International Jazz Day: A Proclamation for the Unity of Peoples


Since 2013, every April 30th, the world commemorates International Jazz Day. The occasion, first designated by UNESCO in 2011 and formally proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly a year later, affirmed this musical genre as a diplomatic representation aimed at raising awareness among the public about the virtues of jazz as a tool for education and to promote peace, unity, cooperation, and dialogue globally.

For the UN, jazz has various potentialities for building more inclusive societies. Among these traits are the promotion of artistic innovation, improvisation, and the integration of traditional musical expressions into contemporary times, as well as the capacity to break down barriers, create opportunities for mutual understanding, and stimulate intercultural dialogue.

«(…) jazz is not just music; it is a way of life, a way of being, and a way of thinking,» expressed renowned performer Nina Simone. The activities developed on this day seek precisely to complement that vision, as demonstrated by the concurrent activities in the 2024 edition, where the headquarters of the celebrations for the day are in the Moroccan city of Tangier.

«This important international art form is an example of promoting peace, dialogue between cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, contributing to the eradication of discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and strengthening the role of youth in societal change,» states the UN declaration on its official website.

Due to its own history and peculiarities, jazz has complemented UNESCO’s initiative in calling for peace and conciliation among nations from its own characteristics, representatives, and manifestations. The disposition of this musical genre as a means to achieve understanding through the universal language of art complements calls for unity made by various entities and promotes initiatives of those interested in its dissemination.

Translated by Luis E. Amador Dominguez



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