May 2, 2013
International Jazz Day 2013: Artists From Across The Globe Grace The Stage In Istanbul, Turkey
Photo: A concert on the theme, “Jazz: A Language for Peace”, featuring the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet, was held at UN Headquarters in connection with the International Jazz Day (30 April). Shown here: A stack of program notes for the performance. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.
Photo: Jazz Appreciation Forever Stamp Honors America’s Gift to Music. Photo Credit: U.S. Postal Service.
• In an unprecedented series of events worldwide, UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz joined together to celebrate jazz as a universal language of freedom on April 30th. With events taking place in 196 countries, International Jazz Day 2013 culminated in an evening concert at Istanbul’s Hagia Irene that was viewed live by millions around the world. Dating back to the 4th century, the Hagia Irene, located in the outer courtyard of the Topkapi Palace - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is regarded as an international treasure for music lovers because of its brilliant atmosphere and enchanting acoustics.
Those who participated in the Istanbul event included pianists Herbie Hancock, John Beasley (Musical Director), George Duke, Robert Glasper, Ramsey Lewis, Keiko Matsui and Eddie Palmieri; vocalists Ruben Blades, Al Jarreau, Milton Nascimento, Dianne Reeves, Esperanza Spalding (who also played bass) and Joss Stone; trumpeters Terence Blanchard, Hugh Masekela and Imer Demirer; 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 , Branford Marsalis, Wayne Shorter and Liu Yuan; clarinetists Anat Cohen and Husnu Senlendirici; violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; Pedrito Martinez on percussion; tabla master Zakir Hussain; trombonist Alevtina Polyakova; and special guest Martin Luther King III.
On this occasion, noted pianist Herbie Hancock remarked, “Using jazz as a tool, I have faith that the music - either through playing an instrument, learning about its rich cultural history, or listening to the millions of recordings made over the past century - will demonstrate that barriers can be broken, unity can be achieved, new forms of expression can be created, and a dialogue between cultures can begin. From my decades long career as a jazz musician, I know first hand that inventive ideas can achieve the impossible, transform humanity, and make productive changes at the grass roots level.”
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 brings together communities, schools and groups from across the globe to celebrate jazz, learn about its roots and highlight its important role as a form of communication that transcends differences.