Building peace in the minds of men and women

Jazz brings people together to strengthen respect for shared values

Celebrated in Istanbul, International Jazz Day 2013 gathered together stellar artists from around the world to promote the universal messages of peace, freedom and solidarity conveyed by jazz.

"Jazz is a school of diversity, a school of dialogue and tolerance in our increasingly multicultural societies”, the Director-General emphasized on the occasion of International Jazz Day. "Our goal is to give a voice to the message of dialogue and freedom. This is why UNESCO created International Jazz Day", Irina Bokova underlined.

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock opened the celebration at Galatasaray High School, Turkey's oldest secondary educational establishment. "The universal language of passion and benevolence, jazz continues to symbolize and nurture freedom and democracy", he said in his address to a room full of students.

The launch was followed by a ceremony at which the great composer and master saxophonist Wayne Shorter was awarded with the UNESCO medal of cultural diversity in acknowledgement of his outstanding lifetime contribution to the development of jazz.

During the day jazz featured prominently at many side events - round tables, workshops and jam sessions.

The celebrations closed with an evening concert in the Topkapi Palace at the Hagia Irine. Now a museum, the church building is famous for its phenomenal acoustics and impressive atmosphere. The lineup for the concert included jazz stars Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, George Duke, Christian Scott, Marcus Miller and other international performers.

The celebrations in Istanbul built on the global success of the 2012 kickoff event of International Jazz Day, which included concerts at UNESCO headquarters, New Orleans and the U.N. General Assembly Hall in New York, as well as events across the world.