As the great Nina Simone said, “Jazz is not just music, it is a way of life, it is a way of being, a way of thinking”. The story of Jazz is written into the quest for human dignity, democracy and civil rights. It has given strength to the struggle against discrimination and racism. UNESCO believes in the power of Jazz as a force for peace, dialogue and mutual understanding and this is why in November 2011, the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 30 April as “International Jazz Day”.
This Day is intended to raise awareness of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for empathy, 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 tenth International Jazz Day is an opportunity to celebrate once again this rich musical tradition. Jazz is a multiple reality, forged through encounters between cultures, instruments and people. For decades, jazz has been vibrating with everything that musicians have put into it, while continuing to invite us to new horizons at the turn of each chord. “
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the International Jazz Day