has announced plans for the launch of an International of jazz, and has announced plans to center the diplomatic worldwide event around the 1st weekend of this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The official kick-off will be on April 27 an all-day program at UNESCO Headquarters in that will include master classes, roundtable discussions and improvisational workshops. An evening concert will feature Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, South Africa’s and ’s Tania Maria, among others.

For our intents-and-purposes and those visiting the city for , Hancock will begin the official April 30 celebrations a sunrise concert in Congo Square, the birthplace of jazz, on the Monday morning after the first weekend of the city’s Jazz and Heritage .

The once-in-a-lifetime sunrise show will include local jazz luminaries , , , and the Brass Brand. Hancock plans to perform his funky standard “Watermelon Man” with high school students from around the world via an Internet link.

Next, Hancock will jet off to for another sunset all-star jazz concert for the international diplomatic corps at the U.N. General Assembly Hall to be hosted by a star-studded cast of Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas and Quincy . The concert will be streamed via the U.N. and UNESCO websites. Big time players in support of keeping jazz alive. Nothing bad about that.

The is outstanding and will include Hancock, Bridgewater, , , , , Jack DeJohnette, , and Jimmy Heath from the U.S. and these Americans will be joined by an international cast of musicians spanning the globe and different genres, including Richard Bona (Cameroon), Hiromi Uehara (Japan), (India), (Benin), Lang Lang (China), and Romero Lubambo ().

“I hope that this day spreads the joy of spontaneous creation that exists in this ,” Hancock said. “My feeling is that jazz will be getting its just due.”

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