General Assembly hosts concert marking first International Jazz Day

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George Duke

Jazz  musicians from across the world will perform in the UN General Assembly hall in celebration of the first International Jazz Day observed on Monday, 30 April.

They include veterans such as South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and American saxophonist Jimmy Heath, as well as newcomers like bassist Esperanza Spalding.

Award-winning pianist and producer George Duke is the musical director:

"It's wonderful first of all to see this music recognized by the UN. Jazz has always been an international music, an international language. It's a language in itself but it speaks to everyone. It doesn't matter whether you speak Spanish, whether you speak Zulu, whether you speak French.  It can touch people in places that I think in many ways words cannot. And it's an interesting thing. I have always wondered why."

International Jazz Day is an initiative of legendary pianist Herbie Hancock. 

The day was proclaimed by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 2011.

The New York performance follows a concert held at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris on Friday, and another in New Orleans—birthplace of jazz—on the morning of 30 April.

(Duration: 25")

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