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National Jazz Festival and International Jazz Day Culminate Jazz Appreciation Month

Last weekend, the National Jazz Festival hosted their first in-person program in 2 years, garnering a huge turnout of incredible middle and high school jazz groups. With the jazz celebration at International Jazz Day right around the corner, it’s about time we dive into the world of jazz and see what our musicians‒both young and veteran alike‒are cooking up.

National Jazz Festival Highlights The Youth

It’s hard to believe the sheer skill and musicianship showcased at the National Jazz Festival last week. Taking place in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philly, this jam-packed 1-day festival. This event hosted numerous clinics, guest college bands, and a competition for schools across the country. Famous schools renowned for their jazz education such as Edgemont, Princeton, and Herricks High School were definitely the standouts. 

After all schools performed, the awards were announced for a wide range of classifications. The categories ranged from vocal jazz, large to small ensembles jazz, and even music composition. Taking place in 2300 Arena, certain invited schools came onstage and performed! It’s hard to imagine what these incredible groups sound like unless you were there. At least this can be said—the technical ability, burning solos, musicality, and sheer passion displayed by each of these musicians’ at the festival was awe-inspiring. 

A Genre That Celebrates The World

Much like how the National Jazz Festival unites American young jazzers, the International Jazz Day festival aims to unite the world through this genre. Led by the legendary Audrey Azoulay and Grammy legend, Herbie Hancock, this event is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month. And although it’s called International Jazz Day, it’s really a few days worth of concerts, expos, community outreach programs, and educational clinics across nearly every country on the planet. To launch the weekend, PBS stations will broadcast tonight, “International Jazz Day from the United Nations.”

Herbie Hancock at UN on International Jazz Day / April 15, 2022 / Photo: Steve Mundinger / Herbie Hancock Institute of jazz

On April 30th at 4pm EST, Herbie Hancock will lead an All-Star Global Concert on a webcast. It will stream on International Jazz Day’s Youtube and Facebook pages. This ginormous event will feature Cyrille Aimée, Ambrose Akinmusire, Thana Alexa, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Mike Stern, and so many others. Check out the full event list by clicking here!

Overall, jazz is an incredible language and it’s perfect that such a freeing interpretation of music is bringing together so many across the globe. 

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