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“Jazz speaks for life” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.




n November 2011, during the UNESCO General Conference, the international community proclaimed April 30 as “International Jazz Day.” The Day is intended to raise awareness of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people. International Jazz Day is bringing together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about the art of jazz, its roots, its future and its impact. This important international art form has been celebrated around the world today for 24 hours straight for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change. Today and in the future, many governments, civil society organizations, educational institutions, and private citizens currently engaged in the promotion of jazz music will embrace the opportunity to foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies. • Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance • Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression • Jazz is a symbol of unity and peace • Jazz reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities • Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones • Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies

Letter from UN Secretary General

THE GLOBAL REACH OF JAZZ The music known as jazz has entered its second century, and it continues to evolve as it did in its first — as an ever-expanding and inclusive forum for individual expression, cooperative interaction and cultural synthesis. An art form that first took shape in the African-American communities of the Southern United States and emerged as a distinctive musical vernacular in the cultural hothouse of New Orleans, jazz quickly spread throughout the United States and the world. It is world music in the truest sense, speaking a language of unity and peace that all can understand and to which all can contribute. From its inception, jazz music was a cultural hybrid, blending African-based rhythmic and vocal styles that had developed throughout the United States and the Caribbean with the instrumentation and forms of European music. Through the spontaneity of improvisation, jazz presented a way to structure collective invention, providing harmonic and rhythmic rules and colorful instrumental sounds that stressed both personal invention and shared responsibility. Give-and-take is so much a part of jazz performance that even the music’s greatest individual geniuses built their successes on the contributions of their partners, with each musician making maximum use of this creative freedom within the boundaries of ensemble interaction. A music so vibrant and affirmative was bound to spread beyond New Orleans, and to grow ever more inclusive along the way. By 1917, when jazz was first documented in the recording studios of New York, several of its early innovators were already being heard in and exerting an influence on the composers and musicians of Paris. These three cities are each the site of major International Jazz Day tributes, and remain essential hubs of jazz activity. Yet, jazz has been welcomed in all corners of the world, just as it has incorporated lessons learned from the music of Brazil, Cuba, India and many of the 195 nations in which jazz is also being celebrated on International Jazz Day. Jazz has long stood for the breaking down of ethnic, religious and gender barriers, and it is no surprise that the community of jazz artists, not to mention jazz fans, is exceptionally diverse. In the 1920s, Louis Armstrong was holding after-hours jam sessions with Bix Beiderbecke and recording with Jack Teagarden. A decade later, Benny Goodman made Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton part of his public performances, integrating the bandstand nearly a decade before Jackie Robinson integrated the baseball diamond. The history of the jazz orchestra was fed early on by Mary Lou Williams, and has been sustained in recent decades by Toshiko Akiyoshi, a Japanese woman born in Manchuria. Django Reinhardt, an early paragon of jazz guitar, was a gypsy born in Belgium. Tonight’s concert, featuring men and women from Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Cuba, India, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Panama and South Africa as well as the United States, showcases the worldwide impact of jazz. One need not possess a degree in jazz to receive its message. Come to the music with open ears and an open heart — in the spirit in which jazz is created — and you will be moved. — Bob Blumenthal

Letter From Herbie

April 30, 2012

It has been my dream that one day every year jazz would be celebrated, studied, and performed around the world for 24 hours straight. A collaboration among jazz icons, scholars, composers, musicians, dancers, writers, poets, and thinkers who would embrace the beauty, spirit, and principles of jazz, all of them freely sharing experiences and performances in our big cities and in our small towns, all across our seven continents. In my role as UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador, and on behalf of the entire jazz community, I thank you for coming together this evening at the United Nations General Assembly Hall to commemorate the first annual International Jazz Day. UNESCO’s member states unanimously agreed that jazz and its rich history must be honored and preserved. Today is a monumental achievement not only for countless jazz musicians and educators, but also for members of the diplomatic community who have long recognized the significance of jazz and its importance in building bridges among disparate nations and people throughout the world. I am so pleased that each year on April 30th millions of people in hundreds of countries will pay tribute to jazz and its role of uniting humanity. We launched the festivities with a series of jazz performances and education programs at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on April 27th, and this morning we honored the music with a sunrise concert at Congo Square in New Orleans – the birthplace of jazz. Tonight we conclude with performances featuring some of the world’s most accomplished artists who have collaborated to shine the spotlight on the music and melodies that have been the cornerstone of my life. My deepest appreciation to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO DirectorGeneral Irina Bokova, United States Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice, the UNESCO and United Nations delegates, the United States Mission to the United Nations, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz for making this evening a reality. In the spirit of the music, I thank you for supporting jazz and ensuring that this global art form continues to flourish.

