UCCN Music Cluster “Jazz Day Relay” 2023


For this year’s International Day of Jazz on April 30th, member cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities of Music have come together for a joint video project. Jazz music plays an important role in many of the Creative Cities of Music in the network; it was therefore natural for many cities to join under a common vision of peace and unity through jazz.

The video features many talented musicians from UNESCO Creative Cities of Music. They improvise and build on a song titled Afro-Red performed in Frutillar, the Chilean UNESCO Creative City of Music, also featuring artists from Kansas City, USA. The performance of the song, composed by Jaylen Ward (Kansas City, USA), took place during the “Rhythm Between the River and the Lake” concert during the Semanas Musicales Music Festival in January 2023.

The theme of the performances is based on SDG14: “Life Below Water”, connecting musicians around the world through jazz in the same way our rivers, lakes and oceans all interconnect through the water cycle. The collaboration on this project of the UNESCO Creative 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 and the Pacific and North America. Musicians from the participating UNESCO Creative Cities of Music recorded their improvisations on the Afro-Red, which began on stage in Frutillar, Chile. The videos were collected and then put together by a team in the UNESCO Creative 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, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Rachel Lightbody Quartet: Rachel Lightbody (voice), Thomas Gibbs (piano), Brodie Jarvie (bass), Alyn Cosker (drums) and Gus Stirrat (audio and video engineer)
  • Belfast, United Kingdom of Great Britain and 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, Republic of 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)

Watch the video here:

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.