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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

International Jazz Day 2013

Media Note
Washington, DC
April 29, 2013


April 30, 2013 marks the second annual International Jazz Day. This year’s commemoration will feature a daylong series of jazz events and a major evening performance in Istanbul, Turkey, this year’s host city. Activities will feature jazz greats including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, George Duke, Abdullah Ibrahim, Keiko Matsui, Al Jarreau, Milton Nascimento, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, and Jimmy Heath.

International Jazz Day, a U.S. initiative, was established in 2011 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which noted the art form’s American origins, and described jazz as a "universal music of freedom and creativity." Jazz has long been an important component of U.S. cultural outreach and interaction with foreign audiences. Department of State jazz programs over the last sixty years have featured such legends as Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others. Jazz remains an international language, and promotes dialogue among cultures, freedom of expression, diversity, and the crucial role of youth in fostering social change.

Plans are in place for this concert to be streamed live to millions around the world on April 30 at 9:00 p.m. Istanbul time (7:00 p.m. UTC/ 2:00 p.m. EDT). Viewers can learn more about the program and join the live webcast from: Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #jazzday.

For more information about International Jazz Day, please visit UNESCO’s Jazz Day webpage or

For press inquiries, contact Megan Mattson at 202-647-6393 or

PRN: 2013/0475

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