International Jazz Day – 30 April 2016
18 April 2016 International Jazz Day
“When a human being is oppressed, the natural tendency is to feel anger. Jazz is a response to oppression that is not bullets and blood. Jazz is the expression of harmony…and at the same time of hope and Freedom”
Legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
SA Jazz Day Overview
Jazz as an urban art form/genre, transcends cultural barriers yet invites individual expression to a free, unpredictable and honest ‘creative space’. It is where indigenous thought and feel meets contemporary lifestyle.
Derived from African principles of art making, its power of improvisation, cooperative ensemble and individual artistic prowess. Jazz has endured throughout centuries and contributed to the building of the modern creative economy, from Ragtime to World music.
The social experiences of American slavery and African colonialism show parallels of human survival and triumph of the spirit through the power of African music.
The story of South Africa’s Jazz can be traced over centuries, where industrialization and urbanization evolved rural indigenous lifestyles and artistic expression – a hidden a treasure of heritage expression that the idea of the International Jazz Day can unleash.
Participation by South Africa in the IJD, in a time when social cohesion and economic recovery is a high priority, creates an opportunity to introspect on the arts as a national asset and leverage ‘jazz diplomacy’ – a force for global peace and justice.
Following the proposed SA Launch in April 2015, the critical target is to host in the next three years, with an agenda that sets a tradition of global participation and continental collaboration. For the latter, content resourcing and trade will help reposition Africa’s creative industries to support current potential for exponential economic growth through tourism and communication industries.
Leveraging the above, South Africa’s creative economy can be accelerated to consolidate and grow in the context of digital migration and related broadband revolution that has begun to impact culture from key dimensions of communication, education and entertainment. In this regard, Tshwane’s infrastructure leads.
As such, the vision to grow authentic South African Jazz in the new democratic South Africa has strong potential under the leadership of Tshwane. Complementing the City of Johannesburg as Africa’s business tourism hub, the potential of the City of Tshwane as the cultural tourism hub is palpable.
SPIN Foundation identifies with the idea of a livable communities and believes Jazz cultural development can help materialize it by working with the following goals