International Jazz Day 2024 Worldwide Celebration Concludes with All-Star Global Concert from Tangier, Morocco 

Thousands of Performances and Events Presented in More Than 190 Countries, All Continents 

Tangier, April 30 — The 13th annual International Jazz Day came to a thrilling conclusion with an historic All-Star Global Concert from the new Palace of Arts and Culture of Tangier. Hosted by internationally acclaimed actor Jeremy Irons, the concert featured world-renowned artists including master Gnawa musician Abdellah El Gourd (Morocco) and jazz icon Herbie Hancock along with Claudia Acuña (Chile), Ambrose Akinmusire (USA), John Beasley (USA), Lakecia Benjamin (USA), Richard Bona (Cameroon), Dee Dee Bridgewater (USA), Moreira Chonguiça (Mozambique), Shemekia Copeland (USA), Kurt Elling (USA), Antonio Faraò (Italy), Melody Gardot (USA), Jazzmeia Horn (USA), JK Kim (Republic of Korea), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Magnus Lindgren (Sweden), Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Marcus Miller (USA), Yasushi Nakamura (Japan), Tarek Yamani (Lebanon) and many others.

The All-Star Global Concert opened with a special “Welcome to Country” performance by renowned Dar Gnawa musicians, followed by Dee Dee Bridgewater’s spectacular performance of Chick Corea’s “Spain,” highlighting the cultural connections between Morocco and Spain. Jazzmeia Horn enlisted the talents of Ambrose Akinmusire and Billy Childs in the swinging “Free Your Mind.” Richard Bona gave a tender performance of his song “Esoka Bulu (Night Whisper).” TK Blue and Gnawa icon Abdellah El Gourd paid homage to Morocco’s Gnawa music and American jazz, performing Randy Weston’s composition, “Blue Moses.” Melody Gardot and Philippe Powell delivered a sublime rendition of “This Foolish Heart Could Love You.” Femi Kuti declared there is “One People, One World” on his electrifying Afro-Beat performance. Kurt Elling paid tribute to Wayne Shorter by performing Shorter’s composition, “Speak No Evil.” Shemekia Copeland and Joe Louis Walker brought the blues front and center with “Nobody But You.” 

The International Jazz Day 2024 celebration included thousands of performances, master classes, jam sessions, education programs and community service and outreach initiatives in more than 190 countries, culminating in the Global Concert, which is available free-of-charge at jazzday.com.

Major support for International Jazz Day 2024 is provided by the Doris Duke Foundation, with additional, generous support from GRoW @ Annenberg. United, the International Jazz Day Global Airline Partner, provided air transportation and additional support for artists and educators.

Each year on April 30, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity and respect for human dignity. International Jazz Day was adopted by the UNESCO Member Nations on the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, who co-chairs the annual celebration with UNESCO Director-GeneralAudrey Azoulay. 

Azoulay said, “Jazz, as legendary American singer Nina Simone eloquently put it, is more than just music. It transcends musical notes; it is ‘a way of life…a way of being, a way of thinking.’”

Hancock added, “As we celebrate Jazz Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to the enduring legacy of jazz and its ability to uplift, inspire and unite us all.”

Tangier selected as the 2024 Global Host City of International Jazz Day

Worldwide Celebration on April 30

Paris and Washington, DC, March 19, 2024 – The 2024 edition of International Jazz Day will be celebrated in more than 190 countries on April 30. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock are pleased to announce that the city of Tangier, Morocco will serve as the Global Host and will anchor the International Jazz Day programs around the world.

The designation of Tangier marks the first time a city on the African continent will host International Jazz Day, the world’s largest and most significant celebration of jazz,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

Presented in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Morocco and the City of Tangier, the four-day celebration (April 27-30) will emphasize the city’s jazz heritage and highlight cultural and artistic ties between people in Morocco, Europe and Africa. A series of education programs will include events for students of all ages, a special presentation showcasing the significance of Morocco’s Gnawa music and its connection with jazz, and conversations about the history of jazz and its impact on Tangier, among others. A culminating All-Star Global Concert at the beautiful, new Palace of Arts and Culture of Tangier – an architectural masterpiece – will be broadcast via YouTube, Facebook, JazzDay.com, the United Nations and UNESCO to millions of viewers worldwide.

