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Celebrating International Jazz Day 2015 in Paris, France, are (left to right): Femi Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Annie Lennox, James Genus, Al Jarreau and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Photo credit by Kristine Sparow/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

The 2015 International Jazz Day Global Concert

The 2015 Host City is...

Paris, France

France is often recognized as the second birthplace of jazz after the United States, and since World War I, Paris has been one of the main centers for the creation and diffusion of jazz worldwide. Thanks to the energy of knowledgeable jazz fans and supporters, the music has not only been listened to and followed, but also analyzed and preserved for its artistic value. The presence of American musicians influenced the development of multiple generations of French jazz musicians, who in turn enriched the genre with their own contributions.

The birth of jazz in France is often said to have coincided with the arrival of the famous Harlem Hellfighters battalion in 1917, the 369th American infantry regiment composed exclusively of black solders, whose orchestra, led by James Reese Europe, could be heard performing the syncopations of ragtime during their long march through the French countryside. The popularity of certain American dances and the interest of composers such as Debussy and Ravel in black American folklore made for an enthusiastic welcome for jazz in the City of Light after the Great War, notably by the artistic intelligentsia of the time.  As a symbol of this enthusiasm for African-American music, the singer and dancer Josephine Baker made an impact on the Paris cultural scene that signaled an evolution in popular interest in black culture – of which jazz was a major part.

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2015 Events

  • Potomac State Jazz Ensemble Concert Church McKee Arts Center
    Keyser, WV
    United States
  • Jazz a las tres Radio UNAM
    Delegación Benito Juárez,, Distrito Federal
  • Majorca IJD, 4th Edition: “Literature and Jazz” in honor of Billie Holiday Centro UNESCO de Baleares
    Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands
  • Intl Jazz Day Celebration at WMPH WMPH
    Wilmington, DE
    United States
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