Did you know that today, April 30, is International Jazz Day? UNESCO, our favourite international cultural organisation, designated this day following its November 2011 General Conference as a time to "raise awareness in the international community regarding jazz’s virtues as an educational tool, as a vehicle for peace, unity, dialogue, and for enhanced cooperation between peoples." Istanbul, Turkey is the host city for this year's celebration and music lovers from all over the world will be participating by attending live performances, listening to their favourite albums and tweeting using the hashtag #JazzDay. We at ZODML will be grooving along with the rest of the world to some of our favourite jazz artists: Feso Trombone: Born Fesobi Olawaiye, he was a trombonist with the band of the late, great Fela Anikulapo Kuti. In the late 1970s, he moved to Belgium to focus on a solo career, one of the fruits of which was the album Freedom Train (1984). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giXRM01LIRA
Louis Armstrong: Undoubtedly one of the most popular jazz musicians of all time, Armstrong rose from a poverty-stricken childhood in New Orleans to become a pioneer of the big-band style the city is famous for, as well as a cultural ambassador for the United States. We love this video of Satchmo and his wife Lucille Wilson dancing with Ghanaians during a visit to the country one year before it gained independence from the UK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSjVltEr0uY Sarah Vaughan: One of the most famous voices of the twentieth century, Vaughan's uniquely rich and agile style of singing earned her countless accolades and fans. Her recording career stretched over four decades and two of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt8sIaMHBA4 Salah Ragab: Ragab is credited with the formation of Egypt's first jazz band, the Cairo Jazz Band, while the head of the Egyptian Military Music Department and a major in the national army. His blend of traditional North African musical sounds and jazz brought a breath of fresh air to the country's musical scene and also influenced the development of the genre worldwide. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tulgbsLkU58 Who are your favourite jazz musicians? Share with us in the comments!