International Jazz Fest To Be Held In Istanbul

Turkish capital Istanbul will be the global host of the second International Jazz Day. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Government of Turkey made the announcement yesterday.

In making the announcement, UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova said, “I am delighted to announce that Istanbul will serve as the host city for the 2013 International Jazz Day celebration on 30 April. A meeting place of global cultures, Istanbul is an ideal location to highlight the extensive influence of jazz.”

Jazz is deeply rooted in African traditions and draws from European musical forms having evolved around the globe into various styles. The art form was developed in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz partnered with UNESCO Member States on the initiative of UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and they adopted International Jazz Day. The day seeks to bring to light to the international community the virtues of jazz as an educational tool and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people.

This year’s celebration in Istanbul will be in the form of a concert, while other celebrations and educational activities will take place around the globe. Mr. Hancock said, “On International Jazz Day, jazz is celebrated, studied, and performed around the world for 24 hours straight. Collaborations abound among jazz icons, scholars, composers, musicians, dancers, writers, and thinkers who embrace the beauty, spirit, and principles of jazz, freely sharing experiences and performances in our big cities and in our small towns, all across our seven continents.”

Last year’s celebration reportedly reached more than one billion people. The organizers are hoping to surpass that figure for 2013.

Photo: UNESCO/Francis Barrier

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