In 2015, International Jazz Day AZ Foundation was established as the nonprofit owner of the” Official International Jazz Day AZ Festival” with a mission to sow the seeds of the unique location of Phoenix AZ for generations to come. In the beginning, just 5 years ago, these Jazz events were not known as they are today. Accordingly, it is the goal of International Jazz Day AZ Foundation to get everyone involved endeavors to make sure that the Festival’s proceeds will be redistributed into the local community organizations that support and develop arts and jazz music programs for youth at risk, like Academy of Excellence, Nextstudent Academy for the Arts & Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center
International Jazz Day AZ Foundation is a Maricopa County-based organization that built its name through booking high-quality live concerts & Festivals events while quietly changing the cultural conversation in the Valley regarding music and arts. President/Executive Director William (Doc.) Jones, and International Jazz Day AZ Foundation are responsible for bringing names like Azar Lawrence, Nicolas Payton, Carlos Rivas, Maelo Ruiz, Luisito Rosario, Kermit Ruffins, Nayo Jones and Kerry Campbell to multiple Valley stages. The work being done behind the scenes contributes to the shifting in the cultural conversation not only locally but internationally. For more than fifteen years, International Jazz Day AZ Foundation along with its affiliate organization NextStudent Academy, have provided free summer music and art classes to Valley youth. These programs have been fully supported by the proceeds from the entertainment and the support of a reliable music-loving publi· Doc. Jones and his volunteer staff upon receiving 501 c 3 nonprofit IRS determination status from the IRS for this organization, are aiming to expand the program classes and student population year around with a Real Jazz Annual Festival on April 30th every year, called “Phoenix International Jazz Day” Festival. International Jazz Day AZ Foundation projects an expected draw this year 2017 approaching 3,000 people, the 6th Annual Phoenix International Jazz Day AZ Festival at CityScape is primed to become “Phoenix’s Signature Real Jazz” festival event in the Valley and the driver
What is International Jazz Day
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.
International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. 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.
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