The North Beach Jazz Mural created by Bay Area artist Bill Weber in San Francisco
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Get in tune with International Jazz Day. International Jazz Day
On April 30 the world celebrates International Jazz Day, a UNESCO designation to honour an art form that has brought people and cultures together from all over the world. The beautiful mural we highlight today epitomizes the wondrous alchemy that is jazz. Even its location – the junction of North Beach, Chinatown, and the Barbary Coast neighbourhoods in San Francisco – symbolises a dynamic nexus of heritage and experience galvanised by a musical form that has unleashed creative genius for more than a century.
Artist Bill Weber named his piece 'Jazz' when he first painted the mural in 1987, and it features such leading lights of the music as Teddy Wilson on piano, Gene Krupa playing drums, and Benny Goodman with his signature clarinet.
Jazz originated in the early 20th century as a blending of European harmonic structures and African rhythms. It grew out of ragtime and blues music among African American musicians in and around New Orleans, but quickly spread to other parts of the US and eventually around the world. Jazz has continually evolved ever since, introducing such forms as bebop, fusion, acid jazz, and many more.