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International Jazz Day 2020 to Take Place Virtually; Global Concert Hosted by Herbie Hancock to Feature Performances by Artists Across the Globe

Top jazz artists will lead interactive educational sessions in six languages

Video submissions from around the world to be featured on jazzday.com

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 9th annual International Jazz Day worldwide celebration will transition to a virtual format for 2020 instead of taking place as previously planned in Cape Town, South Africa and other locations around the world on April 30th.

International Jazz Day 2020 will take place online and be hosted by Herbie Hancock. The day’s centerpiece will be a virtual Global Concert featuring artists from across the globe, streamed live on jazzday.com. The concert will begin at 15h00 US eastern time (19:00 UTC) and will feature performances by Marcus Miller, Lang Lang, Charlie Puth, Cécile McLorin Salvant, John McLaughlin, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sibongile Khumalo, Alune Wade, John Beasley, Ben Williams, Lizz Wright, John Scofield, Igor Butman, Evgeny Pobozhiy, Youn Sun Nah, A Bu, Jane Monheit, and Joey DeFrancesco, among others.

Leading up to the virtual Global Concert, there will be a free series of educational masterclasses, children’s activities and discussions via web conference featuring renowned educators and jazz artists, streamed live via jazzday.com.

Schedule of Free Masterclasses, Children’s Activities and Panel Discussions:

Language Format Artist US ET
Chinese Masterclass A Bu 06h00
Spanish Masterclass Danilo Pérez 11h00
Russian Masterclass Igor Butman 11h30
French Children’s activity Dee Dee Bridgewater 12h00
English Children’s activity Oran Etkin 12h30
Arabic Masterclass Tarek Yamani 13h00
English Panel Nate Chinen, Sibongile Khumalo,
Marcus Miller
13h30
English Masterclass Lwanda Gogwana 14h00

The program will also include a panel hosted by Nate Chinen, Director of Editorial Content for WBGO and chief jazz contributor to NPR Music, addressing how International Jazz Day, and art in general, can be a relevant response to the social isolation precipitated by the current public health crisis. The panel will feature artist participants including GRAMMY Award-winning bassist and composer Marcus Miller and legendary South African vocalist Sibongile Khumalo. A live audience will be able to submit questions throughout the session. NPR will co-host a live stream of the virtual International Jazz Day activities.

International Jazz Day would not be possible without the thousands of independent organizers around the world who faithfully help bring the message of this unique music into their communities each year on April 30.

UNESCO and the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz have issued a call for these organizers, artists and fans around the world to create video messages, audio recordings and other expressions of participation to show solidarity with everyone affected by the pandemic. Submissions will be featured as part of the daylong virtual celebrations on jazzday.com. Submission criteria are available at jazzday.com/participate.

Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Co-Chair of International Jazz Day, said, “These are unprecedented times for world citizens and we are most grateful for the support, understanding and partnership of our Jazz Day community. Armed with optimism, patience and grace, we’ll work through these challenges as families, communities, countries and as a stronger united world. Now more than ever before, let’s band together and spread the ethics of Jazz Day’s global movement around the planet and use this as a golden opportunity for humankind to reconnect, especially in the midst of all this isolation and uncertainty.”

Our deep gratitude and appreciation go to the South African Department of Sports, Arts and Culture; South African Tourism; South African National Commission for UNESCO; City of Cape Town, SPIN Foundation; many local partners and community leaders in South Africa; and the worldwide International Jazz Day community for their efforts in support of International Jazz Day 2020.

Established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30th to celebrate jazz and highlight the music’s important role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity. International Jazz Day has become a global movement reaching more than two billion people annually on all seven continents, including Antarctica, through education programs, performances, community outreach, radio, television and streaming, along with electronic, print and social media. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s official partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

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