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Jazzy Africa joins world to celebrate International Jazz Day

Jazzy Africa joins world to celebrate International Jazz Day


Africa is arguably the origin of the rhythm and feel of Jazz music which was born in New Orleans in the United States 100 years ago.

The popular genre captivated the world leading to the designation of April 30 as the International Jazz Day by the United Nations in 2011 to unite the world to celebrate and learn more about the art of jazz and how it has become part of culture.

Out of the 195 countries worldwide holding events to celebrate International Jazz Day, 31 are in Africa and they are hosting concerts and performances.

The countries include – Algeria, Botswana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Each year, a city hosts an All-Star Global Jazz Concert and Havana (Cuba) was selected this year to reflect the city’s profound ties to jazz, UNESCO said in a statement.

“Hometown of renowned bandleaders, Mario Bauzá and Frank ‘Machito’ Grillo, the city and, more broadly, Cuba’s thriving musical culture gave birth to the Afro-Cuban jazz movement, inspired by a great mix of cultures and peoples across the region,” it added.

The All-Star Global Concert featuring more than 50 world-renowned artists will be hosted by American actor, producer, rapper, and songwriter Will Smith.

For the first time, the host city held a weeklong celebration with workshops, master classes, film screenings, performances and concerts ahead of the Global Concert.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova said the celebration will “deepen respect for human rights and all forms of expression”.

Paris (France) hosted the global event in 2012 followed by Istanbul (Turkey) in 2013, Osaka (Japan) in 2014, Paris (France) in 2015, Washington D.C. (USA) in 2016.