International Jazz Day

International Jazz Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateApril 30, 2024
2025 DateApril 30, 2025

International Jazz Day

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International Jazz Day History

International Jazz Day aims to celebrate and recognize the historical and cultural significance of jazz music. It’s a day to promote dialogue and foster mutual respect among cultures and societies through the universal language of jazz. This celebration highlights the role of jazz in promoting peace, freedom, and unity, both within countries and across borders. Special concerts, masterclasses, and roundtable discussions are among the diverse range of activities organized in honor of this day.

International Jazz Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011, recognizing the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. For Americans, Jazz is not just a musical genre but a part of the national identity and cultural heritage, having its roots in the African-American communities of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Over the years, Jazz evolved by incorporating numerous styles leading it to become a significant influencer in the broader realm of American music. This day is especially noteworthy since America is home to several great jazz musicians who have made significant contributions to the art form.

Each year, communities, schools, and organizations across America celebrate International Jazz Day through various art and cultural activities. These can range from jazz performances, film screenings, lectures, educational workshops, to networking events. For instance, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City is one such place that attracts enthusiasts from across the country to participate and engage in diverse jazz activities on this day. International Jazz Day takes place every year on April 30, allowing jazz enthusiasts and musicians in America and around the world to unite in celebrating the artistry and historical importance of this music genre.

Facts & quotes about International Jazz Day

  • Each year a host city is chosen to celebrate International Jazz Day. In 2022, Cape Town, South Africa was chosen.
  • International Jazz Day in 2021 was supposed to be hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. Instead, it was hosted virtually online due to restrictions from Covid-19.
  • Nobody knows for sure where the word jazz originated. It is widely believed to come from the slang word jasm, though this is not confirmed.
  • There are an estimated 33,000 jazz musicians in New York, which is considered a jazz music hub. Duke Ellington was one of these famous jazz musicians.
  • If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know - Louis Armstrong, influential early jazz musician
  • As far as playing jazz, no other art form, other than conversation, can give the satisfaction of spontaneous interaction - Stan Getz, American Jazz Saxophonist

Top things to do in the US for International Jazz Day

  • Attend the international Jazz Day Global Concert in Washington DC. The concert features internationally renowned jazz musicians. It is also broadcasted across the US on ABC and streamed around the world by the UN and UNESCO.
  • Watch a movie about jazz and music. Some suggestions are: Whiplash (2014), Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1959), Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and The Jazz Singer (1927).
  • Donate to the Jazz Foundation of America. All funds donated are used to help preserve the interest of an art congress recently designated a rare and valuable national treasure.
  • Visit one of many jazz museums or jazz concert halls in the US. There are many museums in the US located throughout the southern states up to New York.

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