Jazz Day T-Shirt


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The History and Celebration of International Jazz Day

Jazz is a uniquely American musical art form that originated in African American communities in the late 19th and early 20th century. Blending African and European musical traditions, early jazz developed in the United States as ragtime, New Orleans Dixieland jazz, big band swing, bebop, and other styles. Over the decades, jazz has expanded into an international phenomenon that has shaped countless music genres.

To highlight the global reach and unifying power of jazz, April 30th was officially designated as International Jazz Day by UNESCO in 2011. Proposed by legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, International Jazz Day seeks to spread awareness of jazz music as an international language promoting peace, intercultural dialogue, diversity, and human dignity. By celebrating this innately creative, improvisational musical form annually, International Jazz Day aims to foster greater cultural understanding and unite people across the world.

When and How International Jazz Day Started

International Jazz Day is celebrated annually on April 30th, the birthday of acclaimed jazz innovator and bandleader Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington. The first International Jazz Day was held in 2012 with a star-studded global jazz concert in New Orleans, home of early jazz pioneers like Louis Armstrong.

The concept for International Jazz Day was conceived by American jazz legend Herbie Hancock and formally proposed at UNESCO by its Goodwill Ambassador. Hancock’s proposal quickly gained the full endorsement and support of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. Given jazz’s origins in the United States as a musical outlet for marginalized African Americans, the art form was seen as an ideal vehicle for advancing UNESCO’s aims of “deepening intercultural understanding and spreading peace.”

The Purpose and Goals of International Jazz Day

International Jazz Day aims to raise global awareness of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhancing cooperation among cultures. The worldwide celebrations promote intercultural dialogue between cultures while also highlighting the rich history and impact of jazz music.

Specific goals and purposes endorsed by UNESCO include:

  • Spreading awareness of jazz music as a universal language and unique tool of communication that transcends differences and fosters understanding between cultures.
  • Highlighting jazz education programs around the world and the impact of jazz on promoting inclusion, human dignity, and empowering youth.
  • Providing much-deserved exposure and opportunities for jazz musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Bringing together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts to celebrate jazz and learn about its roots.
  • Encouraging exchanges between jazz cultures to help jazz continue evolving as an art form.
  • Fostering greater appreciation not only for jazz music itself but the core humanist values it represents.

By pursuing these aims, International Jazz Day seeks to develop jazz appreciation and education worldwide, particularly among youth, to ensure the vitality and evolution of jazz into the future. Through its inclusive and collaborative spirit, jazz breaks down barriers and unites humanity across cultures and borders, making it the perfect musical embodiment of UNESCO’s mission.

International Jazz Day Events and Locations

Each year on April 30th, International Jazz Day celebrations take place in hundreds of countries worldwide. The highlight is an all-star global jazz concert held in a host city that brings together acclaimed musicians spanning genres and continents.

Past host cities have included:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (2012)
  • Istanbul, Turkey (2013)
  • Osaka, Japan (2014)
  • Paris, France (2015)
  • Washington, D.C., USA (2016)
  • Havana, Cuba (2017)
  • St. Petersburg, Russia (2018)
  • Melbourne, Australia (2019)
  • Global livestream due to COVID-19 (2020-2021)
  • Accra, Ghana (2022)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (2023)

The 2024 International Jazz Day global concert will take place in Yokohama, Japan and feature performances by jazz icons Herbie Hancock, Jane Monheit, Wynton Marsalis and local Japanese talent.

In addition to the high-profile global event, thousands of Jazz Day events including concerts, jam sessions, master classes, community outreach programs, and academic seminars take place in over 190 countries to celebrate jazz music and its roots. From free outdoor concerts in parks to jazz education workshops at schools, libraries, community centers and more, there are abundant opportunities to participate in International Jazz Day.

How People Celebrate International Jazz Day

Jazz enthusiasts around the world celebrate International Jazz Day in various ways, including:

  • Attending live jazz concerts and shows in their community. Local jazz clubs, concert halls, schools, and theaters often host special Jazz Day performances.
  • Watching the International Jazz Day Global Concert livestream online. The concert is livestreamed globally and archived to allow people everywhere to participate.
  • Listening to jazz music at home or while out and about on Jazz Day. Streaming apps make it easy to hear jazz stylings from bebop to swing.
  • Reading books and articles about the history of jazz, its most influential musicians, and its evolution over the decades. Jazz historians publish special articles on Jazz Day.
  • Following International Jazz Day on social media and using the hashtag #JazzDay to share jazz music impact and spread awareness.
  • Donating or volunteering to support jazz education programs that ensure jazz thrives for future generations.

