The United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Republic of Turkey, and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz have announced 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 30, International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools and groups from across the world to celebrate jazz, learn about its roots and highlight its role as a form of communication.
Organized 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 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.
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 Hagia Irene will feature performances by 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; Pedro Martinez on percussion and other special guests to be announced in the weeks ahead. John Beasley will be the event’s musical director.
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.