Herbie Hancock UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Hosts Robert De Niro Robert De Niro is a legend of his generation who has made extraordinary contributions to cinema. Born in New York’s lower Manhattan, De Niro made his stage debut at age 10. He later enrolled in acting workshops at the Stella Adler Conservatory and got his first film break with a small role in The Wedding Party. In 1973, De Niro had his first of many collaborations with Martin Scorsese on Mean Streets. The following year, his appearance as the young Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II earned De Niro his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. De Niro went on to appear in a number of critically acclaimed films including Taxi Driver, The Last Tycoon, and The Deer Hunter. In 1980, he starred in Raging Bull, famously gaining 60 pounds to play retired boxer Jake La Motta. His other notable films include Goodfellas, Casino, Awakenings, Cape Fear and A Bronx Tale, which marked his directorial debut. In 2002, De Niro co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival as a way of revitalizing Lower Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood following the September 11, 2011 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Michael Douglas Internationally acclaimed actor and producer Michael Douglas was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and spent his summers on movie sets with his father, Kirk Douglas. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara before moving to New York City to continue his dramatic training. Douglas has appeared in such politically influential and controversial motion pictures as The China Syndrome and Traffic as well as films with wider popular appeal including Fatal Attraction and Romancing the Stone. A veteran of more than 40 films, Douglas received the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1987 for his performance in Wall Street. He is also a noted film producer who began his career in 1975 when he produced the Academy Award-winning adaptation of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In addition to producing dramatic works, Douglas uses his production skills to champion humanitarian causes. One of his most notable achievements is his role in the 2003 documentary What’s Going On? which portrayed the abuse of child soldiers in Sierra Leone and the impact of the United Nations’ rehabilitation program. Since 1998, Douglas has served as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, focusing on nuclear abolition and small arms proliferation.

Morgan Freeman With his authoritative voice and calm demeanor, Morgan Freeman is an accomplished actor recognized as one of the most respected figures in modern cinema. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Freeman made his acting debut at age 9. He turned down a drama scholarship to Jackson State University, opting instead to serve as a mechanic in the U.S. Air Force. In 1969, he appeared onstage in an all African-American production of “Hello, Dolly!” Freeman first appeared on television on “The Electric Company.” Two years later, he moved into feature films. Freeman received an Oscar nomination for his performance as a merciless hoodlum in Street Smart, and received a second Oscar nomination in 1989 as the patient and dignified chauffeur in Driving Miss Daisy. The same year, Freeman starred in the epic Civil War drama Glory. Other career highlights included his memorable performances in Unforgiven, The Shawshank Redemption, Amistad, and Million Dollar Baby, which won him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. In 2011, Freeman was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards. That same year, he received an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. Committed to preserving and perpetuating the blues, Freeman is co-owner of the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Quincy Jones After five decades in the music business, Quincy Jones has attained legendary status, crossing all stylistic borders. Born in Chicago and raised in Seattle, Jones had befriended a young Ray Charles by age 13 and the two performed together in area clubs. Jones received a scholarship to attend Schillinger House, now the Berklee College of Music, but soon left to perform with Lionel Hampton’s band and later work with Count Basie, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley, the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and his own all-star big band. In the 1960s, Jones became a vice president at Mercury Records. He also began composing for films, writing music for In Cold Blood, The Wiz and the television series “Roots.” In the 70s, he recorded albums that fused jazz, funk and soul, and helped craft the careers of Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson. Jones has pulled off several amazing feats, including the coordination of “We Are the World,” the comeback of Frank Sinatra, and a concert featuring Miles Davis presenting his classic works. He has received 27 GRAMMY Awards, an Emmy and seven Oscars. His Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation supports youth education in culture, music and technology.

Thelonious Monk, Jr. Thelonious Monk, Jr. had an extraordinary childhood. As the son of jazz composer and pianist Thelonious Monk, his home was the gathering place for Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and other legendary jazz musicians. Monk began playing drums after receiving his first pair of drumsticks from Max Roach and his first drum set from Art Blakey. He played for two years with his father’s band and was a member of Atlantic Records’ fusion band Natural Essence. He then formed the group “T.S. Monk” with his sister Barbara Monk and vocalist Yvonne Fletcher. The group recorded three albums and charted a Top 20 hit with its single “Bon Bon Vie” followed by “Too Much Too Soon.” In 1992, Monk formed a straight-ahead septet, which released several albums including the critically acclaimed The Charm. Monk celebrated his father’s 80th birthday with the all-star recording Monk on Monk. His most recent release, Higher Ground, ventures into smooth jazz and funk. Monk serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

George Duke Musical Director Pianist and producer George Duke has had an astounding career, taking part in hundreds of musical projects and receiving numerous GRAMMY Awards and nominations. In the late ’60s, Duke formed a group with singer Al Jarreau that became the house band for San Francisco’s Half Note Club. He also performed locally with Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon. While collaborating with jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Duke began creating the West Coast response to the fusion coming out of the East Coast. He then joined Frank Zappa’s band and performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Nancy Wilson as a member of Cannonball Adderley’s group. During this same period, Duke began working with Stanley Clarke, Airto Moreira, and Flora Purim, forming what would become his musical family for the next several decades. Throughout the ’70s, Duke released a series of dynamic fusion and funk albums, including the chart-topping Reach For It. In the decades that followed, Duke expanded his career as a recording artist, composer, and producer, working with artists including Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Dianne Reeves, The Pointer Sisters, Gladys Knight, and Miles Davis. Duke continues to record in a wide variety of styles, tour with his own group, and perform with Stanley Clarke.

