of Unesco -which integrates Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through culture and creativity-under the artistic direction by Cuban Roberto Fonseca.

The initiative brings together Jamaicans Oshane Love and Orville Everet Hammond (Jamaica), Andre Woodvine (Barbados), Barbara Cadet (Saint Lucia), Michele Henderson (Dominica), Reginal Policard (Haiti), James Sanker (Belize), Casandra Núñez ( Dominican Republic), Gary Knight (Saint Kitts and Nevis) and Bobby Carcassés (National Music Award 2012, from Cuba).

Other artistic presentations in various countries, master classes, round tables and other activities highlight the tenth anniversary of International Jazz Day, a genre whose “open character, its openness to improvisation, to the other, is what makes it essentially a music of peace”, said Director General of Unesco, Audrey Azoulay, in her message for the date.

At a time when the pandemic too often exacerbates all the tensions in our societies, in which we see prejudice and discrimination resurface, we need this essential invitation from jazz to respect others more than ever, stressed the international official.

Jazz is in good health on this Caribbean island, perhaps because of the quality and perseverance of its cultivators and because of the possibility of fusion it has with Cuban rhythms, based on African roots.

Since 1980 the International Jazz Plaza Festival has been held in the country, with increasing prestige and convocation, which has brought together outstanding exponents of the genre worldwide on Cuban stages, such as North American trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and French composer Michel Legrand, in addition to relevant national exponents of the genre, such as Chucho Valdés.

Cuba was chosen by UNESCO as the venue for the International Jazz Day celebrations in 2017, in recognition to the contribution that Cuban music has made to the world.