UNESCO Director-General’s Message
Irina Bokova, Director-General
Greetings friends, lovers of jazz, and supporters of International Jazz Day, This day of Jazz celebration was created in 2011 by UNESCO, with Herbie Hancock as it’s representative. UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, an entity of the United Nations. International Jazz Day AZ (IJDAZ) was birthed in 2012, due to the efforts the founders, here in Arizona, this “Real Jazz” Festival has turned into a signature event for Phoenix. International Jazz Day Az festival, Arizona’s official contribution to UNESCO’s global vision of Jazz Day. The Festival will take place every April 30th at a designated venue in downtown Phoenix. To assure that this International Jazz Day AZ Festival will grow, as have those in New Orleans, Newport, Monterrey, Playboy, Vancouver, and South Africa.
“Breezin’” and “Love X Love” opened the show with a pair of instantly recognizable hits. “Never Give Up On A Good Thing” and “On Broadway,” the final songs of the night, had the crowd dancing in their seats throughout the encore.
Those two pairs of hits were the bookend numbers in a solid 95 minutes of jazz, pop and soul music as George Benson entertained a sold-out crowd Wednesday at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.
How sold-out was it? It was so sold out that even those last-minute standing room only tickets for that high-altitude area behind the last row of seats in the upper level were all sold by show time. Benson’s performance lived up to expectations from start to finish. His backing musicians were excellent as well.
Doc Jones, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanston, and Wayne Gaskins meet to talk about the best way the City of Phoenix can join forces with the International JazzDay AZ Foundation to ensure this Festival will be the signature “Real Jazz” event for the City of Phoenix for years to come, as an event known around the world with prominence in the music community as the Super Bowl of Jazz Festivals on International Jazz Day each year.
Councilman Michael Nowakowski of District 7, whose District encumbers CityScape, the official home of the Int’l Jazz Day AZ Festival; Doc Jones, Founder and CEO of the International Jazz Day AZ Foundation and Erlinda Torres President & CEO of Arizona Latino, Arts and Cultural Center met to plan the best way to ensure that the International Jazz Festival AZ’s Signature Jazz Festival of Phoenix will remain and grow for many years to come.