In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Institute is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing this annual celebration. Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.
Marcin Wasilewski Trio
One of the brightest stars of the Polish jazz scene, the Marcin Wasilewski Trio has been recognized for their unique talent of blending tradition with contemporary sound. The Trio consists of pianist Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Sławomir Kurkiewicz, and percussionist Michał Miśkiewicz. The combo employs the grand tradition of challenging piano trio doctrine combined with their own distinct sound and style. The Trio continues to be one of the most consistently developing jazz combos on the Polish music scene drawing inspiration from their surrounding environment. The Marcin Wasilewski Trio is considered one of the most acclaimed and unique jazz organizations of its generation and has garnered recognition in its native Poland as well as abroad. Since its inception, the group has been honored with several Fryderk awards from the Polish Music Academy and in 2010 they were voted Best Acoustic Formation in Poland by the annual readers’ poll of Jazz Forum magazine.
Nils Petter Molvær
Norwegian trumpet player, composer and producer, Nils Petter Molvær, was introduced to jazz from an early age by his father, jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, Jens Arne Molvær. He studied music from the age of nineteen at the Trondheim Conservatory. In 1997 he released his first solo record, Khmer. With this record Nils developed a new musical vocabulary, combining fusion, jazz, rock, electronic soundscapes and hip-hop beats. Khmer was honored with the German Record Critics Award and a Norwegian Grammy and became one of the defining albums of the upcoming progressive Nu Jazz movement. Nils Petter Molvær continued to develop his personal sound by combining groove oriented club culture and improvisation on his following albums, Solid Ether (2000) and NP3 (2002). He also works as a producer and composer of film and theater music.