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International Jazz Day To Take Place in Istanbul, April 30th

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the Republic of Turkey 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 April 30th, 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 April 30th. 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.”

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 Hüsnü Şenlendirici; violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; Pedrito 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 on JazzDay.com, MonkInstitute.org, UNESCO and U.S. State Department websites.

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.

We encourage you to register your event on JazzDay.com and like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and use the hashtag #jazzday on all your jazz related tweets.