ETHEL Album Release Party at Joe's Pub
Preview: Artemis Quartet / Jacques Ammon Tonight at Le Poisson Rouge

Herbie Hancock Hosts the First International Jazz Day in New Orleans and at the UN

International jazz dayI've been to just about every music venue worth it's salt in this town, but one spot I've never managed to make it into is the UN General Assembly, which tonight was transformed into a concert hall for the first annual International Jazz Day, hosted by UNESCO. The brainchild of jazz legend Herbie Hancock, over 195 countries participated with concerts, jazz classes and outreach programs, all designed to showcase the universality of the music that was born in America but belongs to the world. Tonight, the hall was packed with dignitaries to hear the likes of Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Heath, and Esperanza Spalding, among others. Even Lang Lang got in on the action, dueling pianos with Herbie. 

Several participants in tonight's concert, including Hancock, Terrence Blanchard, and Dianne Reeves actually woke up in New Orleans this morning, where a special Sunrise Concert was held in Congo Square, the historic birthplace of jazz. The place was packed at 6am; most of them were probably still up from last night's Jazz Fest activities. (You can watch a recording of the Sunrise Concert here; tonight's show from the General Assembly will be here.)

For the record, I still haven't made it inside the General Assembly: I watched the webcast tonight from home. I hear the tour's pretty cool, though.