BY IFIOK EFFIONG
International days are observed as occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.
International Days predates the establishment of the United Nations.
In November 2011, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization,(UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day with the aim of highlighting Jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe
In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly formally welcomed the decision by UNESCO General Conference to proclaim April 30 as International Jazz Day.
The day brings together Communities, Schools, Artists, Historians, Academics and Jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about Jazz and its roots, future and impact.
Also, the day is to raise awareness on the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding and reinforce international cooperation and communication.
On April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.
It has become the world’s largest annual celebration of Jazz.
It is a global movement, engaging people annually on every continent, through education programms, performances community outreach and media coverage.
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 towards building more inclusive societies.
In addition to local celebrations and events worldwide, each year, the Global Host City designated by UNESCO’s Director-General following an application process, organizes a star-Studded televised concert and multiple education and outreach activities.
In 2020; the Day could not take place physically due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, instead, UNESCO and Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz presented a fully virtual celebration of the International Jazz Day, with free online education proramms and a star-studded virtual global Concert dedicated to frontline medical workers and first responders.
This year’s celebration entails a 10-year anniversary All-Star Global Concert featuring World renowned artists and socially distanced performance across the globe, as well as series of educational programmes and community initiatives holding in more than 190 counties.
The virtual education programme of this year’s celebration has made provision for master classes with acclaimed Artists taking the lead.
The 10th edition this year focuses on peace building and structured around several activities: round table and concerts highlighting cultural heritage and traditions.
In all, as the rhythmic and Melodic progression of Jazz touches your heart, let it reduce tensions between individuals, groups and communities; breaking barriers while creating opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance.
Let Jazz be the symbol of Unity and peace.