Abu Dhabi selected as 2025 International Jazz Day Global Host City: “Embodying the power of jazz to unite in our shared humanity”

Worldwide Celebration on 30 April

Paris, Washington D.C. and Abu Dhabi, 10 JULY 2024 – Every year on 30 April, International Jazz Day is celebrated around the world, honouring the sound of artistic freedom. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock are pleased to announce that Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will serve as the Global Host of the 2025 edition of International Jazz Day.

“International Jazz Day heads to Abu Dhabi in 2025, infusing new energy and basking in the mélange of cultures. The celebration in this cosmopolitan city will embody the power of jazz to unite and delight in our shared humanity.”
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

“Jazz is a language of unity and a beacon of hope that continues to inspire new generations of artists from all corners of the globe. In Abu Dhabi, a renowned group of international artists will join us to share their musical vision, build bridges through the power of music, and create harmony in our diverse world.”
Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

Presented in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the celebration will be anchored around its cultural heritage defined as a tapestry of an Arab and Emirati culture. Classical instruments like Oud, Qanoon and Ney will introduce global audiences to ‘Arabic Jazz’.  As the 2025 Global Host City, Abu Dhabi, the UNESCO Creative City of Music, will showcase the interplay of local musical traditions and Jazz dating back decades.

“We are honored that Abu Dhabi has been selected as the Global Host for the 2025 edition of International Jazz Day. This recognition underscores our city’s thriving music scene and unwavering commitment to cultural diversity and artistic excellence. As a UNESCO Creative City of Music, Abu Dhabi has long been a beacon of musical innovation, where traditional Arabian melodies blend seamlessly with global genres, creating a vibrant and unique cultural tapestry. Hosting International Jazz Day reaffirms our dedication to the arts and provides a global stage to showcase our dynamic music scene. Our city consistently celebrates and nurtures musical talent from around the world.”
HE Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s investment in the culture sector has transformed the city into a global destination for arts and creativity, attracting world-class cultural institutions while also supporting home-grown institutions and its Arabic roots.

Along with the concert, educational programmes and community outreach are key features of the Day. On 30 April, Abu Dhabi will bring musical education to local schools across the city. Higher-education institutions like Berklee Abu Dhabi and New York University Abu Dhabi and other UAE-based universities will also open their doors, offering workshops and masterclasses in their lecture halls, exhibition spaces and auditoriums. Special attention will be paid to the participation of  young musicians, encouraging them to cultivate their interest in music and pursue a career in jazz.

Established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2011 and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every 30 April. 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 global movement has reached more than 2 billion people on all continents through education programmes, performances, community outreach and online platforms. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting, and producing International Jazz Day each year.

To learn more about International Jazz Day and register events on the official website, visit  www.jazzday.com or www.unesco.org/en/international-jazz-day.


With 194 Member States, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization contributes to peace and security by leading multilateral cooperation on education, science, culture, communication and information. Headquartered in Paris, UNESCO has offices in 54 countries and employs over 2300 people. UNESCO oversees more than 2000 World Heritage sites, Biosphere Reserves and Global Geoparks; networks of Creative, Learning, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities; and over 13 000 associated schools, university chairs, training and research institutions. Its Director-General is Audrey Azoulay. More information: www.unesco.org


About the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz preserves, perpetuates and expands jazz as a global art form, and utilizes jazz as a means to unite people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. The Institute is a nonprofit education organization with a mission to offer the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by internationally acclaimed jazz masters and to present public school music education programs for young people around the world. More information: www.hancockinstitute.org


About the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sectors, fuels economic progress and helps achieve Abu Dhabi’s wider global ambitions. DCT Abu Dhabi cements the ecosystem around a shared vision of the emirate’s potential, and use the best tools, policies, and systems to support the culture, creative and tourism industries. More information: dct.gov.ae

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