"In times of change and uncertainty, we need the spirit of jazz more than ever before, to bring people – especially young women and men – together, to nurture freedom and dialogue, to create new bridges of respect and understanding, for greater tolerance and cooperation."
Irina Bokova, Director General
Message on the occasion of the International Jazz Day
30 April 2015
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 2015 International Jazz Day celebration will take place Paris, France, which has been designated the 2015 Global Host City.
France is often recognized as the second birthplace of jazz after the United States, and since World War I, Paris has been one of the main centers for the creation and diffusion of jazz worldwide. Thanks to the energy of knowledgeable jazz fans and supporters, the music has not only been listened to and followed, but also analyzed and preserved for its artistic value. The presence of American musicians influenced the development of multiple generations of French jazz musicians, who in turn enriched the genre with their own contributions.