The biggest moment in jazz history occurred on 30 April 2012. The inaugural International Jazz Day covered all corners of the globe with main events of monumental scale in Paris, New Orleans and New York.
The epic scale of this project was envisioned by its ambassador, Herbie Hancock, presented by UNESCO and in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
The launch concert at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris can be seen here in full.
Following the immensity of this performance, the Sunrise Concert was held in Congo Square in New Orleans. Herbie Hancock was joined by jazz luminaries Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Kermit Ruffins, Treme Brass Band, and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts and many more.
You can see the concert here.
The Sunset Concert culminated with a all-star host list and Herbie Hancock was joined by: Tony Bennett, Terence Blanchard, Richard Bona (Cameroon), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Robert Cray, Eli Degibri (Israel), Jack DeJohnette, Sheila E., Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Zakir Hussain (India), Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Lang Lang (China), Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Shankar Mahadevan (India), Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela (South Africa), Christian McBride, Danilo Pérez, Dianne Reeves, Bobby Sanabria, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Hiromi (Japan), and others.
George Duke served as Musical Director. Confirmed Co-Hosts included Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Quincy Jones.
The full concert can be viewed in our Jazz Flicks section.
There is always purpose and reason in everything and this is no exception. The only true cultural output to come out of America can break boundaries and bring people together. The main objectives of International Jazz Day are:
- Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance;
- Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression;
- Jazz is a symbol of unity and peace;
- Jazz reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities;
- Jazz fosters gender equality;
- Jazz reinforces the role youth play for social change;
- Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones;
- Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies.
We look forward to a world full of jazz and the people in it.