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.