"Jazz is so much more than music: it is a lifestyle and a tool for dialogue, even social change. The history of jazz tells of the power of music to bring together artists from different cultures and backgrounds, as a driver of integration and mutual respect."
Irina Bokova, Director General
Message on the occasion of the International Jazz Day
30 April 2014
Why International Jazz Day?
- Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance;
- Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression;
- Jazz is a symbol of unity and peace;
- Jazz reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities;
- Jazz fosters gender equality;
- Jazz reinforces the role youth play for social change;
- Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones;
- Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies.
In November 2011, the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 30 April as "International Jazz Day". The Day is intended to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people. Many governments, civil society organizations, educational institutions, and private citizens currently engaged in the promotion of jazz music will embrace the opportunity to foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.
This year on International Jazz Day
The 2014 International Jazz Day celebration will kick off in Osaka, Japan on April 30th with a
daylong series of jazz education programs, performances, and community outreach.
Given its legendary history as Japan’s “jazz mecca” in the early to mid 1920s, Osaka is an ideal
choice to serve as the International Jazz Day Global Host City. Osaka’s major early figures in
jazz include composer Hattori Ryōichi and trumpeter Nanri Fumio, nicknamed the “Satchmo of
Japan” by Louis Armstrong. Today, the city continues to play an important role in the ongoing
development of jazz in Japan.