The Spirit of Harlem mural by Louis Delsarte in Harlem, New York, USA
© Pietro Scozzari/agefotostoc
International Jazz Day. The Spirit of Harlem
On International Jazz Day, we're featuring The Spirit of Harlem on our homepage, a glass mosaic mural by artist Louis Delsarte in New York City, USA. Found near the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, it depicts, among others, jazz greats like Cab Calloway and Count Basie. Originally commissioned in 2005, the mural was covered up in 2017, when a new shop moved into its location. After a petition and protests, the retailer worked with Delsarte to restore the mural and add a new plaque dedicating it to the Harlem community. Delsarte, whose other works include a 125ft mural at the Martin Luther King Jr Natatorium in Atlanta, died in May 2020.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) designates 30 April as International Jazz Day to highlight the music and its role in cultures around the world. Musician Herbie Hancock, who serves as a Unesco goodwill ambassador, was instrumental in starting Jazz Day in 2011. It includes educational programmes, community events and performances around the world. This year will feature a mix of virtual and in-person events.