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Music has infinite power. To give energy, hope, to unite. The best musicians know this, they even play this. They keep clear focus on their purpose, on the meaning of their making music. That’s how they innovate, how they reach the most meaningful connection with their audience.

 

That’s why an event such as the UNESCO International Jazz Day is important. It reminds us of the power of music to connect and overcome cultural and language barriers.

 

From the official International Jazz Day website http://jazzday.com/about/

 

“In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially 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 is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.”

 

“Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.”

 

For the ones of you for which this rings true and important, here is one of the lessons that Herbie Hancock gave at Harvard last year, on Cultural Diplomacy. In his own words, this is how he talks about the International Jazz Day:

 

“Last year, every single country on the planet — that’s 196 countries including Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq — participated in Jazz Day. And we reached over 1 billion people of diverse cultures, religions, nationalities and ethnicities. I hoped that Jazz Day would spread the joy of spontaneous creation that exists in the music and be recognized for its magnitude, social impact, and historic significance in global culture, and I’m so pleased to say that the response has far exceeded my wildest dreams.”

 

While waiting for April 30 and the main concert in Paris, I linked the full concerts of 2012 and 2014 below.
And keep following me as I’ll be covering this event directly from Paris.

 

April 30 2014 – Osaka, Japan

 

 

April 30 2012 – New York, USA