19th February 2013 -- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Herbie Hancock, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu and its Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ӧmer Ҫelik, are pleased to announce that the main event for the second annual International Jazz Day will be hosted by Turkey in the city of Istanbul.
Held every year on 30thApril, International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools and groups from across the world to celebrate jazz, learn about its roots and highlight its important role as a form of communication that transcends differences.
This year, the main concert for International Jazz Day will be held in Istanbul, Turkey. UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, stated, “I am delighted to announce that Istanbul will serve as the Host City for the 2013 International Jazz Day celebration on 30thApril. A meeting place of global cultures, Istanbul is an ideal location to highlight the extensive influence of jazz. Official celebrations, concerts and educational programs will take place in Istanbul and around the globe, expanding on the tremendous success of last year’s inaugural International Jazz Day.”
Taken forward 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, in order to encourage and highlight jazz’s unique power for advancing intercultural dialogue and understanding across the world. International Jazz 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 30thApril each year,” said Herbie Hancock. “On International Jazz Day, jazz is celebrated, studied, and performed around the world for 24 hours straight. 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.”
Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu and its Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ӧmer Ҫelik, stated: “Turkey welcomes the opportunity to host UNESCO’s International Jazz Day on 29-30 April, 2013, in Istanbul. On this occasion we shall celebrate jazz music not only as a global language of the human soul, but also as that of more inclusive societies, mutually enhancing civilizations and UNESCO ideals.”
Tom Carter, President of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, said, “The Institute is pleased to partner with UNESCO and the Republic of Turkey to present the second annual International Jazz Day. Last year’s celebration reached more than one billion people through educational programs, performances and media coverage. This is a phenomenal figure that we believe will be surpassed in 2013.”
Celebrations in Istanbul will kick off with a special early 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 stellar musicians from around the world, including pianists John Beasley, George Duke, Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim, Keiko Matsui 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 Husnu Senlendirici; violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; Pedro Martinez on percussion and other special guests to be announced in the weeks ahead. John Beasley will be the event’s musical director.
Dating back to the 4th century, the Hagia Irene, located in the outer courtyard of Topkapi Palace – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is regarded as an international treasure for music lovers because of its brilliant atmosphere and enchanting acoustics. The concert will be streamed live on the internet via the UNESCO, U.S. State Department and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz websites, and will be taped for future broadcast on public television stations around the world.
In addition, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will work with UNESCO and its 195 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. Libraries, schools, performing arts centers, artists and arts organizations of all disciplines throughout the world will be encouraged to celebrate the day through presentations, concerts, and other jazz-focused activities.
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 ten 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 India, Jazz Goa in will celebrate the Day with a mega event featuring jazz artists from all over the world. In Swaziland, a special program “Jazz across Borders and Cultures” will include workshops, jam sessions, and concerts over three days. Additional events are being confirmed each day.
UNESCO, the Republic of Turkey, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz are pleased that the Istanbul Jazz Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) is serving as the 2013 Host City Partner. The Istanbul Jazz Festival will play an integral role in the coordination and production of the all-star concert in Istanbul.
The objectives of International Jazz Day are to:
• Encourage exchange and understanding between cultures and employ these means to enhance tolerance;
• Offer effective tools at international, regional, sub regional and national levels to foster intercultural dialogue;
• Raise public awareness about the role jazz music plays to help spread the universal values of UNESCO’s mandate;
• Promote intercultural dialogue towards the eradication of racial tensions and gender inequality and to reinforce the role of youth for social change;
• Recognize jazz as a universal language of freedom;
• Promote social progress with a special focus on developing countries utilizing new technologies and communications tools such as social networks;
• Contribute to UNESCO’s initiatives to promote mutual understanding among cultures, with a focus on education of young people in marginalized communities.
The official websites will be re-launched today to reflect 2013 Jazz Day activities. Organizations that would like to participate can register their activities on each of them.