Wednesday, 27th September 2023

I2 Cities in jazz journey around the world

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
30 April 2023   |   2:24 am
Today is International Jazz Day. Proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognised by the United Nations General Assembly..

Today is International Jazz Day. Proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognised by the United Nations General Assembly, the Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every year.

Jazz stars from around the globe will come together to celebrate the unifying power of music. They will join forces to celebrate the genre, which is recognised as a universal tool for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human dignity; eradicating discrimination; fostering gender equality and promoting individual expression.

The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s partner in the organisation and promotion of International Jazz Day. In a media briefing to herald the day, Director-General, Audrey Azoulay and Herbie Hancock unveiled the programme for the 2023 celebration, which is expected to have more than 190 countries in participation.

The flagship event for the day is a spectacular All-Star Global Concert, which features an extraordinary selection of performances by Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Melody Gardot, Sérgio Mendes, Cyrille Aimée, Antonio Sánchez, John Beasley and many more.

“On this International Jazz Day, musicians around the world are once again answering, in great numbers, the resounding call for peace through music. Born out of struggles for justice, jazz inspires us to build a future that reflects its spirit – united in the celebration of diversity. Join us on this ‘Jazz Journey around the World’ and witness the power of music,” Azoulay said.

The All-Star Global Concert will be webcast worldwide on, and International Jazz Day will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook. The concert will feature performances in 12 cities simultaneously: from Beijing, Beirut, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Marondera, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna, Fairbanks, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

“As the world’s largest, most inclusive celebration of jazz music, International Jazz Day unites people across the globe. We are thrilled that the All-Star Global Concert will reflect this expansive identity in a new way, by sharing with our audience a rich palette of sounds on more than a dozen stages in every corner of the planet,” said Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and master of ceremony.

In the lead-up to the 2023 All-Star Global Concert, a series of free, online education programmes were presented via,,, the International Jazz Day YouTube and Facebook pages.

An array of acclaimed artist-educators presented a multilingual selection of offerings that will emphasize the richness—and relevance—of jazz to learners at all levels. Programming was available in Arabic, English, French, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, with topics including music making for kids, improvisation, and the intersection of jazz harmony and diverse international musical traditions.

The worldwide programme for International Jazz Day 2023 also includes an extraordinary range of programming in more than 190 countries, with concerts and performance-based initiatives complemented by wide-ranging social outreach and educational activities.

In Brazil, the Música na Árvore Solar Festival will pay homage to Louis Armstrong and feature sustainability in its lineup, powering its stage performances with mobile solar panels. The Croatian Radio Television Jazz Orchestra will be toasting its 75th anniversary on Jazz Day with a concert and live broadcast on Croatian national television. In New Zealand, the Whanganui Collegiate School presents three days of events including a jam session, a gala concert and an open forum with the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, exploring jazz music in education.

The Tottori Jazz Festival in Japan hosts a five-day series of concerts in addition to an art exhibit, jam sessions and workshops. The Botswana Society for Jazz Education kicks off a week of music workshops, instrumental clinics, master classes and nightly jam sessions, culminating with a grand concert featuring local and international musicians. UNESCO Creative Cities will be hosting a variety of activities around the world, leveraging music as a powerful accelerator for culture-driven sustainable urban development.

Jazz festivals around the world will also be commemorating International Jazz Day through special events. To learn about the hundreds of other events planned in all 50 U.S. states and 190+ countries across the world, visit