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Monday 1 April 2024

Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling & More to Celebrate 2024 International Jazz Day

Legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock will lead a U.S. contingent of fellow jazz stars — including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Marcus Miller and Shemekia Copeland — heading to Tangier, Morocco, to celebrate International Jazz Day 2024 (April 30). This marks the first time the event will take place on the African continent.

In a release announcing the annual celebration’s programming and performer lineup, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay stated, “The designation of Tangier marks the first time a city on the African continent will host International Jazz Day, the world’s largest and most significant celebration of jazz.”

Presented in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Morocco and the city of Tangier, the four-day celebration (April 27-30) will follow tradition and culminate with the All-Star Global Concert. The concert will be led by Hancock, who’s also UNESCO’s goodwill ambassador, and music director John Beasley. 

Taking place at the new Palace of Arts and Culture, the All-Star Global Concert will feature the aforementioned U.S. artists joining a lineup that includes Claudia Acuña (Chile), Ambrose Akinmusire (USA), Richard Bona (Cameroon), Moreira Chonguiça (Mozambique), Antonio Faraò (Italy), Melody Gardot and Jazzmeia Horn (both USA), JK Kim (Republic of Korea), Magnus Lindgren (Sweden), Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Yasushi Nakamura (Japan) and Tarek Yamani (Lebanon), among others. The concert will be broadcast via YouTube, Facebook, the United Nations and UNESCO to viewers in more than 190 countries.

A series of educational programs, highlighted by a presentation spotlighting the significance of Morocco’s Gnawa music and its connection with jazz, will round out the earlier portion of the four-day event preceding the global concert. Tangier’s rich jazz legacy includes such notables as jazz master Randy Weston, who lived in Tangier for many years and collaborated with Gnawa master Abdellah El Gourd to explore the roots of jazz and African music. Weston also subsequently founded the African Jazz Festival in the ‘70s. Josephine Baker, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Mann and Archie Shepp are also among the renowned jazz artists who performed and also spent time in Tangier.

International Jazz Day was established by the general conference of UNESCO in 2011. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is the lead nonprofit organization that plans, promotes and produces the annual observance each year. To learn more about International Jazz Day and register for events, visit the official website.



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