Artists Tony Bennett Tony Bennett is a legendary singer of popular music, standards, show tunes and jazz who has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Raised in New York City, Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as an infantryman with the U.S. Army. Afterwards, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records, and had his first number one popular song with “Because of You” in 1951. Several top hits such as “Rags to Riches” followed in the early 1950s. Bennett then further refined his approach to encompass jazz singing and went on to release albums including The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” He staged a remarkable comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, releasing gold albums and expanding his audience to the MTV Generation. Bennett has won 16 GRAMMY® Awards and a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. In 2001, Bennett founded New York City’s Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in memory of his best friend and colleague.

Terence Blanchard Five-time GRAMMY Award winner Terence Blanchard has attained a unique position as an accomplished jazz artist, bandleader, film composer and educator. As a teenager, he studied with Ellis Marsalis at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. While attending Rutgers University, he was offered a position in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he served as musical director. Blanchard has composed for every Spike Lee film since Mo’ Better Blues and scored dozens of other films and television shows. From 2000 to 2011, he served as Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. In 2006, he appeared in and composed for Spike Lee’s documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. Blanchard’s corresponding recording, A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), received a GRAMMY Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2007. His latest Concord release is Choices, which includes a guest appearance by author/activist Cornel West. Blanchard currently serves as Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute in Miami.

Richard Bona An absolute master of his art, Richard Bona is a melodist of rare elegance and sensuality, a poignant singer, and one of the world’s best bassists. Bona was born in Minta, a village in the center of Cameroon, and music was part of his daily environment. As a boy, he made his own reed flutes, balafon percussion instruments and 12-string guitars. He rehearsed for 8 to 12 hours a day, and performed as a singer and multi-instrumentalist. Dubbed “The African Sting,” Bona’s albums reveal a wonderful storyteller, surprising musician, and spellbinding vocalist. His unique style is situated at the crossroads of a range of influences including jazz, bossa nova, pop music, afro-beat, traditional song, and funk. In 1989, Bona left Africa for Paris, and six years later moved to New York. He has become one of the most in-demand collaborators in music, working with a remarkable array of artists including George Benson, Michael Brecker, Harry Connick, Jr., Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Romero Lubambo, Bobby McFerrin, Joni Mitchell, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Paul Simon, Chucho Valdés and Joe Zawinul.

Dee Dee Bridgewater Dee Dee Bridgewater’s exuberance, creativity, undeniable confidence and joyous spirit have earned her a place as one of the premier vocalists in jazz. In 1969, Bridgewater toured the Soviet Union with the University of Illinois Big Band. She later spent two years as lead vocalist for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, followed by two years as Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway production of “The Wiz,” for which she received a Tony Award. Her subsequent portrayal of Billie Holiday in “Lady Day” won her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress. In 1984, Bridgewater made a dream come true when she received Horace Silver’s blessing to record an album of his music with vocals. The resulting Peace and Love brought her worldwide attention. In 1991, Bridgewater became the host of “JazzSet” on NPR. Her Dear Ella recording is a loving tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. In 2010, Bridgewater won her third GRAMMY for Eleanora Faga (1917-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.

Candido Candido Camero is a legend in jazz and Cuban music with a career that has spanned six decades. Regarded as one of the most influential forces in introducing Afro-Cuban music into jazz, Candido was born in Havana, Cuba, and started out playing bass, guitar and tres, a threestringed Cuban guitar. He played with Cuban dance bands and became the percussionist for the CMQ Radio Orchestra. A move to New York City in 1946 put him in high demand and he soon began working with Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Charlie Parker and Billy Taylor. Further recognition came in the 1950s, when Candido joined the Stan Kenton Big Band and toured coast to coast. He became a familiar figure on countless television shows, appearing with Tony Bennett, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Wes Montgomery, Tito Puente and others. Candido introduced to the United States his innovation of tuning his drums to play actual melodies on a combination of bongos and congas. In 2008, he was honored as an NEA Jazz Master.

Ron Carter Ron Carter is a legendary musician who redefined the role of the bass in jazz. With more than 2,500 albums to his credit, he may be the world’s most recorded jazz bassist. Carter grew up in Detroit, attended the Eastman School of Music, and earned his Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music. In New York City, he began performing with Jaki Byard, Randy Weston and Eric Dolphy. In 1963, Miles Davis invited him to join a new quintet that would include Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, George Coleman and later Wayne Shorter. The group became one of the most influential forces in the history of jazz. In the decades that followed, Carter worked with artists including McCoy Tyner, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Roberta Flack, the Kronos Quartet and A Tribe Called Quest. As house bassist for the CTI label, he recorded with George Benson, Freddie Hubbard and Jim Hall, with whom he established an acclaimed duo. Carter has served as Distinguished Professor of Music for City College of New York and Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. His latest release is Jazz and Bossa.

