With the help of jazz festival alumnus Herbie Hancock, UNESCO established April 30th as an official day of appreciation to celebrate jazz music and its role in uniting people across the globe. When asked what motivated him to propose the creation of this special day, Hancock commented,
“When I accepted the honour of being a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, I decided to dedicate my time and energy to a culture of peace. I therefore presented a project that would share the values of jazz on a global scale. The project was adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2011 and I hope this new International Day will stimulate interest in jazz, especially among young people.”
International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month and has been celebrated with hundreds of events in countries all over the world since its 2012 inaugural year.