The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts offers a degree in Jazz and Popular Music Studies since 2007 and is delighted to join the rest of the world to acknowledge the role jazz has played in society. We believe that Jamaica's music scene is vibrant, rich and holds an international appeal and our own music forms has influences in Jazz. As the first and only institution of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean, we believe we play a major role in using the arts to educate, heal and enrich the nation. We also believe that Kingston with its unique pulse can be eventually selected by the United Nations as the city of choice to celebrate International Jazz Day in years to come and is dedicated to growing the celebratory activities in Jamaica.
In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Institute is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing this annual celebration, which began in 2012.