Vinnie Colaiuta Vinnie Colaiuta has been cited by Modern Drummer as the most important drummer of our time. Originally from Brownsville, Pennsylvania, he began playing drums as a child and received his first full drum kit from his parents at age 14. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Colaiuta relocated to Los Angeles and in 1978 was chosen as Frank Zappa’s principal drummer for studio and live performances. Colaiuta’s performances on several of Zappa’s albums are considered by many drummers to be among the most astounding ever recorded. Colaiuta went on to work with a long list of notable rock and pop artists, including Jeff Beck, Clannad, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Joni Mitchell, Sting and Barbra Streisand. He has also appeared with many notable jazz musicians, including Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Haslip and Quincy Jones. Colaiuta remains one of the most in-demand studio musicians, playing on countless albums and film soundtracks.

Robert Cray Robert Cray uniquely blends elements of rhythm and blues, pop, and traditional blues to create a contemporary blues sound. Never content with playing the blues the same way twice, Cray’s daring innovations have placed him at the top of the blues business. Cray was born in Columbus, Georgia and spent his childhood as an “Army brat” moving from one location to another. Cray convinced his mother to buy him a guitar and found solace in music. He discovered the music of blues greats Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf in his father’s record collection. Cray hit the Tacoma, Washington bar circuit with his Robert Cray Band, and the band was later recruited to tour with Albert Collins. In the 1980s, the band released a series of acclaimed albums, including Bad Influence, False Accusations and Strong Persuader, which went platinum. Cray’s successes continued into the ’90s and beyond with Midnight Stroll featuring the Memphis Horns, I Was Warned, Take Your Shoes Off and Live from Across the Pond, a two-disc set recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall. A five-time GRAMMY Award winner, Cray has worked with such music legends as Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Tina Turner and Muddy Waters.

Artists Eli Degibri Saxophonist and composer Eli Degibri of Israel has established himself as a prominent musician in jazz, gaining a worldwide fan base. He is committed to leading his own band and playing his original compositions, and his unique songwriting voice has an appeal far beyond the traditional jazz audience. Degibri is a graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. His 2010 release, Israeli Song, brought together two of his mentors – bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster – plus the great Brad Mehldau on piano. In 2011, Degibri joined pianist Kenny Barron at the Red Sea Jazz Festival for a special duo performance. In April 2011 Degibri joined Foster along with bassist George Mraz and pianist Fred Hersch at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City for a weeklong engagement dedicated to the music of the late Joe Henderson. The quartet was also invited to perform at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Also in 2011, Degibri, together with Dubi Lenz, were named the new artistic directors of Israel’s prestigious Red Sea Jazz Festival.

Jack DeJohnette GRAMMY Award winner Jack DeJohnette is widely regarded as one of jazz music’s greatest drummers. Born in Chicago, he studied classical piano starting at age 4, and began playing drums with his high school concert band. In his early years on the Chicago scene, DeJohnette led his own groups and was equally in demand as a pianist and as a drummer. In 1966, he drummed alongside Rashied Ali in the John Coltrane Quintet. International recognition came with his tenure in the Charles Lloyd Quartet, one of the first jazz groups to receive crossover attention. DeJohnette has collaborated with most major figures in jazz history. Some of the great talents he has worked with are Chet Baker, George Benson, Betty Carter, Ron Carter, Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Abbey Lincoln, Jackie McLean, Thelonious Monk, Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra and Wayne Shorter. In addition, he has been a 25-year-plus member of the immensely popular Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette Trio. In 2012, DeJohnette was named an NEA Jazz Master in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to advancing the jazz art form and mentoring a new generation of young aspiring jazz musicians.

Sheila E. One of the world’s most talented percussionists, Sheila Escovedo picked up the drumsticks at age 3 while watching her father, legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo. Best known to music fans as Sheila E., she became a top session and touring musician before the age of 20, performing and recording with Billy Cobham, George Duke, Herbie Hancock and others. She went on to perform with Babyface, Gloria Estefan, Marvin Gaye, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. In the 1980s, her collaborations with Prince provided worldwide recognition. Sheila E. has been involved in many high-profile projects including the “We Are the World” session and a memorable Oscars performance with virtuoso Placido Domingo. In 2010, she was honored with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Direction for “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina.”

Herbie Hancock Herbie Hancock, a 14-time GRAMMY Award winner, is a jazz icon who has been an integral part of every jazz movement since his arrival on the scene in the 1960s. The internationally renowned pianist and composer was born in Chicago and began playing piano at age 7. When he was 20 years old, Hancock was invited by Donald Byrd to join his band. Byrd later helped him secure a recording contract with Blue Note Records. Hancock’s debut album, Takin’ Off, included “Watermelon Man,” the first of many Top 10 hits. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, Hancock became one of the pioneers of modern jazz improvisation. His recordings during the ’70s combined electric jazz with funk and rock sounds in an innovative style that influenced a whole decade of music. In 1983, “Rockit,” from the platinum-selling Future Shock album, won Hancock a GRAMMY for Best R&B Instrumental. He received an Oscar in 1987 for Best Score, honoring his work on Round Midnight. In 2007, Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters won the GRAMMY Award for Album of the Year, making Hancock the first jazz musician to receive this honor in 44 years. His latest release is The Imagine Project, which was recorded all around the world with artists including India.Arie, Los Lobos and Seal. Hancock, who serves as Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, was recently named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Jimmy Heath Jimmy Heath embodies the history of jazz. In his 60 years on the scene, the saxophone great has appeared on more than 125 records as both a composer and player. Heath grew up in Philadelphia alongside brothers Percy and Tootie, both renowned jazz players. At 21 he moved to New York to play with trumpeter Howard McGhee and later joined Dizzy Gillespie’s sextet and big band. Heath’s alto saxophone style, so reminiscent of Charlie Parker, earned him the nickname “Little Bird.” After a brief stint with the Miles Davis Quintet, Heath formed his own group with Art Farmer. In 1975, he formed the Heath Brothers with Percy and Tootie and pianist Stanley Cowell. Since then, Heath has performed and recorded with Slide Hampton, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, Wynton Marsalis, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and many others. He spent 11 years as Professor of Music at Queens College and continues to teach around the world. His most recent release is a Heath Brothers recording called Endurance.

