International Jazz Day 2014- Main Events hosted by Japan in Osaka
Spurred by the success of the first two celebrations, UNESCO, in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (TMIJ) will be organizing the third International Jazz Day on April 30th, 2014. This day is destined to raise awareness in the international community regarding jazz’s virtues as an educational tool, as a vehicle for peace, unity, dialogue, and for enhanced cooperation between peoples.
The year 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of UNESCO Slave Route Project, consecrated to the theme, “Assume the past, understand the present, build the future together.” This constitutes yet another highlight of the event that the United Nations will surely support. Africa, whence jazz draws its origins, will thus be doubly honoured this year.
Osaka is the official host city for 2014. Given its legendary history as "Japan’s jazz Mecca” in the early to mid-1920s, Osaka is an ideal choice to serve as the International Jazz Day Global Host City. The historic commercial and cultural center of Japan, Osaka has played a central role in the development of jazz traditions in Japan. Osaka’s major early figures in jazz include composer Hattori Ryōichi and trumpeter Nanri Fumio, nicknamed the “Satchmo of Japan” by Louis Armstrong. Both were born in Osaka and gained experience playing in the dance halls and cabarets of the city’s Dōtonbori district. Today, Osaka continues to play an important role in the ongoing development of jazz in Japan.
In April 2012, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock and TMIJ spearheaded and organized the historical events which took place around the world where jazz legends gathered together for key events at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York, as well as at the emblematic Congo Square in New Orleans. From Algiers to Buenos Aires, from Kuala Lumpur to Warsaw, from Lomé to Santo Domingo, more than a hundred countries celebrated this day.
After the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011, April 30th was declared International Jazz Day.