International Jazz Day 2020 Goes Online

International Jazz Day 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s annual International Jazz Day global celebration and the event’s flagship Global Concert, initially scheduled to take place in Cape Town, South Africa, will take place on line. This will also be the case with the many other events planned around the world for 30 April.

Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue, will host the Global Concert, which will feature artists from across the globe, on 30 April starting at 19:00 UTC. It will be streamed live here.

Artists scheduled to perform at the concert include John McLaughlin, Jane Monheit, Alune Wade, John Beasley, Ben Williams, Lizz Wright, John Scofield, Igor Butman, Evgeny Pobozhiy, Youn Sun Nah, A Bu, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Joey DeFrancesco, among others.

“Music gives joy, it responds to situations that affect the entire world,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “Jazz is the music of freedom, human rights and liberation. As we face the Covid-19 pandemic on this ninth International Jazz Day, we turn to jazz more than ever before to get closer to one another.”

Also on 30 April and leading up to the Global Concert, there will be a free series of educational masterclasses, children’s activities and discussions via web conference featuring renowned educators and jazz artists, streamed live.

Schedule of Free Masterclasses, Children’s Activities and Panel Discussions:

Language Format Artist UTC
Chinese Masterclass A Bu 10:00
Spanish Masterclass Danilo Pérez 15:00
Russian Masterclass Igor Butman 15:30
French Children’s activity Dee Dee Bridgewater 16:00
English Children’s activity Oran Etkin 16:30
Arabic Masterclass Tarek Yamani 17:00
English Panel Nate Chinen, Sibongile Khumalo,
Marcus Miller
English Masterclass Lwanda Gogwana 18:00


The programme will include a panel discussion hosted by Nate Chinen, Director of Editorial Content for New York-based jazz radio station WBGO and chief jazz contributor to National Public Radio Music (USA). The panel will focus on how International Jazz Day, and art in general, can respond to the social isolation precipitated by the current public health crisis. The panel will feature several artists, including UNESCO Artist for Peace, GRAMMY Award-winning bassist and composer Marcus Miller and legendary South African vocalist Sibongile Khumalo. A live virtual audience will be able to submit questions throughout the session.