Jazz is a popular African-American music style or genre that originated during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the urban communities of the United States. During its growing years, the genre formed independent styles of both traditional and popular music. It started as a means to bring talented young people together. Through the years as it gained popularity, jazz has managed to create and sustain immensely creative and sophisticated artistry. More importantly, it has united the black and white communities in the love of a fast-paced and rhythmic music genre.
The most beautiful quality of jazz is that it is partly planned and the rest is spontaneous. So while the musicians and artists play a pre-planned tune together, there is always room for creating individual interpretations within that tune. This, referred to as improvisation, is the key element of jazz.
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International Jazz Day is an annual event that is organised by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) on April 30th. This day brings together different communities, musicians, artists, schools and jazz enthusiasts. Various programmes, performances and events take place to raise awareness about the importance of jazz, and celebrate and learn the roots of this music genre. This art form has the power to unite people, promote peace, encourage dialogue between cultures, and bring back respect for human rights and dignity.
This year’s International Jazz Day is taking place in Washington D.C. where President Obama and Michelle Obama are going to be hosting its fifth year anniversary at the White House. On April 30, 2016, over 190 countries all over 7 continents will be celebrating jazz and its ability to unite people across boundaries.