The very first International Jazz Day was celebrated on April 30 in New Orleans, New York and Paris. UNESCO founded the International Jazz Day to raise awareness of jazz as a force for peace, unity, dialogue and co-operation between peoples.
Herbie Hancock hosted the event in Los Angeles and said that jazz had always been international because it has always been felt by people all over the world.
Morgan Freeman hosted the New York event and observed: “Tonight we shine the light on jazz musicians, singers and composers from all corners of the globe. To help us celebrate in grand style we have assembled a phenomenal group of over three dozen artists.”
The events featured many of the finest Jazz musicians in the world. They included Herbie Hancock, John Beasley, Tony Bennett, George Benson, Terence Blanchard, Richard Bona, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Gerald Clayton, Vinnie Colaiuta, Robert Cray, Eli Degibri, Jack DeJohnette, George Duke, Sheila E, Roland Guerin, Antonio Hart, Jimmy Heath, Barbara Hendricks, Hiromi, Zakir Hussain, Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo, Biréli Lagrène, Lang Lang, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Romero Lubambo, Ibrahim Maalouf, Shankar Mahadevan, Tania Maria, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, China Moses, Danilo Perez, Dianne Reeves, Kermit Ruffins, Bobby Sanabria, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Bill Summers, Susan Tedeschi, Treme Brass Band, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Dr. Michael White, Ben Williams, Tarek Yamani and many more.
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