Zakir Hussain Zakir Hussain is a classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order and a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement. His exciting performances and masterful improvisational dexterity have established him as a national treasure in his native India, and gained him worldwide fame. A child prodigy, Hussain was touring by age 12. He came to the United States in 1970, performing his first concert at the Fillmore East in New York City with Ravi Shankar. Hussain’s contributions have been unique, with historic collaborations including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, Remember Shakti, the Diga Rhythm Band, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland, and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Airto Moreira, Béla Fleck, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Mark Morris, Rennie Harris, and the Kodo drummers. Hussain has composed music for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Jazz Festival and 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and has scored for many films. Hussain’s extraordinary impact on the music world was honored in April 2009, with four widely heralded, sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall.

Chaka Khan Chaka Khan is a music legend who is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time. Khan was born in Chicago and saw her first success in the ’70s with the band Rufus. Hits like “Tell Me Something Good,” written by Stevie Wonder, “Sweet Thing” and “Ain’t Nobody” are classic songs still played around the world today. In 1978, Khan began recording as a solo artist and racked up a string of hits including “I’m Every Woman,” “I Feel for You,” and “Through the Fire.” Khan also released the jazz oriented album Echoes of an Era, in which she performs jazz standards backed by an all-star group featuring Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Over the course of her career, Khan has received 10 GRAMMY Awards and 22 GRAMMY nominations. In 2011, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Angelique Kidjo A powerful singer and tireless performer, Angelique Kidjo is one of the most successful performers to emerge on world music stages in the 1990s and 2000s. Her music draws from African traditions and includes elements of American soul, funk, rap, and jazz, Brazilian samba, Jamaican reggae, and Cuban and Puerto Rican salsa. Kidjo was born in the coastal city of Ouidah, Benin. She made her stage debut at age six with her mother’s dance troupe, and in the late 1970s formed a band of her own. She fled to Paris in 1983 after finding her music restricted by a new regime that took power in Benin. After performing with the French African jazz band Pili Pili, Kidjo struck out on her own. She signed with Britain’s Island Records and gained a faithful core of fans who attended her uplifting, highly participatory live shows. A GRAMMY Award-winning artist, Kidjo uses her visibility to campaign for women’s rights, provide educational opportunities for girls, and support environmental initiatives. She has collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Carlos Santana and Joss Stone, and in 2012 released Spirit Rising, featuring Josh Groban, Branford Marsalis and Dianne Reeves.

Artists Lang Lang Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by The New York Times, 29-yearold Lang Lang of China has played sold-out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world. Lang Lang appeared in Time magazine’s 2009 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. More than five billion people viewed his performance at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he was seen as a symbol of the youth and future of China. This status has inspired over 40 million Chinese children to study classical piano. At the 2008 GRAMMY Awards, Lang Lang and Herbie Hancock gave an astounding performance that was broadcast to 45 million viewers worldwide. The two pianists continued their collaboration with a world tour and performances with symphony orchestras across the United States. In 2011, Lang Lang performed for President Barack Obama and President Hu Jin-Tao of China at a White House State Dinner. Lang Lang recently released the CD Liszt, My Piano Hero and DVD Liszt, Now! to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the great composer.

Joe Lovano Joe Lovano is a premier jazz saxophonist who plays with a masterful balance of tradition and experimentation. He has the artistic depth of a veteran and the drive of a youthful spirit. Growing up in Cleveland, Lovano was encouraged to study music by his father, saxophonist Tony “Big T” Lovano. After graduating from the Berklee College of Music, he performed with organists Lonnie Smith and Jack McDuff, and then joined Woody Herman’s band. In the ’80s, Lovano joined the Mel Lewis Orchestra and also played and recorded with a trio that included Paul Motian and Bill Frisell. After playing in John Scofield’s quartet for three years, Lovano signed with Blue Note and began his own prolific career as a bandleader and artist, receiving a GRAMMY for his album 52nd Street Themes. Lovano holds the Gary Burton Chair at Berklee, where he teaches ensembles, gives private lessons and presents educational concerts. His latest release is Bird Songs, an exploration of the Charlie Parker songbook.

