UNESCO Director-General's Message

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 for International Jazz Day, 30 April 2015

Main Jazz Day events hosted by Paris, France

Each year, the All-Star Global Concert brings together acclaimed jazz artists from around the world for a performance spanning styles, cultures, and languages. In the spirit of International Jazz Day, the Global All Star Concert takes place in a venue imbued with rich historical significance, representing jazz’s ability to connect disparate traditions and cultural identities. Few locations better embody this concept than the Paris UNESCO Headquarters. Completed in 1958, the building’s distinctive three-pointed star design was the work of 3 architects of different nationalities under the direction of an international committee. The building itself is considered international territory and belongs to the 195 UNESCO member states, making it a perfect symbol of the organization’s role as a shared commitment to the future of peaceful co-existence. Room 1, where the Global Concert webcast will take place, serves as the primary meeting space for the UNESCO General Conference. It is indeed appropriate that on April 30, the very chambers in which UNESCO strives to secure the foundations of peace will bear witness to a new kind of diplomatic enterprise: jazz.

The 2015 All-Star Global Concert will feature a cast of internationally renowned jazz artists including pianists John Beasley (Music Director), A Bu, Antonio Faraò and Herbie Hancock; trumpeters Till Brönner, Ibrahim Maalouf, Hugh Masekela and Claudio Roditi; vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, Rudy Pérez and Dianne Reeves; saxophonists Igor Butman, Ravi Coltrane, Femi Kuti, Guillaume Perret and Wayne Shorter; bassists James Genus and Marcus Miller; guitarist Lee Ritenour; drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and harmonica player Grégoire Maret.