Wednesday, October 18, 2017

UNESCO sets the stage for International Jazz Day in 2018, 2019

Sometimes you know, sometimes you don't - until the last minute. That's been the case with International Jazz Day celebrations. But apparently it's no longer going to be kept close to the vest.

Since the global program was created in 2011, major events were held in Paris, New Orleans and UN headquarters in New York City in 2012. Global Host Cities for the all-star concert and major celebrations included Istanbul in 2013, Osaka in 2014 and Paris in 2015, with at least a few months' advance notice.

As the 2015 Paris all-star concert concluded,  jazz pianist UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock announced from the stage that 2016's concert would be held at the White House, with Washington DC serving as the Global Host City.

In contrast, this year's locale wasn't revealed until three weeks before the April 30 concert took place - in Havana, Cuba.

UNESCO is giving lots of lead time for at least the next two years - and apparently will do so well into the future. It announced this week that St. Petersburg, Russia, will be the Global Host City in 2018. Sydney, Australia, is on tap for 2019. Both were selected by an advisory committee at the culmination of a new nominating process.

International Jazz Day was created to recognize the power if jazz to promote peace, intercultural dialogue and international cooperation. It has grown to include broadcast, concert, community and educational events in more than 190 countries. The International Space Station has also gotten involved.

The high-profile program is co-produced by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

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