Celebrating International Jazz Day

11 years celebrating jazz music and calling for world peace and unity through jazz

In 2011, UNESCO proclaimed 30 April as "International Jazz Day". UNESCO's aim was to give voice to the message of dialogue and freedom, so the day was created in recognition that jazz brings people together to reinforce respect for the shared values, universal messages of peace, freedom and solidarity that jazz conveys.

International Jazz Day was launched by UNESCO to raise awareness of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, as a vehicle for peace, unity, dialogue and to enhance cooperation between peoples. Born in the United States and rooted in African traditions, jazz has taken new forms in cultures around the world. Jazz harnesses the world's diversity, effortlessly crossing borders and bringing people and cultures closer together. Harnessing cultural diversity is a task we all share. Let us not forget that jazz resonates joyfully as a force for peace, speaking to the heart.

Let's celebrate 11 years of International Jazz Day together by immersing ourselves in the most relevant stories of this decade!



UNESCO celebrates jazz women in Africa with a concert on 30 April, which will be streamed online.

On the occasion of this 11th edition of International Jazz Day, UNESCO is partnering with Anya Music (Morocco) to produce the second edition of the JazzWomenAfrica concert. In partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the concert will be distributed by its members and will be promoted through its sister broadcasting unions in Africa and other regions of the world.

Excerpts of JazzWomenAfrica will be broadcast on 30 April 2022 during the All-Star Global Concert produced by the Herbie Hancock Institute for Jazz.

group of 7 women musicians from Africa performing together


2022 All-Star Global Concert

Behind the scenes

International Jazz Day 2022
2022 All-Star Global Concert
International Jazz Day 2022
2022 All-Star Global Concert
International Jazz Day 2022
2022 All-Star Global Concert
International Jazz Day 2022
2022 All-Star Global Concert
International Jazz Day 2022



The tenth anniversary of International Jazz Day was celebrated in 2021. That year's celebrations focused on the history of Namibian jazz. 

To highlight the history of Namibian jazz, the film "Skymaster - Township Jazz from the Old Location" was screened. In addition, the International Jazz Day concert featured The Ugly Creatures, one of Namibia's oldest jazz bands, which celebrated its fifth anniversary that year.


The global concert in Melbourne, Australia, featured more than 30 world-renowned artists, including Herbie Hancock, James Morrison, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Kurt Elling.

International Jazz Day 2019 _ Sydney Australia


The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, participated in the main celebration of the 2018 International Jazz Day in the Global Host City Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.

International Jazz Day - concert 2018 Russia


to attend International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert in Saint Petersburg


UNESCO's former Director-General Irina Bokova opened the International Jazz Day celebrations in Havana.

The 6th edition of the International Jazz day, organised in close cooperation with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, brought together renowned artists representing 14 countries - Herbie Hancock, Chucho Valdes, Marcus Miller, to mention but a few, and was moderated by movie star Will Smith.

International Jazz Day - concert in Havana Cuba 2017
While classical music is like a photograph of a clear mountain stream, Jazz is the stream.
Keith Jarett American Jazz musician


Washington, D.C. was the host city for the International Jazz Day 2016. 

The White House (United States) hosted the 5th anniversary of International Jazz Day with the "2016 All-Star Global Concert" on 29 April, 2016, featuring internationally renowned jazz artists. 

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock participated in the concert accompanying Sting and leading a memorial tribute to Prince. The concert was streamed across the United States, as well as by the United Nations and UNESCO.

International Jazz Day 2016 - Washington, D.C.


UNESCO's former Director-General recalled that UNESCO created International Jazz Day in 2011 to honor one of the most ground-breaking cultural expressions of the 20th century.

 Jazz crosses all borders and links all generations.
Irina Bokova UNESCO's former Director-General, 2015

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

United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA)_postage stamps_International Jazz Day 2014


Marcus Miller was designated UNESCO Artist for Peace on 4 July 2013 in recognition of his commitment to raise international awareness about the ability of jazz to serve as a tool for peace, dialogue and cooperation between people. 

Jazzman Marcus Miller named UNESCO Artist for Peace


In 2011 UNESCO proclaimed 30 April as “International Jazz Day”.