By Fiddy Kimathi,

Hundreds of Kenyans celebrated the International Jazz Day in style at the Safaricom International Jazz Festival at the Carnivore grounds, Nairobi.

In this year’s festival, Safaricom brought together several Kenyan Jazz artists and bands who have graced the stage at Safaricom International Jazz Festival throughout the years.

These jazz stars included Jacob Asiyo, Kavutha Mwanzia – Asiyo, Edward Parseen & Different Faces Band, Shamsi Music, Nairobi Horns Project, Eddie Grey, Chris Bittok, Mwai & The Truth, Juma Tutu, James Gogo and Afro Sync among others.

UNESCO, which officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day, celebrated the 6th International Jazz Day in Havanna, Cuba. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova herald jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.

“Today, we celebrate the international art form of jazz and its power to promote dialogue among cultures, to make the most of diversity, to deepen respect for human rights and all forms of expression. The story of jazz is written into the quest for human dignity, democracy and civil rights. Its rhythms and variety have given strength to the struggle against all forms of discrimination and racism – this is the message we must take across the world today.”

Here are some of the highlights of the festival:

As the great Nina Simone said, “Jazz is not just music, it is a way of life, it is a way of being, a way of thinking.” It is everywhere, all around us, inspiring us to better ourselves through music and in life.

Photo Credit: Caleb Mutua. For more Safaricom Jazz action, visit Caleb Mutua’s Instagram page @calebimages,,,,,,,,