Music enthusiasts can look forward to legendary figures of jazz, blues and beyond electrifying the city of Tangier – and screens throughout the world. Led by iconic pianist Herbie Hancock and Musical Director John Beasley (USA), the All-Star Global Concert will feature performances by an international roster of artists from all corners of the globe, including master Gnawa musician Abdellah El Gourd (Morocco). Other confirmed artists include: Claudia Acuña (Chile), Ambrose Akinmusire (USA), Lakecia Benjamin (USA), Richard Bona (Cameroon), Dee Dee Bridgewater (USA), Moreira Chonguiça (Mozambique), Shemekia Copeland (USA), Kurt Elling (USA), Antonio Faraò (Italy), Melody Gardot (USA), Jazzmeia Horn (USA), JK Kim (Republic of Korea), Magnus Lindgren (Sweden), Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Marcus Miller (USA), Yasushi Nakamura (Japan), Tarek Yamani (Lebanon), and many more to be announced.

Located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, Tangier is known as a melting pot of cultural expressions. Tangier boasts a long, rich history of jazz. Among the world-renowned jazz artists who performed and spent time in Tangier were Josephine Baker, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Mann and Archie Shepp. For many years, jazz master Randy Weston lived in Tangier, where he collaborated with Gnawa master Abdellah El Gourd to explore the roots of jazz and African music.

Gnawa-jazz, a fusion of Morocco’s traditional musical style and jazz, is appreciated across Morocco and far beyond. In the 1970s, Weston founded the African Jazz Festival, which became the inspiration for multiple jazz festivals throughout Morocco, including Tanjazz and Jazzablanca.

In addition to the Global Concert, UNESCO encourages schools, universities and non-governmental organizations around the world to celebrate International Jazz Day. Performing arts venues, community centers, town squares, parks, libraries, museums, restaurants, clubs and festivals organize thousands of activities, while public radio and television feature jazz on and around International Jazz Day.

Established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2011 and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30. The annual International Jazz Day celebration highlights the power of jazz and its role in promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity and respect for human dignity.

International Jazz Day has become a global movement reaching more than 2 billion people annually on all continents through education programs, performances, community outreach, radio, television and streaming, along with electronic, print and social media. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing International Jazz Day each year.

To learn more about International Jazz Day and register events on the official website, visit  www.jazzday.com or www.unesco.org/en/international-jazz-day.


About UNESCO
With 194 Member States, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization contributes to peace and security by leading multilateral cooperation on education, science, culture, communication and information. Headquartered in Paris, UNESCO has offices in 54 countries and employs over 2,300 people. UNESCO oversees more than 2,000 World Heritage sites, Biosphere Reserves and Global Geoparks; networks of Creative, Learning, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities; and over 13,000 associated schools, university chairs, training and research institutions. Its Director-General is Audrey Azoulay. More information: www.unesco.org

Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz
The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz preserves, perpetuates and expands jazz as a global art form, and utilizes jazz as a means to unite people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. The Institute is a nonprofit education organization with a mission to offer the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by internationally acclaimed jazz masters and to present public school music education programs for young people around the world. More information: www.hancockinstitute.org

MEDIA CONTACTSAlisse KINGSLEY
+ 1 323 467 8508 press@jazzday.com
Polina HUARD
+33 (0)145 68 10 17 p.huard@unesco.org

International Jazz Day 2023, April 30th: A Jazz Journey around the World

Herbie Hancock to host All-Star Global Concert with UNESCO featuring performances in 13 global cities by Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Somi, Sérgio Mendes, Cyrille Aimée, Antonio Sánchez, John Beasley and many more

Paris and New York––UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock today announced the program for the 2023 celebration of International Jazz Day, with participation from more than 190 countries. The flagship Jazz Day event, a spectacular All-Star Global Concert, will feature an extraordinary selection of jazz performances from Austria to Zimbabwe, highlighting the power of jazz in bridging differences and promoting unity and peace through intercultural dialogue and collaboration.

