30 April drew the curtain on the second International Jazz Festival in Uzbekistan held on April 7-30 in Tashkent and Samarkand to commemorate the 5th anniversary of International Jazz Day.
Since 2012, jazz enthusiasts across the world have celebrated the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people. “Jazz makes the most of the world’s diversity, effortlessly crossing borders and bringing people together. From its roots in slavery, this music has raised a passionate voice against all forms of oppression. It speaks a language of freedom that is meaningful to all cultures,” says UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
The festival was held in the cities of Tashkent and Samarkand under the auspices of UNESCO and Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Culture and Sports. Organized by the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan, the Botir Zokirov Jazz Orchestra, and Ilkhom Theatre’s Jazz Club, the festival featured groups from the Czech Republic, France, Latvia, Switzerland, Turkey and the U.S.
Master classes and gigs with national and international musicians have been held at the Uspensky Music School, Tashkent Circus Art College, Samarkand Art College, and the Alisher Navoi National Library of Uzbekistan, while the State Conservatory and the Turkiston Palace hosted concerts.
The festival concluded on 30 April, International Jazz Day, with UNESCO Representative in Uzbekistan Krista Pikkat and Culture and Sports Minister Bahodir Ahmedov delivering greeting remarks. Jazz aficionados gathered for the closing ceremony were treated to performances by the Jazz Orchestra of Uzbekistan, Jazzirama group, Swiss trio Noisy Minority, and a student jazz group from the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan.