Spurred by the success of the first celebration, the Turkish city of Istanbul will be the global host city of the second International Jazz Day, on 30 April. The day is destined to raise awareness in the international community regarding jazz’s virtues as an educational tool, as a vehicle for peace, unity, dialogue, and for enhanced cooperation between peoples.
“On International Jazz Day, jazz is celebrated, studied, and performed around the world for 24 hours straight,” said UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. In April 2012, Mr Hancock and TMIJ spearheaded and organized the historical events which took place around the world where jazz legends gathered together for key events at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York, as well as at the emblematic Congo Square in New Orleans. From Algiers to Buenos Aires, from Kuala Lumpur to Warsaw, from Lomé to Santo Domingo, more than a hundred countries celebrated this day.
Istanbul will be the official host city for 2013. Turkey has an age-old tradition of jazz. Munir Ertegun, Turkish Republic’s first ambassador to Washington in the 1930s, opened his embassy’s parlours to African American jazz musicians, who gathered there to play freely in a socio-historical context which was deeply divided by racial segregation at the time. Inspired by this legacy, the ambassador’s sons, Ahmet and Nesuhi, went on to establish the United States’ first jazz and gospel label in 1947 – Atlantic Records – which was seminal in spreading the beauty of jazz music around the world.
Born in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, jazz is rooted in African traditions, draws from European musical forms, and has evolved into various styles across the globe.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe