Thursday, May 1, 2014
Jazz Stands for Hope In A World That Doesn't Always Make Things Easy - Herbie Hancock
"The Third International Jazz Day is coming to a close. Tonight's performance, today's musical educational activities have demonstrated that Jazz stands for hope in a world that doesn't always make things easy. We have learned no matter where we live, what language we speak, who or what we worship, or the color of our skin; Jazz knows no boundaries.
I would like to thank the government of Japan, the government of Osaka Prefecture and the kind people of Osaka for graciously hosting our global celebration.
The citizens in all 196 countries who organized and participated in the creation of our global movement whose impact will ring loud and clear throughout the year. I want to thank them too. The international space station and McMurdo Station in Antarctica for joining our jazz family this year.
A special thank you to UNESCO, Tom Carter, The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the millions of fans and supporters watching this broadcast.
World change starts where? From within! So let there be peace on earth. Let it begin with me.
In 2009, I collaborated with 50 musicians from a variety of often divergent worldwide regions to extend a message of hope through the power of music highlight just how much we all have in common.
I call this the Imagine Project. The title came from the 1971 universally beloved John Lennon's song "Imagine". Naturally, one of the songs on the album is "Imagine". The lyrics basically ask: "Why can't we all just get along? You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one."
I would like to invite our international all-stars to the stage for our final performance to close out this evenings concert with song's powerful message.
This moving and touching finale performance took jazz back to its African roots with the vocal influence of Oumoue Sangare singing Africa, George Benson singing in an African dialect, plus solos of Wayne Shorter on the Saxophone, Earl Klugh on guitar lead by Herbie Hancock on electric piano. The other vocals on this song Imagine are Lala Hathaway, Dionne Warwick, and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
The finale was the best part of the Global Concert in my opinion. It was my awakening or "Ah Ha Moment". Herbie Hancock's message of world peace through jazz, truly spoke to me through the convergence of these international rhythms of jazz beats and vocals.
Jazz will heal the violence of our youth in Chicago. Jazz is the answer we seek to the death of Chicago youth. Thank you to Herbie Hancock for this message of healing through jazz.
"Jazz is a response to oppression that is not bullets and blood. Jazz is the expression of harmony...and at the same time of hope and freedom." -Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock's message and Imagine Finale begin at about the 2:44:00 marker.