On 30 April, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, participated in the main celebration of the 2018 International Jazz Day in the Global Host City Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.
This year’s celebration of the International Jazz Day included events in over 190 countries around the world and culminated in an extraordinary all-star concert at the historic MariinskyTheatre in Saint Petersburg, which was streamed live worldwide.
“Jazz is more than a music. More than a purely aesthetic emotion. It is a message of freedom and creativity. It carries strong values of dignity, respect and hope. It is constantly reinvented by passionate artists like those present today. For these reasons, jazz is a universal music”, said the Director-General in her address at the Mariinsky theatre. “The role of arts and creation, especially of jazz, which has a tradition of bringing people together, is more important than ever in these challenging times” she added.
Highlighting the International Jazz Day’s growing success worldwide since its proclamation by UNESCO in 2011, she praised the Russian Federation, the city of Saint Petersburg and the great saxophonist Igor Butmanand his Foundation for making this year’s event possible. She also expressed special appreciation to theThelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, UNESCO’s official partner for the International Jazz Day, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and jazz legend, Herbie Hancock.
Prior to the ceremony, the Director-General took part in some of the numerous educational and outreach programmes organized in Saint Petersburg in the framework of the International Jazz Day, including a panel discussion with the organizers of some of the main Jazz Day events from around the world.