Herbie Hancock will take viewers on an international tour of sights and sounds showcasing jazz in all its diversity. The concert will feature performances from Beijing, China; Beirut, Lebanon; Casablanca, Morocco; Johannesburg, South Africa; Marondera, Zimbabwe; Paris, France; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Vienna, Austria; and Fairbanks, Honolulu, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC, USA.

The live-streamed concert event will feature performances by some of the world’s most accomplished jazz artists, including Cyrille Aimée (France), Ambrose Akinmusire (USA), Thana Alexa (Croatia), John Beasley (USA), Dee Dee Bridgewater (USA), Bill Charlap (USA), Emmet Cohen (USA), Tom Gansch (Austria), Christian McBride (USA), Sérgio Mendes (Brazil), Marcus Miller (USA), Thandi Ntuli (South Africa), Dianne Reeves (USA), Antonio Sánchez (Mexico), Walter Smith III (USA), Somi (Rwanda) and Mike Stern (USA), among others. Renowned Mbira player Musekiwa Chingodza (Zimbabwe) will duet with Oran Etkin (Israel) on baritone clarinet; the Blue Note China Jazz Orchestra joins the Global Concert from Beijing; and JazzWomenAfrica celebrate from Casablanca. More information on the 2023 cast is available on jazzday.com.

The All-Star Global Concert will be webcast worldwide on April 30 at 4 pm EDT/1 pm PDT/10 pm CET on jazzday.com, unesco.org, the International Jazz Day YouTube and Facebook channels, and other outlets.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, recalling the significant role played by jazz in modern history, stated, “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.”

Looking back on twelve years of International Jazz Day, Herbie Hancock remarked, “As the world’s largest, most inclusive celebration of jazz music, International Jazz Day unites people across the globe. Jazz has always been about expanding boundaries – inspiring musicians toward the future and its infinite possibilities. This year, 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.”

To kick off the International Jazz Day weekend, PBS will air a special on Friday evening, April 28 at 10 pm EDT (check your local listings). “International Jazz Day from the United Nations” will feature highlights of the 2022 All-Star Global Concert with performances by Herbie Hancock, David Sanborn, Shemekia Copeland, Gregory Porter, Lizz Wright, José James, Hiromi, Marcus Miller, Ravi Coltrane, Terri Lyne Carrington, Zakir Hussain, Brian Blade, Linda May Han Oh, Joey Alexander and more.

Masterclasses, concerts, educational programs and other events worldwide
In the lead-up to the 2023 All-Star Global Concert, a series of free, online education programs will be presented via jazzday.com, unesco.org, the International Jazz Day YouTube and Facebook pages.

An array of acclaimed artist-educators will present a multilingual selection of offerings that will emphasize the richness—and relevance—of jazz to learners at all levels. Programming will be 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. A complete listing and schedule of education programs will be available at jazzday.com/education.

The worldwide program 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, masterclasses 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. Participating festivals include the Adelaide Jazz Festival (Australia), Baku Jazz Festival (Azerbaijan), Festival Jazz à Ouaga (Burkina Faso), Festival Internacional de Blues y Jazz de Bucuramanga (Colombia), Mladí Ladí Jazz (Czechia), La Esquina Jazz Festival (Guatemala), Jazzfest Budapest (Hungary), Rossini Jazz Festival (Italy), Azalea JazzFEST (Japan), Bishkek International Jazz Festival (Kyrgyzstan), MAMA JAZ (Mauritius), Neuma International Jazz Festival (Mexico), Port Moresby Jazz & Blues Festival (Papua New Guinea), JAZZtrzębie Festiwal (Poland), Scottsdale Jazz Festival and Overtown Jazz Festival (USA) and many more.

