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International Jazz Day

International Jazz Day – April 30

Every year on April 30 communities, musicians, jazz lovers, schools, historians and academics gather together to celebrate  International Jazz Day. This year, people can join in and enjoy some fantastic tunes during #JazzAtHomeDay 2020. At 8 pm BST, the Global Concert will be hosted by Herbie Hancock, Morgan Freeman and Forest Whitacker and will be streamed live through jazzday.com

History of the day

In 2011, UNESCO created International Jazz Day to highlight the diplomatic power of jazz. According to the International Jazz Day website, UNESCO has recognised this form of music “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.”

While the positive effects of jazz on society are clear, it is harder to pin-point what jazz actually is. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “jazz, in fact, is not—and never has been—an entirely composed, predetermined music, nor is it an entirely extemporized one.” Jazz is a form of music that is constantly developing and evolving since it came to be at the turn of the 20th century.  Jazz was initially performed in African American communities in the United States at funerals to celebrate the life of the departed. It mainly included forms of blues and ragtime but then developed into an exciting new genre of its own. 

Events on International Jazz Day 2020

There will be virtual events throughout the day, including live concerts, discussions with musicians and educational talks for children and adults alike. Find the right events for you here and share some of your favourite tunes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok using #JazzDay.

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