April 26, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.
UNESCO -- the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -- has named April 30 as International Jazz Day. And festivities begin on Friday, April 27, in Paris. For more information, visit the UNESCO web page.
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock spoke with Alex Dutilh of France Musique yesterday about the pianist's involvement in International Jazz Day, as well as changes in jazz worldwide since Herbie started to play the music as a teenager in the mid 1950s. Herbie says,
. . . my experience [then] was that for the most part, the best jazz musicians were Americans. I can’t say that these days. I can’t say that today because, in my experience traveling around the world and hearing jazz musicians from different countries and seeing also jazz musicians that have moved to the United States and gotten experience working with great world class musicians in America and taken that back to their home countries, it’s expanded the professional level of jazz musicianship. Exponentially. So now it truly is an international music.
At sunrise on Monday, April 30, there will be a worldwide hookup of young players in New Orleans, Rio, Cape Town and Paris on a synchronized live version of Herbie's "Watermelon Man!"
Check out the April 30 events at UN headquarters in New York here.
And Monday night at 6:30, we'll broadcast the New Orleans concert as a special. Listen to WBGO and wbgo.org for more info.
© 2012 WBGO