University of the Pacific's Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet will perform later this month at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and two days later during the first-ever Dave Brubeck Forum at the United Nations in New York City. The events are in conjunction with UNESCO's International Jazz Day, the Smithsonian Institute's proclamation that April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and the 35th session of the UN General Assembly.
The BIJQ will perform "Dave Brubeck - Across Time," a tribute to legendary jazz musician and composer Dave Brubeck, the Pacific alumnus for whom the Brubeck Institute is named. The tribute will be 5-8 p.m. April 22 at the American Art Museum. The forum - Jazz: A Language for Peace - begins at 6:30 p.m. April 24 in the North Lawn Building of the United Nations headquarters in New York City with remarks from Darius Brubeck, one of Dave Brubeck's sons and himself a performer and scholar. Speakers scheduled include Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, UN Undersecretary-General for the UN Department of Public Information; Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United States; and Brubeck Institute Executive Director Dr. Simon Rowe. The Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet will perform.
"It is an honor to be a part of such a distinguished event and use the Institute as a conduit to promote social change and peace through the language of peace of jazz," Rowe said.
The forum "celebrates and forwards" Brubeck's legacy as an artist using jazz to promote peace and social justice. Brubeck visited 42 countries, many under the support of the U.S. State Department, and left an indelible mark on the global culture and public diplomacy. His first international tour was in 1958 and included performances in Holland, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany. He later began a State Department tour that involved 12 countries, including Poland, India, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq.
"From this beginning, he regularly toured around the world celebrating the spirit of America with the one true American art form: jazz," reads a statement on the event. "(Brubeck's) career brought him direct contact with many United States presidents, including traveling with Ronald Regan to a pivotal summit with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, receiving the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton in 1994, and being praised by President Barack Obama upon receiving the Kennedy Center Honor in 2009.
UNESCO's International Jazz Day and the Jazz: A Language for Peace forum illustrate how to "bring together communities, schools and groups from across the world to celebrate jazz, learn about its roots and highlight its important role as a form of communication that transcends differences; to promote intercultural dialogue towards the eradication of racial tensions and gender inequality and to reinforce the role of youth for social change, and to recognize jazz as a universal language of freedom," according to the UNESCO website.