International Jazz Day: focus on Cuba

Terence Blanchard leading parade to the Jazz Fest grounds on International Jazz Day 2015 [Photo by Leon Morris]

Terence Blanchard leading parade to the Jazz Fest grounds on International Jazz Day 2015 [Photo by Leon Morris]

April 27, 2017 Authored by: Carrie Booher |  International Jazz Day holds a special place in the hearts of people in the birthplace of jazz! This year’s International Jazz Day falls on Day 3 of the 48th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival which takes place each April/May in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. Though the festival has evolved from pure jazz beginnings to include more diverse genres, the vast majority of the 500+ acts onstage this weekend and next can claim Louisiana ties and fall well into the designation of jazz or blues.

International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. On April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change– all principles that have been well-represented at each and every year of Jazz Fest, and that WWOZ maintains on our airwaves everyday.

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