During these increasingly uncertain times, people are turning more to the arts to try and alleviate stress and cope with the world around them. While music generally has the ability to reduce anxiety and fight depression, certain genres such as jazz have also acted historically to promote peace, dialogue among cultures, and respect for human rights and human dignity. In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.
International Jazz Day raises awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people, as well as an educational tool. 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.
Here are some of our title recommendations for any educator interested in introducing the art and power of jazz to their students:
Now more than ever before, let’s band together and spread the ethics of Jazz Day’s global movement around the planet and use this as a golden opportunity for humankind to reconnect especially in the midst of all this isolation and uncertainty. Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador