International Jazz Day

International Jazz Day Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date30 April 2024
2025 Date30 April 2025

International Jazz Day

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International Jazz Day History

International Jazz Day is dedicated to the celebration of Jazz, a genre that has played a critical role in world history, transcending cultures and geographical boundaries. Promoted by UNESCO, this day raises awareness about the importance of jazz music in promoting freedom, creativity and intercultural dialogue, respecting human rights and promoting diversity. The observance of this day also highlights the historical significance of jazz, its roots in African-American communities and its role in fostering communication and overcoming discrimination.

International Jazz Day has a special significance for people in the United Kingdom, a country with a rich jazz history dating back to the early 20th century. British musicians have made notable contributions to jazz, surging the popularity of the genre within British society and beyond. Jazz music, with its pulse of freedom, has also been instrumental in providing an influential voice against racial discrimination in the United Kingdom. In recognition of this, the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group was established to increase awareness of jazz's significance and contribution to the UK’s cultural wealth.

The annual observance of International Jazz Day in the United Kingdom typically involves jazz-related activities such as concerts, workshops, and masterclasses by established musicians. The celebration culminates in the marquee "Jazz Day Concert" featuring celebrated British and international jazz musicians. International Jazz Day is celebrated on the 30th of April, dedicated to jazz, a music genre embedded in the nation’s cultural fabric.

Facts 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.
  • An English jazz saxophonist and composer, John Dankworth, was appointed chair of the Musicians' Union's jazz advisory committee in the UK in the late 1940s, reflecting the importance of jazz in the UK's musical scene.
  • The 21st Century saw a rise in the popularity of 'punk jazz' and 'jazztronica', bringing variations to the UK Jazz scene. Artists like Shabaka Hutchings, Sons of Kemet, and The Comet is Coming are representative of this new wave of British jazz.

Top things to do in the UK 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.
  • Visit Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. It is one of the most famous jazz clubs in the world and has played host to some of the biggest names in the genre.
  • Visit the National Jazz Archive. It is in Loughton, Essex, and dedicated to preserving the history of jazz in the UK. The archive contains a vast collection of photographs, recordings, publications, and other jazz-related items.

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