Romero Lubambo Guitarist Romero Lubambo has been called “the best practitioner of his craft in the world today.” A gifted soloist and musical improviser, his playing unites the styles and rhythms of his native Brazilian musical heritage with his fluency in the American jazz tradition to form a distinctive new sound. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Lubambo came to the United States in 1985 and quickly established himself as a leading session and touring guitarist in demand not only for his authentic Brazilian sound, but also for his command of a variety of styles. Lubambo has performed and recorded with many outstanding artists, including Michael Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, Diana Krall, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves and Luciana Souza. He is an unpredictably creative composer and performer on his own critically acclaimed recording projects as well as on those of Trio da Paz, a Brazilian jazz trio Lubambo formed with Nilson Matta and Duduka da Fonseca.

Shankar Mahadevan Shankar Mahadevan is a highly sought after Indian music composer, singer and studio musician. Mahadevan was born and raised in Chembur, a suburb of Mumbai. He learned Hindustani classical music and Carnatic music as a child and began playing the veena at age 5. After receiving his college degree in computer science engineering, Mahadevan ventured into the field of music and soon won a National Film Award for his song “Kandukondain Kandukondain.” A prominent star in the Kodambakkam film industry, he gained further recognition after releasing his first album, Breathless, in 1998. The album’s title track was recorded in a way that makes it appear to have been sung in one breath. Mahadevan later became part of the Shankar-Ensaan-Loy trio, composing music for Hindi films. He has enjoyed a successful run with the fusion jazz band SILK and has provided vocals for the band Remember Shakti. In 2010, he started the Shankar Mahadevan Academy, which offers classes in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, religious chanting, Indian folk music and Bollywood songs. Mahadevan’s most recent album is Nine, with each song representing a different mood.

Wynton Marsalis A leading advocate of American culture, Wynton Marsalis has created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers. Born in New Orleans, Marsalis performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church and was performing professionally by age 14. He moved to New York City in 1979 to attend The Juilliard School and a year later seized the opportunity to join Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. In the years to follow, he performed with Ron Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Williams and other jazz legends. Marsalis assembled his own band in 1981 and performed more than 120 concerts every year for 15 consecutive years, rekindling widespread interest in jazz around the world. Marsalis has won 9 GRAMMY Awards and in 1983 became the only artist ever to win GRAMMY Awards for both jazz and classical records. In 1987, he co-founded and was appointed Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. A decade later, he became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio Blood on The Fields. In 2005, Marsalis received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the U.S. government.

Hugh Masekela Legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela has been a defining force in world music and human rights in Africa and around the globe. The iconic performer, composer, producer and activist is best known for his 1968 GRAMMY-nominated hit single, Grazing in the Grass, which sold over 4 million copies and made him an international star. Born in Witbank, South Africa, Masekela began playing piano as a child and later took up the trumpet. He escaped South Africa’s Apartheid oppression and attended London’s Guildhall School of Music. He later studied at the Manhattan School of Music. On his first night in New York, Masekela visited three different jazz clubs to hear John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Max Roach. Masekela has collaborated with numerous artists including Miriam Makeba, Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Herb Alpert, U2 and Fela Kuti. He played an integral role in Paul Simon’s tour behind the classic album Graceland, one of the first pop records to introduce world music to a broader public. In the 1980s, Masekela’s hit song “Bring Him Back Home” became an anthem for the Free Nelson Mandela movement. Masekela’s 2012 release, Jabulani, recalls several generations of music from South African wedding ceremonies.

Christian McBride GRAMMY Award winner Christian McBride’s larger-than-life sound, driving rhythm, breathtaking technique and charismatic musical personality have made him one of the most sought-after bassists in jazz and beyond. McBride began playing bass at age 9. After graduating from Philadelphia’s High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, he received a scholarship to Juilliard. He chose instead to join Bobby Watson’s band, and later performed with Pat Metheny, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove and a host of other notable jazz artists. In 1991, Ray Brown invited McBride to join SuperBass, a trio that included John Clayton. McBride later toured and recorded with Sting. An active jazz educator, McBride is Artistic Director at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass summer program and Artistic Chair of Jazz House Kids. In 2005, he became co-director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem and the following year served as the Carolyn and Bill Powers Creative Chair for Jazz at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. McBride currently performs with the Christian McBride Band, the Christian McBride Situation, and Inside Straight.

Danilo Pérez As a collaborator with jazz giants and as a solo artist, Danilo Pérez is one of the most exciting pianists on the scene. Pérez was born in Panama and at age 3 began studying piano. At 10, he attended the National Conservatory of Panama. Pérez moved to the U.S. and attended the Berklee College of Music, performing with Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard and Claudio Roditi. In 1989, he became the youngest member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra. In 1993, his debut CD Danilo Perez received high acclaim from critics and jazz fans. His subsequent releases, The Journey, PanaMonk and Central Avenue, won numerous awards. During this period, Pérez performed with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano and Jack DeJohnette. In 2001, Pérez joined the Wayne Shorter Quartet, alongside bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. The band developed an unusual chemistry that has made their live performances and recordings among the most significant in modern jazz. In recent years, Pérez has taken on the role of Ambassador of Goodwill for UNICEF, Cultural Ambassador of Panama, President and Founder of the Panama Jazz Festival, Artistic Advisor of Philadelphia’s Mellon Jazz Up Close series and Professor at the New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music.

