30 April 2012

Yeh, it’s our day…

I didn’t know of our day until I got a delayed phone message about International Jazz Day. I’ve since heard Brian Browne and James Morrision as guests on ABC Radio National. BB was reading jazz poetry with sax accompaniment and JM was doing his solo big band thing. Both were somewhat flabbergasting to the host but I liked how they showed diverse sides of jazz after the excellent but predicatable snippets of Louis and Ellington. I’ve since looked at the UNESCO site and I hope they don’t mind me passing on some of their content. If we have to have all these commemorative days and memorial weeks and consecrated years, then I guess jazz should have its own. Happy IJD, everyone!

From UNESCO’s International Jazz Day website

In November 2011, during the UNESCO General Conference, the international community proclaimed 30 April as "International Jazz Day". The Day is intended to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people. Many governments, civil society organizations, educational institutions, and private citizens currently engaged in the promotion of jazz music will embrace the opportunity to foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.

Why International Jazz Day?

  • Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance
  • Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression
  • Jazz is a symbol of unity and peace
  • Jazz reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities
  • Jazz fosters gender equality
  • Jazz reinforces the role youth play for social change
  • Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones
  • Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies
Well I’ll be. UNESCO says it so it must be true although I’m not too sure about point 4. Megan can get pretty restive when I play some of my more challenging recordings. But I jest.

  • Quote from UNESCO’s International Jazz Day website, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/jazz-day/, viewed 30 April 2012
  • http://jazzday.com/
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