Meet Our Organizers
Kurt Wilson, Dubai

Kurt Wilson is a jazz guitarist and member of the Dubai Jazz Collective, a well-known musical aggregation active in the UAE.


What does jazz music mean to you? For your community?
Jazz music to me is special as it allows musicians the freedom to create their own signature sounds with their instruments, whether a certain thumb slap/finger pluck on bass, or holding notes on trumpet, and recognizable melodic styles on keys, all the while challenging as this requires discipline, commitment and practice.

The community benefits in many ways but in particular when music is included as part of the high school system curriculum. It is scientific fact that children who play music (especially jazz band) excel in math and science, have a higher chance of graduating and going on to university, thus returning to their community as an educated workforce.

“By presenting live jazz and blues to a new audience through an international forum such as International Jazz Day, I am confident that this will help to build a strong following of new jazz fans.”

Why are you celebrating International Jazz Day? Why is it important?
It is an opportunity to share the message and mission of International Jazz Day to a demographic that for the most part have little or no exposure to jazz music, nor how jazz music transcends language, politics or religious boundaries.

By presenting live jazz and blues to a new audience through an international forum such as International Jazz Day, I am confident that this will help to build a strong following of new jazz fans and in doing so will influence more venues in Dubai and other Emirates to present live jazz and blues on a consistent basis.

What would you like to see happen through this day–short term and long term?
Short term is to generate awareness of International Jazz Day and the many benefits to all societies that jazz offers.

Long term is to establish a venue to present live jazz and blues on a permanent basis. Establish an annual international jazz and blues festival. Establish more music educational offerings in both private and public schools. And finally, to lobby the government to ease restrictions on musicians’ abilities to perform on any stage at will…which will promote improvisation, the life blood of jazz and blues music.