Cape Town's sister city St Petersburg wins jazz honour

St Petersburg (Supplied)
St Petersburg (Supplied)

Cape Town - Eighteen countries vied for the right to host it and Russia’s “northern capital” is the one that has been awarded the privilege.

Selected as the capital of jazz in 2018, next year the city of St Petersburg will hold the main Jazz Day events.

UNESCO director general Irina Bokova endorsed the decision of the international jury to choose St Petersburg for celebrating the seventh annual International Jazz Day on April 30 2018.

The event was established during the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011. The aim of the celebrations is to enhance public awareness of the educational role of jazz in facilitating peace, unity, dialogue and human contacts.

The first annual International Jazz Day was opened in Paris by Bokova and UNESCO goodwill ambassador Herbie Hancock in 2012.

By presenting St Petersburg – a sister-city of Cape Town – with an opportunity to be the heart of jazz life next year, UNESCO showed recognition of Russia’s exclusive contribution to the development of this musical genre. The city can easily be referred to as the birthplace for jazz in Russia, the place where the first jazz bands were winning the Russian audience in 1920s.

These days, a world-class festival – Usadba Jazz – takes place annually in a number of Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Voronezh, Ekaterinburg and Sochi.

The 2018 International Jazz Day project will be organised by the St Petersburg government and the Russian Commission for UNESCO and headed by Igor Butman, the world-famous Russian saxophone player.

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