April 30th, 2015 14:47 EST
UN Celebrates 'International Jazz Day'
The top United Nations cultural official said today that artists across the globe have been drawn to the spontaneity and freedom of expression of jazz for over a century, as musicians and music lovers the world over celebrate the third International Jazz Day
They have played on its ability to decompartmentalize genres, and its links with painting, dance, cinema, literature, photography and more, " said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNECO) in a message to mark the International Day today. They have celebrated its power as a participative, interactive music, blurring the boundaries between performers and audiences. "
Ms. Bokova said the history of jazz tells of music`s power to bring together artists from different cultures and backgrounds. She pointed to its role as a driver of integration and mutual respect, noting how its influence on the civil rights movement in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Jazz is so much more than music: it is a lifestyle and a tool for dialogue, even social change, " said Ms. Bokova. Through jazz, millions of people have sung and still sing today their desire for freedom, tolerance and human dignity. "
Ms. Bokova said UNESCO established International Jazz Day to promote those values and she said that the Day would once again be marked with hundreds of events and concerts organized or improvised worldwide.
The main event will take place this year in Japan " in Osaka, a city where jazz draws strength from a tradition that dates back to the 1920s, and which has kept its energy vibrant up to the present day, " she said. With its numerous jazz clubs and its world-renowned annual competition, Osaka is at the heart of the modern jazz movement. "
She added that the city was also chosen because of UNESCO`s wish to highlight the extent to which cultural influences and musical interactions forge links between cultures beyond borders and oceans, and she paid tribute to the support given to the International Day by UNESCO`s Goodwill Ambassador, Herbie Hancock, and to the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz.
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