UNESCO’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, is pleased to announce that the International Jazz Day Global Host City for 2020 will be Cape Town, South Africa, marking the first time the celebration is hosted by an African city.“This decision is a recognition of South Africa’s strong commitment to cultural diplomacy through a high degree of creativity and an outstanding diversity in its programming, supported by large network of partners,” said the Director-General.
Cape Town’s annual International Jazz Festival, begun in 2000, has rendered the city a world class jazz destination.
As the 2020 Global Host City, Cape Town will showcase a unique jazz history and heritage. The celebration organizers emphasize that “Jazz in Cape Town is more than music – it is the story of slavery and the struggle against apartheid.”
The 2020 Global Host City event theme, “Tracing the Roots and Routes of African Jazz,” includes discovering, through jazz music, African identity and the creative potential of Africa to inspire global music making.
Since 2011, International Jazz Day is celebrated annually on 30 April across the globe. The day pays tribute to the art form of jazz, its capacity to bring people together, and its power to promote dialogue, freedom of expression, as well as respect for human rights and diversity.
The 2020 All Star-Global Concert will unite the most popular and iconic jazz musicians from Africa and around the world, and will be organized alongside school programmes, master classes, and local, national and regional music and educational events.
The International Jazz Day celebration engages artists, educators and audiences worldwide. It is led by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (link is external), together with its Chairman, legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue.
In 2019 Sydney, Australia, will be the global host for International Jazz Day.