To learn about the hundreds of other events planned in all 50 U.S. states and 190+ countries across the world, visit jazzday.com/events.

Major support for International Jazz Day is provided by the Doris Duke Foundation, with additional, generous support from the Ford Foundation. Air transportation and additional support for artists and educators is provided by United Airlines, the airline partner of International Jazz Day.

Proclaimed at UNESCO in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every year on April 30. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

Download the press release

Learn more about International Jazz Day

Learn more about UNESCO

Media: contact Alisse Kingsley

International Jazz Day 2022, April 30th, a Call for Global Peace and Unity

Global Concert from United Nations Headquarters in New York to be hosted by Herbie Hancock, feature Marcus Miller, Gregory Porter, David Sanborn, Hiromi, Pedrito Martínez, Ravi Coltrane, José James, Terri Lyne Carrington, Linda Oh, Shemekia Copeland, Lizz Wright and others

Paris and New York––UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock today announced the program for the 2022 celebration of International Jazz Day, with events taking place in more than 180 countries.

The flagship Jazz Day event, a spectacular All-Star Global Concert, will be staged in the UN General Assembly Hall, in New York, emphasizing the importance of jazz as a means of achieving unity and peace through dialogue and diplomacy. With Herbie Hancock serving as Host and Artistic Director and John Beasley as Musical Director, the program is set to feature performances by some of the world’s most accomplished jazz artists, including vocalists Shemekia Copeland, José James, Youn Sun Nah (Republic of Korea), Gregory Porter, Alune Wade (Senegal) and Lizz Wright; pianists Joey Alexander (Indonesia), Helio Alves (Brazil), Laurent de Wilde (France), Hiromi (Japan), Ray Lema (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Tarek Yamani (Lebanon); drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Brian Blade; bassists James Genus, Marcus Miller and Linda Oh (Australia); saxophonists Ravi Coltrane, David Sanborn and Erena Terakubo (Japan); guitarist Mark Whitfield and trumpeters Randy Brecker and Jeremy Pelt, among others.

Also joining the global ensemble will be harmonicist Grégoire Maret (Switzerland), harpist Edmar Castañeda (Colombia), percussionist Pedrito Martínez (Cuba) and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh (Syria). Further information on the 2022 cast is available on jazzday.com.

This concert will be webcast worldwide on April 30th at 5 pm EDT/2 pm PDT/11 pm CET on jazzday.com, unesco.org, hancockinstitute.org, the International Jazz Day YouTube and Facebook channels, UN Web TV and US State Department outlets.

“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,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

“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,” said Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock, who co-chairs International Jazz Day with the Director-General of UNESCO.

Master classes, concerts, educational and other programs worldwide

In the lead-up to the 2022 All-Star Global Concert, a series of free, online education programs will be presented via In the lead-up to the 2022 All-Star Global Concert, a series of free, online education programs will be presented via jazzday.com, unesco.org, and the official International Jazz Day YouTube and Facebook pages. World-renowned jazz artists including multiple Grammy Award winners Arturo O’Farrill and Terri Lyne Carrington, Oran Etkin, Danny Grissett, Dan Tepfer and others will lead master classes and presentations. A complete listing and schedule of education programs will be available at jazzday.com/education. The 2022 education programs are presented in collaboration with the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, the JAM Music Lab University (Vienna) and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, among other organizations.

Shortly before the Global Concert, at 3 pm EDT, UNESCO will celebrate the musical talent of women from across Africa with a second edition of its JazzWomenAfrica concert series. Organized in collaboration with the cultural agency ANYA Music (Morocco), JazzWomenAfrica helps counter the under-representation and insufficient recognition of women in the music industry. A discussion with women artists and music producers on this theme will take place on April 29th at 11 am EDT.