Artists Dianne Reeves A four-time GRAMMY Award winner, Dianne Reeves is one of the premier vocalists on the worldwide music scene. A native of Denver, she began her career in Los Angeles as a studio vocalist working with Lenny White, Stanley Turrentine and Billy Childs. Reeves toured with Sergio Mendes and Harry Belafonte, then signed to Blue Note in 1987. Her self-titled Blue Note debut, featuring Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard and Tony Williams, was nominated for a GRAMMY. Reeves’ Blue Note releases in the ’90s established her place as an exceptional vocalist, and she was invited to perform at the closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. In 2005, she appeared in the film Good Night, and Good Luck, performing a series of jazz standards. Reeves is currently touring alongside Angelique Kidjo and Lizz Wright with Sing The Truth!, a production honoring the music of great female artists.

Bobby Sanabria Bobby Sanabria is a leader in Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and jazz music as both a drummer and percussionist. The son of Puerto Rican parents, Sanabria was born and raised in New York City’s South Bronx and attended the Berklee College of Music. As the drummer with the legendary Mario Bauzá Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Sanabria appeared on three albums that are considered to be definitive works of the Afro-Cuban big band jazz tradition. Sanabria’s diverse recording and performing experience also includes work with such legendary figures as Ray Barretto, Candido, Paquito D’Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie, Chico O’Farrill, Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval and Mongo Santamaría. In 2006, Sanabria was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame and had a permanent street named after him on the Bronx’s Grand Concourse in recognition of his contributions to music and the arts.

Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter is one of the greatest jazz artists of all time. Dozens of his more than 200 compositions are standards performed by artists around the world. Shorter grew up in Newark, New Jersey and graduated from Arts High School. He attended New York University and then served in the Army while playing saxophone in groups with Horace Silver and Maynard Ferguson. In 1959, Shorter joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he soon became musical director. In 1964, the same year Shorter recorded Speak No Evil – his first record as a leader for Blue Note – Miles Davis invited him to join a quartet with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. Shorter recorded 12 albums with Davis and provided much of the material for the group’s musical explorations. In 1970, Shorter and Joe Zawinul formed Weather Report, which became one of the most influential forces of the fusion era. In 2005, he won a GRAMMY Award for Beyond the Sound Barrier, taking his total to nine over the past 25 years. Shorter currently performs with his dynamic quartet, which includes Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade.

Esperanza Spalding Esperanza Spalding is a dynamic bassist, singer and composer who is cutting her own unique creative path. Only 27 years old, she is the first jazz musician to win a GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist. Spalding grew up in Portland, Oregon and was drawn to music when she saw Yo-Yo Ma perform on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” She began playing cello at age 5 and discovered the bass while attending Northwest Academy, a performing arts high school in Oregon. Spalding entered the Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship and after her first semester was invited to perform with Patti Austin on the “For Ella” tour. She also studied with Joe Lovano, who later invited her to join his band. Upon graduation, Spalding returned to Berklee as a teacher. Since then, her career has taken off with her performances at the White House and Nobel Peace Concert, and her chart topping releases Esperanza, Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society, which includes a 12-piece, world-class band.

Susan Tedeschi Heavily steeped in the blues tradition, singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi is known for her confident, soulful voice and knack for musical truth-telling. Growing up in the Boston suburb of Norwell, Massachusetts, Tedeschi began playing in bands at age 13 and subsequently pursued her passion for music while studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. After establishing herself as one of New England’s top-drawing live acts and making her recording debut in 1995 with Better Days, Tedeschi achieved an impressive breakthrough with her 1998 indie release Just Won’t Burn. The album achieved Gold sales status and won Tedeschi a GRAMMY nomination for Best New Artist. Tedeschi has since performed with B.B. King and Buddy Guy at high-profile events including Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. After several more successful solo albums and GRAMMY nominations, Tedeschi joined forces with husband Derek Trucks to form the Tedeschi Trucks Band, whose 2011 debut album Revelator won the GRAMMY for best blues album.

Derek Trucks Derek Trucks has emerged as one of the most respected guitarists of his generation. He continually pushes the boundaries of slide guitar with his unique blend of blues, soul, jazz, rock and world music. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Trucks began his musical career at age 9, when he picked up a five-dollar acoustic guitar at a yard sale. That seemingly inconsequential purchase changed his life. After learning what he could from his father and a family friend, Trucks began playing with other musicians around town. He got his first paying gig at age 11 and formed his first band the following year. In 1997, he formed The Derek Trucks Band, releasing eight albums before creating the Tedeschi Trucks Band with wife Susan Tedeschi in 2010. Trucks has won GRAMMY Awards with both bands, most recently for Tedeschi Trucks Band’s debut album, Revelator. In addition to touring with his own band, Trucks has performed with The Allman Brothers Band since 1999, toured with Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, and collaborated with a range of musicians including Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner. Ranked as #16 in Rolling Stone magazine’s recent poll of the 100 Greatest Guitarists, Trucks was the youngest person to make the list.

