Today, the heart of jazz will be beating in Istanbul as the city hosts the 2nd International Jazz Day with jazz lovers worldwide.
April 30 was officially designated as “International Jazz Day” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially in 2011, in recognition of the role played by Jazz music in uniting people from all over the world. Legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock serves as co-chair of the International Jazz Day in his capacity as UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, which has played the lead role in coordinating the events worldwide.
International Jazz Day will be celebrated in Istanbul with a series of official celebrations, concerts, exhibitions and educational programs throughout the city, culminating in an evening concert at the St. Irene (Aya Irini) in the courtyard of the Topkapi Palace which will be broadcast live . The day will be marked with a day-long festival in Paris, a sunrise concert at Congo Square in New Orleans, and a sunset concert at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City.
In the US House of Representatives, Congressman John Conyers introduced HRes.179 recognizing International Jazz Day, highlighting the role that the United States played in the origins of jazz and as the United States “greatest musical contribution to the world.” The Resolution also pays tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, the Turkish American founder of Atlantic Records, and his brother Nesuhi. The sons of Turkey’s second Ambassador to the United States, Ahmet and Nesuhi organized the first-ever racially integrated jazz concerts at the Turkish Embassy when Washington, DC was still segregated. The Resolution recognizes “the historic connection between Turkey and jazz music through the contributions of the Ertegun brothers” and congratulates the Republic of Turkey and the city of Istanbul for hosting the 2013 International Jazz Day. A congressional delegation from the US House of Representatives is also visiting Turkey for the occasion, accompanied by G.Lincoln McCurdy, TCA President.