Herbie Hancock is one of the all time greats when you talk about jazz pianists. He is also a UNESCO Ambassador and thinks what the world needs now is a little jazz diplomacy. So he has established April 30th of every year to be International Jazz Day. Where do I vote for that? Herbie is also chair of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and they are involved in planning an amazing day. April 30th will start with a sunrise concert in New Orleans at Congo Square, the birthplace of jazz. If you are down for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and plan on being there Monday, the 30th, get over there. Not far from the French Quarter. Herbie will play with Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Dr. Michael White, Kermit Ruffins, and the Treme Brass Band. Wow. What a collection of New Orleans greats!
Ambassador Herbie will perform his song Watermelon Man with high school students from around the world via an internet link. Then he flies to New York for a sunset jazz concert at the U.N. General Assembly Hall. Herbie will play with Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Jack DeJohnette, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and Jimmy Heath. Again…Wow. That concert will be streamed live on the U.N. and UNESCO websites. The Ambassador said that “Jazz has been the voice of freedom for so many countries over the past half century” Let freedom ring!