In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated April 30 as International Jazz Day “in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe”:
International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. Every year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for fostering gender equality and for promoting individual expression, peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, respect for human dignity, and the eradication of discrimination.
Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay said:
Jazz carries a universal message with the power to strengthen dialogue, our understanding of each other, and our mutual respect. As the world is affected by multiple crises and conflicts, this international day highlights how much music and culture can contribute to peace.
All That Philly Jazz director Faye Anderson is one of 19 American community partners.
The signature event, an All-Star Global Concert, will be back where it all began – the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York. The lineup includes Marcus Miller, Gregory Porter, David Sanborn, Ravi Coltrane, Randy Brecker, José James, Terri Lyne Carrington, Linda Oh, Shemekia Copeland and Lizz Wright.
Host and artistic director Herbie Hancock said:
With conflict and division in many parts of the world, it is my hope that, through the universal language of jazz, our celebration this year can inspire people of all nations to heal, to hope and to work together to foster peace.