UNESCO Director General's Message

The history of jazz tells of the power of music to bring together artists from different cultures and backgrounds, as a driver of integration and mutual respect. [...] Through jazz, millions of people have sung and still sing today their desire for freedom, tolerance and human dignity. 

Irina Bokova, Director General
Message for International Jazz Day 2014

Main Jazz Day Events hosted by Japan in Osaka

Spurred by the success of the first two celebrations, UNESCO, in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (TMIJ) organized the third International Jazz Day on April 30th, 2014. This day is destined to raise awareness in the international community regarding jazz’s virtues as an educational tool, as a vehicle for peace, unity, dialogue, and for enhanced cooperation between peoples. 

Osaka is the official host city for 2014. Given its legendary history as "Japan’s jazz Mecca” in the early to mid-1920s, Osaka is an ideal choice to serve as the International Jazz Day Global Host City. The historic commercial and cultural center of Japan, Osaka has played a central role in the development of jazz traditions in Japan. Osaka’s major early figures in jazz include composer Hattori Ryōichi and trumpeter Nanri Fumio, nicknamed the “Satchmo of Japan” by Louis Armstrong. Both were born in Osaka and gained experience playing in the dance halls and cabarets of the city’s Dōtonbori district. Today, Osaka continues to play an important role in the ongoing development of jazz in Japan.

The year 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of UNESCO Slave Route Project, consecrated to the theme, “Assume the past, understand the present, build the future together.” This constitutes yet another highlight of the event that the United Nations will surely support. Africa, whence jazz draws its origins, will thus be doubly honoured this year.

In April 2012, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock and TMIJ spearheaded and organized the historical events which took place around the world where  jazz legends gathered together for key events at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York, as well as at the emblematic Congo Square in New Orleans. From Algiers to Buenos Aires, from Kuala Lumpur to Warsaw, from Lomé to Santo Domingo, more than a hundred countries celebrated this day.

After the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011, April 30th was declared International Jazz Day.

Join the celebration

  • Join UNESCO on Facebook and Twitter to exchange with others about jazz’s impact. Make sure to use #JazzDay in your message!

  • Organize a jazz concert in your community with local musicians and students.

  • Teachers, you may choose to center part of your classes around jazz. You could consider discussing jazz music and musicians, videos, concerts, or even documentaries.

  • Encourage your local community to participate by organizing seminars, photo exhibitions or film and video screenings.

  • Talk about jazz! Do some research on the history and legacy of jazz throughout the years, and engage in discussion with your children or your friends about what you have learned.

Main partner

In Osaka

ALL STARS JAZZ EVENING CONCERT IN OSAKA (JAPAN), APRIL 30, 2014 within the lush green Osaka Castle Park, with an audience of 12,000 people.

Artists Interviews

  • Norman Barth

    Norman Barth is a jazz artist from the Marshall Islands.

  • Ngawang Pem

    Ngawang Pem is jazz artist from Bhutan.

  • Esperanza Spalding

    Esperanza Spalding is an American jazz bassist/vocalist/composer, whose work draws on multiple genres and influences.

  • Terumasa Hino

    Born in Japan, Terumasa Hino is a jazz trumpeter with a career spanning over five decades.

  • Herbie Hancock

    The legendary American jazz pianist and composer is the force behind UNESCO’s International Jazz Day.

New! Jazz Day Kit

Free to download and adapt to your needs

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  • Logos

Please consult UNESCO guidelines for the logo use

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  • Zip folder
    • with text 21x29.7 cm: JPG | PDF
    • with text 60x80 cm: JPG | PDF
  • without text 60x80 cm & 21x29.7 cm: JPG | PDF
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  • Banner without logo: JPG (1744x622p.)
  • Banner without logo: JPG (337x84p. – Web)

  • Banner IJD logo: JPG (1744x622p.)
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  • Facebook: JPG (480x480p.)

Global Jazz Day events

List of events by countries:

Memory of the World

Claude Nobs' Legacy: Documentary heritage of 5000 hours of concerts, recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival and recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2013

UNPA honours Jazz Day

The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) issued new postage stamps and a souvenir card to celebrate International Jazz Day on 30 April 2014. The stamps, featuring three mini-sheets of twelve stamps, were designed by Sergio Baradat (United Nations)