International Jazz Day 2021 for culture of peace, a celebration across central Africa

UNESCO is pleased to announce that the 10th Edition International Jazz Day will be celebrated all over Africa on 30 April 2021. The International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities around the world each year to celebrate jazz and the role that this genre of music plays in fostering dialogue, fighting discrimination, and promoting human dignity. This year’s celebrations come at a time when the African Union has officially adopted the following slogan; «Arts, culture, and heritage: a lever for building the Africa we want,» as its 2021 theme.

In a context marked by the COVID-19 crisis, and its impact on cultural and artistic expressions, the Central Africa region will join the celebrations with artistic, intellectual, and educational activities while also giving the floor to recognized African artists and intellectuals. The International Jazz Day offers an opportunity to continue the conversation on the culture of peace and to build resilience among artists who have been particularly impacted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Tchad will be organizing a series of activities on this day including among other things Jazz concerts and an online round table on the shared values of jazz for a culture of peace and Congolese rumba.

This day’s concerts around Central Africa will bring together some of the most famous jazz artists in the world like Chico Pinheiro (Brazil), Luís Guerreiro (Portugal), Catarina dos Santos (Portugal), Derek Nakamoto (United States), Sam Mangwana (DRC), Greg Belobo (CMR) and, many others.

Jazz music is bringing people together and helping to keep hope alive as the great Manu Dibango said in an interview he gave to UNESCO in 1991, “music is the most spontaneous, natural form of contact between one person and another”. Jazz is much more than music – it’s a universal message of peace, a symbol of unity, diversity, and intercultural exchanges

The International Jazz Day was created by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2011 as the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly.

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