Herbie Hancock, jazz pianist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador apparently came up with the idea of having April 30 as a day to highlight jazz and its roll of uniting people all over the world. But there was an earlier inspiration—a unifier during the height of the cold war: Louis Armstrong.
I start this program by playing something by each.
The host city this year is Melbourne, Australia. One of Australia’s most prominent jazz artists—who will be playing at that event— is James Morrison, and I play something by him from an album he recorded in 2018,
Peterborough, Ontario has celebrated the weekend of International Jazz Day for five years, and I talk about this year’s celebration and play music by some of the great jazz artists who will be performing this year. I include a track by Mike Francis, and an unofficial ‘live’ recording Biff Hannon and Michael Morse.
Also a special ‘scoop’. I’ll play a track from The Rob Phillips album that we’ve all heard about and haven’t heard.
As an added treat, I interview Susheel Kurien—the director of a film called “Finding Carlton”, which was first screened at the United Nations for the very first International Jazz Day. It’s all about jazz in India. This film will be shown here in Peterborough Friday, April 26, and Susheel will be there to present it. I also play a guitar medley by the main subject of the film, Carlton Kitto.
Last but not least, the feature performance at this year’s International Jazz Day weekend in Peterborough is Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, with jazz flautist/soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett and five (mostly) Cuban women who are all amazing singers and musicians. I end off with a selection by them.