Morocco, Tunisia celebrate International Jazz Day

A musical show on the art of jazz will be broadcast Friday April 30.
Friday 30/04/2021
The world’s largest annual celebration of jazz. (https://jazzday.com)
The world’s largest annual celebration of jazz. (https://jazzday.com)

RABAT – The UNESCO Regional Office for the Maghreb, the Anya Cultural Foundation and the Heba Foundation announced that a musical show on the art of jazz will be broadcast Friday April 30, to mark the International Day of Jazz, in recognition of the strength and origins of the musical genre and its international influence in Cultural development

The organisers explained in a communiqué that the production of this musical work, which will be broadcast in parallel with the organisation of a conference of experts on the Internet. They will be discussing “Music as an engine for sustainable development in Morocco and Tunisia”, The event the result of a special residency for artists organised by the UNESCO Regional Office in the countries of the Maghreb  in partnership with the Anya Cultural Foundation and the Heba Foundation.

The communiqué explained that the celebrated violinist Ziad Zouari, oud player and researcher in musical sciences Hamdi Makhlouf, are two guests of the Heba’s studio in Casablanca along with two Moroccan artists, the reknowned percussionist Amine Beliha, and prominent qanun player, Habiba Riahi.

The artists will present their work during a conference of experts attended by music artists and professionals who will discuss the “the place of jazz and free music in the music scene in the countries of the Maghreb”.

Researcher Samuel Chartres asserts that “Afro-American music has its roots in a region between the Senegal River and southern Guinea, a region that underwent Maghreb influences, where the cities of Kairouan, Tlemcen and Fez were the starting point for the spread of Arab-Islamic civilisation in Africa.”

In a message marking International Jazz Day, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Ten years ago, we launched the very first International Jazz Day in the United Nations General Assembly Hall at the initiative of UNESCO and the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz”.

Poster of the event. The world’s largest annual celebration of jazz. (https://jazzday.com)
Poster of the event. The world’s largest annual celebration of jazz. (https://jazzday.com)

He added “ With every passing year, this has been a joyous celebration — not only of music, but also of freedom, diversity and human dignity. These are the values the United Nations works to protect and promote around the world. Since its inception, jazz has built bridges. Its historic role in the struggle against racism and discrimination continues to unite cultures across the globe. Its rhythms and harmonies reflect the indomitable human spirit that can transcend the limits imposed by poverty and oppression.

In his speech, Guterres indicated that “Its egalitarian emphasis on improvisation gives musicians the freedom to create as individuals while performing as part of a symbiotic community of sound. We can all share in the joy and challenge of this unique art form”.

“Today, amid a global pandemic, performers and workers dependent on the creative arts are suffering. It is important that we restore our vibrant societies as safely, equitably and quickly as possible. On this day, we are reminded how jazz can provide hope, healing and energy as we work to build a better and more peaceful world”.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres attends a press conference on April 29, 2021.(AFP)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres attends a press conference on April 29, 2021.(AFP)

Guterres concluded his speech by saying “For the past decade, UNESCO has proclaimed this Jazz Day message across the globe. On this tenth anniversary, let’s join again to celebrate the spirit and the values of jazz”.

International Jazz Day has achieved significant successes over the past decade, becoming the largest annual celebration of the music in the world. It is a global movement that engages people annually on every continent through educational programs, presentations, community outreach and media coverage.