The inaugural International Jazz Day will be celebrated by millions worldwide on Monday, April 30, and will begin with an all-star sunrise concert at 7am in New Orleans’ Congo Square, the birthplace of jazz.
A number of jazz luminaries along with Hancock, including Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Kermit Ruffins, Bill Summers, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Dr. Michael White, and Roland Guerin will play the concert April 30, which coincides with the last day of what has been celebrated as Jazz Appreciation Month in the U.S., and follows the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Hancock plans to perform his classic “Watermelon Man” with high school students. The concert will open with ritual drumming led by Luther Gray and conclude with a traditional second line with Treme Brass Band.
In partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the initiative aims to encourage and recognize jazz music as a universal language of freedom. All-star concerts will be held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris at the official kick-off on April 27, and begin in the United States at sunrise in New Orleans at Congo Square and conclude at sunset in New York City at the United Nations General Assembly Hall.
Stay tuned as we tell you more about the live broadcast of this event by WWOZ!
For more information about International Jazz Day, check out the UNESCO website.