For 2030 International Day of Jazz on April 30th, member cities of the UNESCO Cities of Music Network have come together for a joint video project. Jazz music plays an important role in many of the music cities in the network and therefore it was obvious that many cities wanted to come together to create a joint project to promote their talented musicians.
The idea was to put together a video with improvisations of a theme. The video shows musicians of several UNESCO Cities of Music improvising a song that was created and started at a live performance in the Chilean UNESCO City of Music, Frutillar, that also featured artists from Kansas City, USA. The performance took place at the “Rhythm Between the River and the Lake” performance during the Semanas Musicales Music Festival at the Teatro del Lago in January 2023. The song is called Afro-Red and was composed by Jaylen Ward (Kansas City, MO, USA). The theme of the performances is based on SDG14: “Life Below Water”. The idea was to connect jazz musicians around the world the same way our rivers, lakes and oceans are all interconnected through the water cycle. The collaboration on this project of the UNESCO Cities of Music Network, on the International Day of Jazz highlights the importance of local and global efforts for water conservation, healthy oceans and sustainable development.
From Chile, the “Jazz Day Relay” travelled around the world to Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Musicians from the participating UNESCO Cities of Music Network recorded their improvisations on the Afro-Red theme begun on stage in Frutillar. The videos were collected and then put together by the Prevail Media team in the UNESCO City of Music in London, Canada.
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. It is a privilege to be a partner of UNESCO, not only as a platform for reflection on the role of creativity as a lever for sustainable development but also as a breeding ground of action and innovation, notably for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The following cities and musicians have participated in this project:
• Kansas City, USA: Angela Ward (piano), Aryana Nemati (saxophone), Amber Underwood (flute)
• Frutillar, Chile: Manuel Paez (percussion), Italo Aguilera (guitar), Felipe Canales (bass)
• Hannover, Germany: Sung-Yueh Chou (cello), Richard Häckel (soprano saxophone), Nicolae Gutu (accordion), Johannes Keller (contrabass), Leo Weber (percussion)
• Glasgow, Scotland: Rachel Lightbody Quartet: Rachel Lightbody (voice), Thomas Gibbs (piano), Brodie Jarvie (bass), Alyn Cosker (drums) and Gus Stirrat (audio and video engineer)
• Belfast, Northern Ireland: Steven Davis (percussion)
• Llíria, Spain: Alex Conde (piano), Gerardo Chacón (double bass), Javier Vercher (saxophone), Pancho Montañez (drums), Emmanuel Navarro (congas), Chipi Chacón (music and flugelhorn)
• Leiria, Portugal: Eduardo Cardinho (vibraphone), Tiago Ferreira (keyboard), Adelino Oliveira (double bass), João Maneta (drums)
• Daegu, Korea: Pulse: Yeon Gwi Kim (piano), Sang Jik LEE (saxophone), Min Geon Kim (drum), Je Yoon Kim (bass)
• Adelaide, Australia: Triniti Canini (flugelhorn), Jasmine Ferguson (trombone), James Ho (acoustic base), Bailey Hall (drums), Ciara Ferguson (piano)
• London, Canada: Mark Swan (drums), Joshua Williams (saxophone), Tony De Luca (piano), Anthony Borek (bass guitar)
This project is dedicated to the people of Ukraine and in solidarity with the Creative Cities of Ukraine including Kharkiv, Lviv and Odessa. For more information on UNESCO and Ukraine, and to donate, visit www.unesco.org/en/ukraine-war/actions-timeline.