International Jazz Day recognized in Merced

05/01/2014 7:49 PM

05/01/2014 11:16 PM

The smooth sounds of The Mikel Soria Jazz Trio set a relaxed atmosphere on the patio of Strings restaurant Wednesday evening, as an audience of jazz lovers turned out to celebrate International Jazz Day 2014.

Recognized on April 30 every year, International Jazz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011. The role of International Jazz Day is to raise awareness globally of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and cooperation among people, according to the United Nations website.

The Mikel Soria Jazz Trio – guitarist Mikel Soria, bassist Brian Toel and drummer Rudy Merino – played a diverse selection of music for the audience to enjoy, ranging from Miles Davis’ “So What” to a jazz rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

Wednesday’s event in Merced was organized by Music of Tom Hoffmann, a nonprofit focused on youth jazz music education and other charitable causes. The Merced show was also done with support from the Herb Alpert Foundation, according to Sharon Hoffmann, Music of Tom Hoffmann secretary.

Merced was among many cities Wednesday to mark International Jazz Day, including New York, Istanbul, London and Sydney. The largest International Jazz Day celebration happened at Osaka Castel Park in Osaka, Japan, and a webcast of the event streamed live online.

Artists participating in the Osaka concert included Esperanza Spalding, Dionne Warwick, Wayne Shorter, Earl Klugh, Herbie Hancock, Sheila E, Pete Escovedo and Gregory Porter, among others, according to the International Jazz Day website.

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