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Morocco – Internatonal jazz festival : Africa becomes hub for major events

UNESCO’s International Jazz Day found a new home this year in the vibrant city of Tangier, highlighting Morocco’s growing reputation as a hub for international cultural events. The decision to select Tangier for this prestigious celebration was praised by government officials, cultural leaders, and musicians alike, a first in Africa.

The festivities, held under the High Patronage of HM King Mohammed VI, took place at Tangier’s newly inaugurated Palace of Arts and Culture, a symbol of the country’s commitment to promoting cultural exchange and expression.Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, the Minister of Youth, Culture, and Communication, lauded UNESCO’s choice, emphasizing Morocco’s track record in organizing major international events. He highlighted Tangier’s historical connection with jazz, noting the city’s role as a haven for legendary jazz musicians seeking inspiration.Officials also expressed delight at witnessing musicians from around the world come together to celebrate jazz in Africa for the first time.

« This city has a great historical relationship with jazz. The  fusion between jazz and local music such as gnawa is very special. jazz calls for peace, especially we really need it in these last days »

Ernesto Ottone, Vice president of culture,UNESCOChile

Organized by UNESCO and the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, with support from the Moroccan government and the municipality of Tangier, the event showcased Tangier’s jazz heritage and reinforced cultural ties between Morocco, Europe, and Africa.

Each year on April 30, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity and respect for human dignity. International Jazz Day was adopted by the UNESCO Member Nations on the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, who co-chairs the annual celebration with UNESCO Director-GeneralAudrey Azoulay.


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