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International Jazz Day

April 30 has been designated as International Jazz Day by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

April 30 will be celebrated as the International Jazz Day.

©iStockphoto.com/Mark Hatfield

International Jazz Day celebrates the historical, cultural, and educational contribution of this popular genre of music. The day aims to spread international awareness about this unique musical style; and to promote the cultural, and social values that Jazz stands for.

Background

Jazz is a uniquely American musical style that emerged out of the slave experience, primarily in southern United States. It is deeply rooted in the rich musical, and cultural traditions of Africa, and is heavily influenced by European music. New Orleans is generally considered to be the birthplace of this popular musical form, which is now seen as a voice of freedom and empowerment, and a statement against injustice, and oppression all around the world.

Today, Jazz has spread all over the globe, and is constantly evolving, being influenced by, and influencing other musical forms and genres.

The initiative to create an International Day of Jazz came from American Jazz pianist, composer, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogues, Herbie Hancock. The purpose of the initiative was to focus global attention to the role that Jazz has played in breaking down race and gender barriers around the world; and in promoting cooperation; mutual understanding, and communication; peace and freedom.

Celebrations

Several activities mark the celebration of International Jazz Day, including Jazz concerts and performances, film screenings, and conference and panel discussions.

International Jazz Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015ThuApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2016SatApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2017SunApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2018MonApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2019TueApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2020ThuApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2021FriApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2022SatApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2023SunApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2024TueApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance
2025WedApr 30International Jazz DayUnited Nations observance

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