Hancock and Valdes will be serving as artistic directors for the 6th International Jazz Day. On Monday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced that Havana will be the global host city for the event, culminating with an all-star concert on April 30 at the recently renovated 19th-century Gran Teatro de La Habana. The concert will be broadcast live on Cuban television and live streamed by UNESCO.
Last year, Washington was the host city with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosting the global concert at the White House.
“Many times we think of Cuba as having great baseball players, which they do, but they have amazing jazz players and we’ve experienced the greatness of Cuban jazz musicians for many, many decades,” Hancock, a UNESCO goodwill ambassador, said in a telephone interview. “I’m hoping that the true creative spirit and artistry of the Cuban musicians will be recognized globally.”