KUVO Jazz has captured and broadcast portions of International Jazz Day, and each hour this Thursday, April 30, we will be sharing from more than 50 curated highlights of those concerts. Imagine Chucho Valdes’ “Con Poco Poco” featuring the master himself on piano with Paquito D’Rivera at reeds and Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain. Zawinul and Hendricks “Birdland” performed by Manhattan Transfer and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra.  The Taiko Masters and an Aboriginal didgeridoo, all in a jazz context. It totally works, as you will hear.

Due to the CoronaVirus global pandemic, the 9th Annual All-Star Global Concert was to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, has been redesigned as a virtual event beginning at 1 pm MDT. Hosted live by Herbie Hancock, the livestreamed “Global Concert” will feature performances by Marcus Miller, Lang Lang, Charlie Puth, Cécile McLorin Salvant, John McLaughlin, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sibongile Khumalo, Alune Wade, John Beasley, Ben Williams, Lizz Wright, John Scofield, Igor Butman, Evgeny Pobozhiy, Youn Sun Nah, A Bu, Jane Monheit, and Joey DeFrancesco, among others.  (KUVO Jazz will carry portions of the livestream as appropriate.)

Before the “concert” stream begins, artist-led events will be live-streamed in a variety of languages from around the world.  Chinese piano phenom A Bu will hold a masterclass at 4:00 a.m. MDT/6:00 a.m. ET.  Panamanian cultural leader Danilo Perez will hold a masterclass in Spanish at 9:00 a.m. MDT/11:00 a.m. EDT. NEA Jazz Master vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater holds a children’s activity in French at 10:00 a.m. MDT/12:00 p.m. EDT.

Hancock’s boundless energy shines through when he talks about the potential of International Jazz Day, even when scaled back due to the CoronaVirus. Hancock said in a press release: “Armed with optimism, patience and grace, we’ll work through these challenges as families, communities, countries and as a stronger united world. Now more than ever before, let’s band together and spread the ethics of Jazz Day’s global movement around the planet and use this as a golden opportunity for humankind to reconnect, especially in the midst of all this isolation and uncertainty.”

UNESCO’s celebration of International Jazz Day every April 30th has reminded the world about the longevity and integrity of this music we call jazz. Leave it to music icon Herbie Hancock to dream and work and agitate and advocate his dream into reality. Hancock was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011, and he straightaway founded International Jazz Day humbly on an early morning stage at Congo Square in New Orleans in 2012. Since then, every April 30th has marked International Jazz Day on a different continent: Istanbul, Osaka, Paris, Washington, D.C., Havana, St. Petersburg, Melbourne.


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