Jazz is celebrated by stars of music and film

Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas watch International Jazz Day concert at UN headquarters, with performances from Wynton Marsalis, Lang Lang and Stevie Wonder.

Jazz was celebrated across America yesterday by cultural icons as diverse as film stars Morgan Freedman and Robert de Niro, soul singer Stevie Wonder and Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang.

The celebrations culminated in a finale International Jazz Day concert, featuring Lang Lang, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock and Tony Bennett, at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Quincy Jones said: "Jazz is America's only true indigenous art form. It's our classical music, you've got to remember that. It's the heart and soul of American music and we can't afford to let it slip into obscurity."

International Jazz Day was launched in Paris on Friday by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, of which Hancock is chairman.

Monday's events began with a concert in New Orleans featuring Hancock and Wynton Marsalis's 78-year-old pianist father Ellis. Trumpeters Terence Blanchard and Kermit Ruffins, singer Stephanie Jordan and others performed On the Sunny Side of the Street. Marsalis added: "Jazz musicians are everywhere. We all know each other."

Courtesy of The Telegraph

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