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Enjoyment, values and pride: International Jazz Day in Havana
 
 
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24 April 2017/ UNESCO Havana/Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

With those three words, the Director of the UNESCO Office in Havana, Katherine Muller-Marin, invited the Cuban youth to celebrate International Jazz Day.

Jazz is a genre that evokes enjoyment, since it inspires in those who produce it and those who listen to it a wide range of emotions; it conveys values, because it is the most democratic music, uniting persons, even bearers of completely different cultures, and constitutes an invitation to dialogue, to peace; and it should make Cubans proud of knowing that their country has been chosen as the venue for this celebration precisely because of all it has contributed to jazz.

At the press conference given on Monday, together with the representative of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Mika Shino, and the vice-president of the Cuban Institute of Music, Marta Bonet, and with Alexis Triana, Director of the Centre for Cultural Development and Communication (CREART) acting as moderator, the representative of UNESCO thanked the Cuban authorities for their enthusiastic collaboration in organizing the week-long celebration, which began today at the Higher Institute of Art.

Before the members of the national and foreign press, and with the presence of renowned artists of this genre, the organizers of the festivities in Cuba stressed the message delivered by UNESCO’s Director-General on 30 April, and her recognition of the place that the Caribbean nation occupies on the world jazz scene by selecting Cuba as the venue for its celebration in 2017, from among the more than 195 countries comprising the Organisation.

The climate of close collaboration between the Thelonious Monk Institute and Cuban institutions such as the Ministry of Culture and the Cuban Institute of Music was highlighted by Mika Shino, as proof that culture, and, in this case, jazz, build bridges to strengthen relations among peoples.

With a detailed explanation of the programme, the Vice-president of the Cuban Institute of Music stressed its educational nature and the possibility it provides for students from other latitudes to exchange with their Cuban counterparts.

She also highlighted the concert that Cuba will give in honour of jazz at the National Theatre of Cuba, featuring young talents of this musical genre.

In turn, Triana underlined an unprecedented feature of this event: for the first time in six years, close to 30 jazz musicians from the host country will be participating in the week-long programme of activities, another distinctive trait of the world celebration of Jazz Day in Havana.

Visibly moved, the winner of the National Music Award and famed Cuban jazzman Bobby Carcassés expressed his satisfaction with the tribute that will be given to the House of Culture of the Plaza de la Revolución municipality, birthplace of the Festival of international significance and prestige which he founded and has uninterruptedly maintained since its creation in 1979.

The press conference counted with the presence of practically all the outstanding Cuban musicians who will be performing in the different activities of the programme.

Representatives of the accredited press wished to learn the details of the Grand Concert that will close the commemoration at the Gran Teatro de La Habana and if the week’s activities will be recorded in any audiovisual material.

The press also showed great interest in the presence in Cuba of legendary jazz figures such as Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller and Quincy Jones, among others.

At the end of the conference, several members of the national media interviewed the Director of the UNESCO Office and the representative of the Thelonious Monk Institute.

The room came alive with expectations of what would happen in the next few days, and especially of what they would spark in favour of rapprochement among our peoples.

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Jazz Day, 30 April 2017 ESPAÑOL ENGLISH FRANÇAIS

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