Hiromi Uehara

Hiromi Uehara is a pianist and composer whose passionate and incendiary keyboard work has been a shining light on the jazz landscape since her 2003 debut. She is known for her virtuosic technique, energetic live performances and blend of musical genres such as postbop, progressive rock, classical and fusion in her compositions. Born in Hamamatsu, Japan, Hiromi started playing classical piano at age 6 and was introduced to jazz at age 8. When she was 17, she met Chick Corea by chance in Tokyo, and was invited to play with him at his concert the next day. After writing jingles for Japanese companies, Hiromi enrolled at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal. Before she graduated, she was signed to the Telarc jazz label. Hiromi has since performed around the world, recorded a live album with Corea at the Tokyo Blue Note, and toured with legendary jazz fusion bassist Stanley Clarke. Hiromi’s newest release, Voice, is a trio recording that expresses a range of human emotions without the aid of a single lyric.

Tarek Yamani A versatile, award-winning jazz pianist and composer, Tarek Yamani was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. At age 19, he began exploring jazz on his own through theory books and jazz records. In 2001, he became a member of the influential hip-hop band Aksser and started experimenting with electronic music by composing for dance and theater performances. The following year, he co-founded Funjan Shai, a multi-style band that released two albums and introduced a distinctive approach to Middle East music arranging and production. Yamani holds a bachelor’s degree in composer science from the American University of Beirut and a bachelor of arts degree in jazz piano from the Prins Claus Conservatoire in The Netherlands. He is the grand prize winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Competition. Additionally, performed at the semifinals of the 2010 Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition and participated in the 2011 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency. Yamani performs in venues across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and has collaborated with Wayne Escoffery, Chico Freeman and René McLean.

UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that UNESCO accomplishes its mission to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO’s overarching objectives include: attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning; mobilizing science knowledge and policy for sustainable development; addressing emerging social and ethical challenges; fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace; and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication.

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz was created in memory of Thelonious Monk, the legendary jazz pianist and composer who believed the best way to learn jazz was from a master of the music. The Institute follows that same philosophy, and for the past 25 years has brought students together with renowned jazz artists and educators. The Institute is a nonprofit education organization committed to its mission of offering the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by internationally acclaimed jazz masters and presenting public school-based music education programs for young people around the world. All of these programs are provided free of charge to the students and schools, filling a tremendous void in arts education. The International Jazz Day celebration in the United Nations General Assembly Hall is made possible through the generous support of: Barbara and Ray Dalio Carolyn and Bill Powers Anita and Stuart Subotnick Lucasfilm Foundation Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall Northrop Grumman Corporation United Airlines National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan

“Jazz as we know it would not exist without the blues”


ockery Farms is considered by many, including blues legend B.B. King, to be the birthplace of the blues. This historic plantation community, located on the banks of the Sunflower River near Cleveland, Mississippi, was established by Will Dockery in 1895 to produce cotton – America’s most important export of the 19th and early 20th century. African Americans who came to Dockery Farms to cultivate cotton created a culture through their work in the fields that inspired the music we know as the blues. By the 1920s, Dockery Farms had grown to a community of several thousand workers and was home to a number of blues pioneers, among them Henry Sloan, Willie Brown, Tommy Johnson, Roebuck “Pop” Staples and, most famous of all, Charley Patton, the acknowledged “father of the blues.” It was at Dockery that these musicians lived and learned from one another. They played with now-legendary blues figures such as Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf in the boarding houses and commissary at Dockery, and in the juke joints of neighboring towns. Ultimately, these artists left Dockery on the plantation’s Pea Vine Railroad and traveled north to record their new music. While no one would have imagined it at the time, their songs would influence the development of popular music around the world. Over the years, countless blues fans have made their way to Dockery Farms to see the property firsthand. Recently, Dockery Farms was added to the National Register of Historic Places. To honor its historic and musical legacy, the nonprofit Dockery Farms Foundation ( has been established to preserve the property’s buildings and use them as a public educational resource. Remarkably, five of the six structures that made up the commercial center of the plantation still stand today, looking much like they did when built by Will Dockery. Time has taken its toll, however, and the Foundation is overseeing the restoration of the buildings to ensure their long-term structural integrity, and to prepare Dockery Farms for use as a year-round educational and tourism destination. With generous support from Bill and Carolyn Powers, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has developed The Blues and Jazz: Two American Classics ( This free, Internet-based blues and social studies curriculum for 5th, 8th and 11th grade public school students traces the blues and its vital importance to American history and culture. The Blues and Jazz curriculum shows how the blues, perhaps more than any other music, is jazz’s greatest influence. From the creation of jazz a century ago to the modern jazz of today, the blues has been a benchmark for jazz musicians. As the blues and jazz continue to evolve, the connection remains unbroken.

UNITED proud partner of International Jazz Day 2012 and the Official Airline of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

2012 International Jazz Day Program  

2012 International Jazz Day Program

2012 International Jazz Day Program  

2012 International Jazz Day Program