A CUBAN FEAST ON JAZZ INTERNATIONAL DAY 2017
The celebration of Jazz International Day, proclaimed in November, 2011 by the UN General Conference for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) on April 30 every year, becomes a feast of universal character. The one for 2017 took place in Havana, a city that has enjoyed a thriving jazz scene for many years.
Thus, the Cuban capital, on that day, joined various places, that in more than 190 countries from all continents, paid a deserved homage to what is considered the first sound language of the past 20th century, with thousands of performances and radio or TV programs. These celebrations at world level culminated with a concert at Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, under the auspices of the Cuban Ministry of Culture and the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO. During the concert, broadcasted live via streaming, an extraordinary cast of artists paid homage to jazz as an artistic form that transcends the limits established by national frontiers.
American pianist Herbie Hancock, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO for the intercultural dialogue and one of the two artistic directors of this great concert on April 30—the other was our Chucho Valdés—, commenting on the designation of Cuba for this feast, expressed: «Afrocuban jazz and its rich history have played a fundamental role in the evolution and enrichment of jazz as a genre in general. The incomparable trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie and dear Cuban musicians Mario Bauzá, Machito and Chano Pozo instilled Afrocuban rhythms in American jazz and created a completely new vibrant sound that defines modern music. That is why we are so pleased that Havana is the host city for the International Jazz Day, 2017 at world level. On behalf of the whole family of jazz musicians, of all those who teach jazz and who enjoy it, I would like to thank Havana citizens and from Cuba for their enormous support to this genuinely global musical artistic style».