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PRESS RELEASE: International Jazz Day Namibia 2024

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International Jazz Day Namibia 2024

Jazz: for peace, dialogue, mutual understanding and freedom of expression


The world has celebrated International Jazz Day on 30 April annually, following its proclamation by the UNESCO General Conference of Member States in November 2011. The Day is intended to raise awareness of the benefits of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for promoting dialogue among cultures, freedom of expression, and mutual understanding. As a musical artform, jazz promotes artistic innovation, improvisation, and is a tool for cultural expression. In an age of rapid technological advancement, new opportunities are emerging for expanding the genre. These include the empowerment of young people to explore and experiment with their traditional music forms, jazz, digitization and new technologies, while providing an opportunity for a diversified source of income for cultural workers.

Namibia’s history with jazz dates back to the 20th century and the art form has served as a platform to bring communities together. The popularity of jazz has also been growing, including through the organization of events such as the annual Windhoek Jazz Festival, Windhoek Jazz Nights which was an initiative by the Fu Jazz All Stars band in collaboration with Ondjila Y’Ondjaba Concert Agency, and the Hilton Hotel’s Thursday Jazz Etcetera. Additionally, for almost a decade, Namibia has joined the world in celebrating International Jazz Day, aimed at promoting the genre and encouraging regional and international jazz exchanges, collaboration and dialogue. The presence of local jazz musicians such as Suzy Eises, Erna Chimu, Dennis Eiseb, Sharon van Rooyen, old timers Ugly Creatures and Sigera Band, as well as Lize Ehlers, Fu Jazz All Stars Band and Major 7th, has also contributed to the growth of the genre.

For the celebration of International Jazz Day 2024, UNESCO, the Directorate of Arts at the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC), the College of the Arts (COTA), the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN), the Museums Association of Namibia (MAN) and the U.S Embassy in Namibia will host the following public events:


On Monday, 29 April from 14h30 – 17h30

Colloquium on jazz and digital technology: FNCC will host the colloquium, which will bring together music students and practitioners, and leaders in digital and technology industries in Namibia, with ICT policy planners and government officials to engage and explore different aspects of jazz and digital technology. The half-day event will address issues such as:

  • Perception and evolution of traditional jazz music in Namibia
  • Educating young jazz musicians – access and quality
  • Supporting expansion of a creative industry around jazz music – challenges and opportunities
  • Digitalization and technological advancements – advantages and pitfalls

A pilot Youth Jazz Music Program on Namibian jazz music and digitalization aimed at encouraging young musicians to develop an appreciation for traditional Namibian jazz, while stimulating creativity and innovation will also be launched during the colloquium. This music program will be spearheaded by the College of the Arts under the Directorate of Arts and will run for eight months, May to December 2024. Participants will be expected to develop a composition founded in traditional Namibian music and incorporating aspects of digital technology.

Capacity building within participants, including development of the capacities of music/jazz teachers will be included in the pilot programme. The musical production from the top three schools will be presented to the public at International Jazz Day 2025.


On Tuesday, 30th April from 19h00 – 22h00

International Jazz Day concert: The celebration of International Jazz Day 2024 will close off with a live concert at the backstage of the National Theater of Namibia featuring local jazz acts: Erna Chimu, Suzy Eises, Sharon Van Rooi and Slow. The audience will also be treated to an interlude of Namibia’s Nama Music by the Aboxan Musik ǀŌb ǂÂns tsî ǁKhasigu, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, during its fifteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in December 2020. Aboxan Musik ǀŌb ǂÂns tsî ǁKhasigu relates to the ancestral musical sound knowledge and skills related to the specific traditional music of the Nama people. It involves the use of traditional musical instruments: the khab (musical bow) and !guitsib (traditional guitar), usually played by men or women, and the vlies (harmonica), usually played by women, accompanied by singing, humming and ululating.

For more information kindly contact Brumilda Gertze, Programme Assistant for Culture at UNESCO at Tel: 061 291 7000 or email:

See you there!


In partnership with:

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