On April 30, Harlem’s third annual International Jazz Day was held at the Dwyer Cultural Center at Harlem’s Center for Arts Innovation in honor of UNESCO, the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, the United Nations for Non-Governmental Organizations and the New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violence.
This year’s special guest was Mayor of Hiroshima, Japan, and President of Mayors for Peace Kazumi Matsui and Secretary General of Mayors for Peace and Chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation Yasuyoshi Komizo.
A proclamation was presented from the office of Rep. Charles B. Rangel, and a citation was presented from the office of Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright.
The International Jazz Day Committee members are Ademola Olugebefola, Rafee Kamaal, Daaiya Sanusi, Yohei Suzuki, Cliff Frazier, Jadayah Spencer, Renee Mitchell and Chadae Lomax.
The prestigious reception featured great jazz music from Tyrone Birkett and Emancipation, Japanese female jazz vocalist Okaru Lovelace and teenage African-American jazz vocalist Sheimyrah Mighty. The evening’s emcees were Greg Thomas and his wife, Jewel Kinch Thomas.
A special presentation was given to Matsui by the Dwyer Cultural Center for Japan’s tremendous love for jazz music.