Musical respite planned by Samoana Jazz and Arts Festival Boards


As the people of Samoa and American Samoa learn how to navigate life under various levels of lockdown and other disruptions to our island’s way of life caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic, a brief musical respite is being planned by the Samoana Jazz and Arts Festival Boards of the two Samoas.

Events are being planned to celebrate International Jazz Day on the 29th and 30th of April 2022. In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day and in December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly formally welcomed the decision by the UNESCO General Conference to proclaim April 30 as International Jazz Day.

This year’s flagship Jazz Day event, a spectacular All-Star Global Concert, will feature performances by some of the world’s most accomplished jazz artists and will be staged in the UN General Assembly Hall, in New York.

A worldwide webcast of the concert can be watched locally at 10:00 am Samoa time on Sunday 1 May 2022 (on the UNESCO website, YouTube, Facebook, and

The 2022 All-Star Global Concert will make a powerful statement in support of peace, healing and unity through a diverse series of performances by leading jazz artists from around the globe. Concerts throughout the world emphasize the importance of jazz as a means of achieving unity and peace through dialogue and diplomacy.

International Jazz Day is chaired and led by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.

The Institute is the nonprofit charged with planning, promoting and producing this annual celebration.

The United Nations and UNESCO now both recognize International Jazz Day on their official calendars. International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, and reinforce international cooperation and communication.

Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; fostering gender equality; and promoting freedom of expression. In Samoa, “Samoana Jazz” features a series of events including a conch-shell greeting of the dawn in the first country to see the light of a new day.

On Friday evening, 29 April 2022, “The Untold Jazz Story,” a 48-minute documentary film about music and jazz in the two Samoas, the birthplace of jazz in the Pacific, will be shown at Sails Restaurant where there will also be live music by Shadze of Samoa accompanied by local musicians.

Among other aspects of Samoa’s music heritage, “The Untold Jazz Story” introduces viewers to Mavis Rivers, the Pacific’s Queen of Jazz described by Frank Sinatra as “the purest voice in jazz,” comparable to the late great Ella Fitzgerald.

Island Jazz in American Samoa, the last country on earth to see the sunset on International Jazz Day, features gifted local musicians jamming live from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Freddies Beach, Fogagogo.

The event closes with a fire knife dance tribute to the late Feddie Letuli, father of the Samoan fire knife dance (siva afi).