Music stars jazz up Havana

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-02 07:19

Show streamed live across world to promote cultural dialogue

HAVANA - An all-star global concert was held in the Cuban capital on Sunday to send a message of peace and promote intercultural dialogue through music.

Havana was chosen as the 2017 global host city of the concert, which was launched in 2012 with support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Streamed live to 125 countries, the show was presented by Hollywood star Will Smith, with award-winning musicians Herbie Hancock and Chucho Valdes among the performers.

Hancock thanked the citizens of the Caribbean nation for their support of jazz music, noting that the "Afro-Cuban jazz and its rich history have played a pivotal role in the evolution and enrichment of the entire jazz genre."

Recalling an old African proverb as saying that "a city without music is a dead city," Hancock said Havana today is the most lively and dynamic place on the planet.

Music stars jazz up Havana

The musical parade at the stage of the Havana Grand Theater also included world-acclaimed performers such as Quincy Jones, Esperanza Spalding, Cassandra Wilson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Carl Allen, Regina Carter and Marcus Miller.

Cuba was represented by outstanding jazz figures such as Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Alfredo Rodriguez Jr., Bobby Carcasses, Roberto Fonseca, Francisco Amat and Barbarito Torres.

The performance also featured artists from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, and concluded with John Lennon's song Imagine, which was considered a call for peace and hope among the people.

The special gala was attended by Cuba's First Vice-President Miguel Diaz Canel and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

"Today, we celebrate the international art form of jazz and its power to promote dialogue among cultures, to make the most of diversity, to deepen respect for human rights and all forms of expression," Bokova said in her statement marking the event.

"The story of jazz is written into the quest for human dignity, democracy and civil rights. Its rhythms and variety have given strength to the struggle against all forms of discrimination and racism - this is the message we must take across the world today."

For an entire week before International Jazz Day, Cuba throughout the island hosted several concerts, workshops, lectures and musical jazz sessions given by well-known figures of the musical genre.

More than 190 countries held live performances and educational activities on Sunday to mark International Jazz Day.

Xinhua - Afp

 Music stars jazz up Havana

Cuban musicians Chucho Valdes and Gonzalo Rubalcaba play piano at the International Jazz Day concert at the Alicia Alonso Theater in Havana, Cuba, on Sunday. Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press

(China Daily 05/02/2017 page10)

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