International Jazz Day to be celebrated in San Nicolas on April 30th

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(Oranjestad)—International Jazz Day is a day in which jazz is celebrated to promote peace, freedom of expressions, respect for each other, human right and to further develop understanding and acceptance across different cultures.

In an interview with Aruba Today, musician Carlos Bislip informed that on April 30th, the world celebrates International Jazz Day. Aruba is also preparing for this celebration with a showcase including several jazz groups.

Falling on a Sunday, this celebration will take place in San Nicolas at Kulture Café from 7pm to 11pm, and will include a musical band of students called Caribbean Combo. Joining the students will be two American musicians who just graduated from Jazz studies.

The showcase will be opening with Caribbean Combo. Next up, Eric Jan Eman and the Groove Hunters will be giving their performance playing Jazz Funky. The third group includes Carlos Bislip with his quintet. Then, Reno Steba with his band Oruba will take the mic. Reno and his band experiment with traditional Aruban music and Jazz. Lastly, the Franklin Granadillo Band will close the show.

Bislip shares with our reporter that he learned about the Smithsonian Institute in Washington in 2006, when he went to an international conference of jazz teachers held in New York. The institute dedicates the entire month of April to Jazz, calling it “Jazz Appreciation Month”. During April, they encourage international members and jazz teachers to share their knowledge and talent with their home countries.

When Bislip arrived back Aruba, he started organizing events for International Jazz Day on Aruba, which at that time took place in Cas di Cultura in the downtown area.

The following years, he held events in front of the National Library, where he gathered young artists with professional musicians to play.

“I kept organizing showcases for International Jazz Day at different locations. This year will mark 18 years that I’ve done this, not including the pandemic years,” Bislip stated.

On Aruba, there are different Jazz musicians, and the idea for this yearly event is to actually stretch this out for two days, but Bislip expressed that they have yet to acquire enough funding to make this happen.

He expressed that Jazz is the internal language that connects different communities with each other. For this reason, UNESCO declared Aril 30th to be International Jazz Day: “UNESCO realized that Jazz, in particular, is one of the few musical genres that really connects people. This is why I invite the Aruban public and our visitors to attend this once-a-year event, where you will get to see both young local artists and foreign professionals play Jazz together. This year, our lineup is going to very diverse; it will be an exciting evening for music. Entrance is free, and if anyone would like to reserve their table at Kulture Café, they most certainly can get in contact with the café,” Bislip assured.

UNESCO officially establish International Jazz Day back in 2011, with the goal to promote a musical movement with a high educational value as well as being a valuable resource that contributes to cultural exchange, dialogue and cooperation between people worldwide.

Jazz is a musical genre that includes African-American melody and a mix of other rhythms, based on improvisation and free interpretation.