New Artists Announced for Second Annual International Jazz Day All-Star Concert, April 30th

Istanbul, Turkey – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Republic of Turkey, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz have joined together to celebrate jazz as a universal language of freedom.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Herbie Hancock, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu and its Minister of Culture and Tourism Ӧmer Ҫelik recently announced that an unprecedented gathering of musicians from around the world will assemble in Istanbul on 30April to perform at a major concert in celebration of International Jazz Day that will be streamed live.

New additions to the all-star cast include: bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Ramsey Lewis, vocalists Rubén Blades and Joss Stone, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, tabla master Zakir Hussain, and trombonist Alevtina Polyakova.

These highly acclaimed musicians will join an already stellar group including: pianists Herbie Hancock, John Beasley (who will also serve as the evening’s Musical Director), George Duke, Robert Glasper, Keiko Matsui and Eddie Palmieri; vocalists Al Jarreau, Milton Nascimento and Dianne Reeves; trumpeters Hugh Masekela and Imer Demirer; bassists James Genus, Marcus Miller and Ben Williams; drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Vinnie Colaiuta; guitarists Bilal Karaman, John McLaughlin, Lee Ritenour and Joe Louis Walker; saxophonists Dale Barlow, Igor Butman, Wayne Shorter and Liu Yuan; clarinetists Anat Cohen and Husnu Senlendirici; violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; Pedrito Martinez on percussion; and other special guests to be announced in the days ahead.

Held every year on 30 April, International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools and groups from across the globe to celebrate jazz, learn about its roots and highlight its important role as a form of communication that transcends differences.

Through the generous support of Garanti Bank and Akbank – the main sponsors of International Jazz Day programming in Istanbul – the all-star evening concert will be held at Istanbul’s famed Hagia Irene. Dating back to the 4th century, the Hagia Irene, located in the outer courtyard of the Topkapi Palace – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is regarded as an international treasure for music lovers because of its brilliant atmosphere and enchanting acoustics.

Tickets are not available for the evening concert, but citizens of Istanbul and around the world will be able to view the concert via live streaming at and via the UNESCO, United Nations, U.S. State Department and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz websites. The concert will be taped for future broadcast on public television stations around the world.   

As the host city for International Jazz Day 2013, Istanbul also will feature concerts, lectures, round tables, workshops and Q&A sessions with high-profile musicians throughout the city. All of these daytime events will be free and open to the public. Panel discussions will focus on “Jazz and Freedom,” “Jazz and Women” and “Jazz Festivals and the Art of Promoting Jazz.” Lectures will include “The History of Jazz” and “Dave Brubeck and Diplomacy.” Venues including Salon IKSV, Borusan Music House, Beyoglu Municipality’s Youth Center and SALT Beyoglu will play host to events featuring Marcus Miller, Anat Cohen, Keiko Matsui, Hugh Masekela, Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, Ramsey Lewis, Milton Nascimento, Charlie Gans and Thelonious Monk, Jr. Programs also will include prominent local artists and academicians such as Okay Temiz, Yavus Baydar, Ayşegül Yeşilnil, Selen Gülün, Melis Sökmen, Hediye Güven, Seda Binbaşgil, Bora Çeliker and Aydin Esen.

In addition to the events taking place in this year’s host city, hundreds of events in more than 150 countries in every region and continent will celebrate International Jazz Day, with more events being confirmed every day. Kigali, Rwanda will present a ‘Kigali Jazz 4 Peace’ event at the MTN Center Building in Nyarutarama with a film screening and concerts. In Brazil, the city of Sao Paulo will celebrate by organizing a special show at Jazznos Fundos to mark the day, with a quartet of great Brazilian musicians. In Italy, the Alexander Platz Jazz Club in Rome will present a concert featuring local artists. In Malaysia, the Penang Philharmonic Jazz Section will mark International Jazz Day with “A Celebration of Jazz 2013” featuring performances by five groups, each with its own unique style and brand of music at Gurney Paragon in Penang.

International Jazz Day was adopted by UNESCO Member States on the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, in order to encourage and highlight jazz’s unique power for advancing intercultural dialogue and understanding across the world. International Jazz Day is recognized on the official calendars of UNESCO and the United Nations. Its programs and events are being coordinated with all 195 Member States of UNESCO.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is working with UNESCO and its Member States, national commissions, UNESCO networks, UNESCO Associated Schools, universities and institutes, public radio, public television and NGOs, as well as jazz clubs, hotels and restaurants to organize and promote International Jazz Day events worldwide.  Libraries, schools, performing arts centers, artists and arts organizations of all disciplines throughout the world are being encouraged to celebrate the day through presentations, concerts and other jazz-focused activities.

UNESCO, the Republic of Turkey, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz are pleased that the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) is serving as the 2013 Host City Partner. IKSV is playing an integral role in the coordination and production of the all-star concert and other International Jazz Day programs in Istanbul.

The objectives of International Jazz Day are to:

  • Encourage exchange and understanding between cultures and employ these means to enhance tolerance;
  • Offer effective tools at international, regional, subregional and national levels to foster intercultural dialogue;
  • Raise public awareness about the role jazz music plays to help spread the universal values of UNESCO’s mandate;
  • Promote intercultural dialogue towards the eradication of racial tensions and gender inequality and to reinforce the role of youth for social change;
  • Recognize jazz as a universal language of freedom;
  • Promote social progress with a special focus on developing countries utilizing new technologies and communications tools such as social networks;
  • Contribute to UNESCO’s initiatives to promote mutual understanding among cultures, with a focus on education of young people in marginalized communities.

For more information about International Jazz Day, please visit the websites at: and