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.
- Proclamation of International Jazz Day – UNESCO General conference, Paris, 2011 – UNESCO Executive Board, Paris, 2011
Join the celebration
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.
Norman Barth is a jazz artist from the Marshall Islands.
Ngawang Pem is jazz artist from Bhutan.
Esperanza Spalding is an American jazz bassist/vocalist/composer, whose work draws on multiple genres and influences.
Born in Japan, Terumasa Hino is a jazz trumpeter with a career spanning over five decades.
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
- Zip folder
- with text 21x29.7 cm: JPG | PDF
- with text 60x80 cm: JPG | PDF
- without text 60x80 cm & 21x29.7 cm: JPG | PDF
- Zip folder
- Banner without logo: JPG (1744x622p.)
- Homepage: JPG (467x280p.)
- Facebook: JPG (480x480p.)
Global Jazz Day events
- UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock announce third annual International Jazz Day on April 30, featuring an all-star concert in Osaka, the 2014 Global Host City
- Spring of jazz in Osaka
- Voices of Jazz and Human Rights
- Everybody on stage for International Jazz Day!
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)