The first International Jazz Day, organized by Herbie Hancock (photo at right) and UNESCO, was celebrated in fine style in Chicago, New Orleans, and around the world. As Quincy Jones said of jazz, “that’s America’s only true indigenous art form.” Now it has spread to every corner of the globe.

On 30 April 2012, a stunning group of musical luminaries performed at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Tony Bennett (photo below), dean of American popular singers, took the stage for a three-song set. The final song was Kurt Weill’s “Lost in the Stars.”

Speaking of Tony Bennett, his CD from last year, Duets II, continues to fly off the shelves. It’s easy to see why, with collaborations with everyone from Willie Nelson to Lady Gaga. The disc includes Weill’s “Speak Low” performed with Norah Jones. An NPR feature includes an interview with Norah Jones and video of Bennett and Jones together in the studio.


Video of the UN performance (“Lost in the Stars” begins at 19:55)

UNESCO page on International Jazz Day

Summary of International Jazz Day celebrations

Report on UN concert

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