In addition to the above, academic institutions and schools play a major role in celebrating International Jazz Day through special jazz concerts, workshops and lectures.

How People Celebrate International Jazz Day

Jazz fans and communities around the world celebrate International Jazz Day in various exciting ways. Here are some popular ways people participate:

  • Attend live jazz concerts and shows held in their community on or around April 30th. Local jazz bands, musicians and venues often host special Jazz Day performances.
  • Watch the International Jazz Day Global Concert livestream featuring jazz stars from around the world. The concert is livestreamed globally and archived on the official website.
  • Listen to jazz music at home by dusting off old records or tuning into jazz radio programs. Streaming services also showcase jazz playlists to mark the occasion.
  • Learn about the history and evolution of jazz by reading books, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, and visiting museums with jazz exhibits.
  • Share their enthusiasm for jazz music on social media platforms using the hashtag #JazzDay to join the global conversation.
  • Attend jazz-themed community events like art exhibits, film screenings, jazz brunches and dinners at local restaurants.
  • Donate or volunteer at organizations that support jazz education and musicians in need.

Jazz Day offers the public exciting opportunities to support and celebrate jazz music as a cultural gift to the world. From concerts, to media, to educational events, there are myriad ways for people globally to join in the worldwide celebration.

Jazz Day Celebrations at Schools and Universities

Educational institutions play a key role in Jazz Day celebrations by hosting an array of special events including:

  • School jazz bands, choirs, and other student music groups hold special concerts showcasing jazz styles from swing to Latin jazz.
  • Lectures, seminars and panel discussions exploring the history of jazz, its societal impact, key innovators and musical techniques.
  • Jazz appreciation classes analyzing seminal jazz recordings and artists.
  • Jazz workshops, clinics and masterclasses led by professional musicians to mentor student musicians.
  • Screenings of documentaries on subjects like the Jazz Age, evolution of jazz, and influential musicians.

By participating in International Jazz Day, students gain greater exposure to jazz music as a creative art form and valuable cultural gift to the world. Educational events foster deeper appreciation for jazz history and its tradition of innovation.

Community Jazz Day Events

Many communities worldwide host free, public International Jazz Day celebrations including:

  • Outdoor concerts in parks, plazas and streets featuring top local talent. New Orleans hosts one of the largest free Jazz Day concerts.
  • Jazz-inspired visual art exhibits, gallery shows and public mural paintings.
  • Screenings of films with jazz soundtracks or jazz history themes.
  • Jazz brunches, dinners and happy hours at local restaurants, bars and other venues.
  • Dancing to live jazz music at community centers or other public facilities.
  • Radio stations hosting special Jazz Day segments on local talent and concerts.

These lively public events allow entire communities to come together and revel in their shared cultural heritage as the sound of jazz takes center stage.


International Jazz Day stands as a resounding global celebration of jazz and its enduring cultural impact. Every April 30th, International Jazz Day spotlights jazz music and its roots through an array of exciting concerts, educational events, and community happenings taking place in over 190 countries. From its origins in America to becoming a worldwide phenomenon that transcends borders, jazz music inspires creativity and brings people together across cultures like few other artforms can.

Whether you mark the occasion by attending a local Jazz Day event or simply listening to your favorite jazz album at home, you can join millions around the world in celebrating the rich history and unifying spirit of jazz. Check local listings in your area or the International Jazz Day website to find an event near you and share your Jazz Day experience using #JazzDay. Let the sweet sounds of jazz unite us in harmony on this special day and every day.

Jazz Day T-Shirt:

Learn about International Jazz Day, get inspired, and sport Jazz Day swag with a stylish T-shirt. Whether it’s for events or casual wear, these tees feature fun themes, artistic designs, vintage looks, and cool slogans to celebrate in style. Find licensed shirts on the International Jazz Day website or explore jazz-themed tees from independent artists and brands. Start conversations and spread the word about Jazz Day by wearing your tee proudly, showcasing your love for jazz and educating others about this special occasion.

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News On T-Shirt


This t-shirt is everything you've dreamed of and more. It feels soft and lightweight, with the right amount of stretch. It's comfortable and flattering for all.

• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (Heather colors contain polyester)
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz./yd.² (142 g/m²)
• Pre-shrunk fabric
• Side-seamed construction
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
• Blank product sourced from Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, or the US

This product is made especially for you as soon as you place an order, which is why it takes us a bit longer to deliver it to you. Making products on demand instead of in bulk helps reduce overproduction, so thank you for making thoughtful purchasing decisions!

• Traceability:
– Weaving—India, South Korea
– Dyeing—El Salvador, California
– Manufacturing—Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, or the US
• Contains 0% recycled polyester
• Contains 0% dangerous substances


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