The worldwide program for International Jazz Day 2022 also includes an extraordinary array of programming in more than 180 countries, with concerts and performance-based initiatives complemented by diverse social outreach and educational activities. In Central Africa, the organizers and partners behind the Biennale of Luanda/Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace will present an extensive series of virtual roundtables, concerts, exhibits and other events highlighting the contribution of jazz in promoting peace, uniting people and fostering cooperation around the world. In the Republic of Korea, the Korean Jazz Association and other partners are planning six days of concerts themed around freedom. A “National Jazz Week,” culminating on International Jazz Day, will begin on April 21 across Chile, with participation from UNESCO Artist for Peace Danilo Pérez. Meanwhile on April 29th in the United States, Newark, New Jersey public radio station WGBO will celebrate the renaming of the street on which it resides in honor of legendary jazz musician, composer and Newark native Wayne Shorter.

To learn about the thousands of other events planned in all 50 U.S. states and countries across the world, visit jazzday.com/events.

Major support for International Jazz Day is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Air transportation and additional support for artists and educators is provided by United Airlines, the airline partner of International Jazz Day.

Established by UNESCO in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every 30 April. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

Download the press release

Learn more about International Jazz Day

Learn more about UNESCO

Media: contact Alisse Kingsley

Updates to International Jazz Day, April 30

COVID-19 pandemic necessitates changes to 9th annual worldwide celebration of jazz

Call for artists and fans around the world to self-create video messages to be streamed worldwide on International Jazz Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Due to ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, the International Jazz Day 2020 Global Host Celebration in Cape Town and other cities across South Africa, including the All-Star Global Concert on April 30, will not take place as scheduled. This decision has been undertaken in response to guidance issued by government and public health officials in South Africa and reflects the high priority that the Institute, its partners and local organizers place on the health and safety of all participating musicians, staff, affiliates and the public.

International Jazz Day would not be possible without the thousands of independent organizers around the world who faithfully help bring the message of this unique music into their communities each year on April 30. We strongly encourage our partners to follow all local public health directives and government guidelines when considering whether to go ahead with an International Jazz Day program. Many partners have already rescheduled their programs for a later date, pending the abatement of the current global pandemic. These postponed events will be gratefully recognized as official celebrations of International Jazz Day.

For over a century, jazz has been a unifying force, rallying people around the world through the universal language of music regardless of the distance between them. With this in mind, International Jazz Day will still go forward on April 30. Though large-scale public concerts, colloquia and other gatherings that have for nearly a decade been a hallmark of this celebration, this year we are encouraging organizers to minimize viral transmission by celebrating at home. Resources, information and ideas for celebrating can be found at jazzday.com.

To allow our amazing community of jazz lovers, students and local International Jazz Day leaders a special opportunity to connect with each other, on April 30, the Institute and its partners will be organizing a virtual forum featuring acclaimed artists and webcasts of exclusive content, offered free of charge. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Institute extends a special invitation to all of its partners to submit smartphone videos, audio recordings and other virtual expressions of participation to show solidarity with everyone affected by this challenging situation. Submissions will be featured in a free live stream available worldwide as part of the virtual programming on April 30.

Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Co-Chair of International Jazz Day, said, “These are unprecedented times for world citizens and we are most grateful for the support, understanding, and partnership of our Jazz Day community. Armed with optimism, patience and grace, we’ll work through these challenges as families, communities, countries and as a stronger united world. Now more than ever before, let’s band together and spread the ethics of Jazz Day’s global movement around the planet and use this as a golden opportunity for humankind to reconnect especially in the midst of all this isolation and uncertainty.”

Our deep gratitude and appreciation go to the South African Department of Sports, Arts and Culture; South African Tourism; the South African National Commission for UNESCO; the City of Cape Town, the SPIN Foundation; the many local partners and community leaders in South Africa; and the worldwide International Jazz Day community for their efforts in support of International Jazz Day 2020.

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