The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Republic of Turkey, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz have joined together to celebrate jazz as a universal language of freedom.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue; Herbie Hancock, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu and its Minister of Culture and Tourism Ӧmer Ҫelik recently announced that an unprecedented gathering of musicians from around the world.
They will assemble in Istanbul on 30 April to perform at a major concert in celebration of International Jazz Day that will be streamed live.
New additions to the all-star cast include: bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Ramsey Lewis, vocalists Rubén Blades and Joss Stone, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, tabla master Zakir Hussain, and trombonist Alevtina Polyakova.
These highly acclaimed musicians will join an already stellar group including: pianists Herbie Hancock, John Beasley (who will also serve as the evening’s Musical Director), George Duke, Robert Glasper, Keiko Matsui and Eddie Palmieri; vocalists Al Jarreau, Milton Nascimento and Dianne Reeves; trumpeters Hugh Masekela and İmer Demirer; bassists James Genus, Marcus Miller and Ben Williams; drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Vinnie Colaiuta; guitarists Bilal Karaman, John McLaughlin,
Lee Ritenour and Joe Louis Walker; saxophonists Dale Barlow, Igor Butman, Wayne Shorter and Liu Yuan; clarinetists Anat Cohen and Hüsnü Şenlendirici; violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; Pedrito Martinez on percussion; and other special guests to be announced in the days ahead.
Held every year on 30 April, International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools and groups from across the globe to celebrate jazz, learn about its roots and highlight its important role as a form of communication that transcends differences.
Through the generous support of Garanti Bank and Akbank – the main sponsors of International Jazz Day programming in Istanbul – the all-star evening concert will be held at Istanbul’s famed Hagia Irene. Dating back to the 4th century, the Hagia Irene, located in the outer courtyard of the Topkapi Palace – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is regarded as an international treasure for music lovers because of its brilliant atmosphere and enchanting acoustics.
Tickets are not available for the evening concert, but citizens of Istanbul and around the world will be able to view the concert via live streaming at www.jazzday.com and via the UNESCO, United Nations, U.S. State Department and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz websites. The concert will be taped for future broadcast on public television stations around the world.