Speaking English

St Petersburg hosts International Jazz Day

Darya Bielecka

If the dearest and most beloved readers of The City Post plan their April 28–29 weekend in St. Petersburg, it may be a good idea to expand days off the office to April 30, which is Monday.

We explain why.

In November 2011, UNESCO officially designated April 30 as the International Jazz Day. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock. Between 2012 and 2017 the event was hosted by Washington D. C., Osaka, Havana, Paris, Istanbul. In 2019 the right to accept landing of the most prominent jazz musicians went to Sydney. But, in 2018 St. Petersburg struggled with 18 other candidate cities, and finally won.

At the moment of this publication, quite a few details of this year festivities were known. From the domestic jazz stars, Igor Butman and Vadim Eilenkrig have already confirmed their participation. IBMG (Igor Butman Music Group) is an official organizer of the event. Consequently, a massive number of American, European and Asian jazz stars are guaranteed due to Igor’s vast connections in the world of jazz. About venues, rumors spread from an improvised stage on Dvortsovaya Ploschad to facilities of Mariinsky Theatre.

The City Post editorial office will definitely keep an eye on the situation and will post newer details on the paper’s site version later. Right now, we offer you the historical overview on the International Jazz Day.

In Cuba, the day culminated with an All-Star Global Concert presented at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, the Cuban Institute of Music and the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO. The concert was streamed online by UNESCO.

Then-time US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the International Jazz Day with All-Star Global Concert at the White House in Washington, D. C. The show aired as a U.S. network television special and was streamed around the world via the United Nations, UNESCO and the U. S. State Department.

In Paris, a spectacular All-Star Global Concert took place at UNESCO headquarters on the Place de Fontenoy. The show featured more than 20 extraordinary artists from 14 countries, including A Bu (China), Antonio Faraò (Italy), Hugh Masekela (South Africa) and Claudio Roditi (Brazil).

In Japan, the evening All-Star Global Concert at the famed outdoor Osaka Castle Park featured stunning performances by Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kenny Garrett, Marcus Miller and Gregory Porter.

In Istanbul, the crowning event of the celebration was the Global Concert in the Hagia Irene, a 4th-century Byzantine Church. The evening featured an extraordinary series of performances from Dale Barlow (Australia), John Beasley, Terence Blanchard, Igor Butman and Esperanza Spalding.

International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month. This preceding month brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics and jazz enthusiasts. Programs take place at schools, arts venues, community centres and jazz clubs.

Please find the full story of the International Jazz Day at https://jazzday.com/about/