Monthly Archives: April 2017

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY: APRIL 30, 2017

International Jazz Day

April 30 has been designated as International Jazz Day by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

International Jazz Day is April 30
April 30 will be celebrated as the International Jazz Day.
©iStockphoto.com/Mark Hatfield

International Jazz Day celebrates the historical, cultural, and educational contribution of this popular genre of music. The day aims to spread international awareness about this unique musical style; and to promote the cultural, and social values that Jazz stands for.

Background

Jazz is a uniquely American musical style that emerged out of the slave experience, primarily in southern United States. It is deeply rooted in the rich musical, and cultural traditions of Africa, and is heavily influenced by European music. New Orleans is generally considered to be the birthplace of this popular musical form, which is now seen as a voice of freedom and empowerment, and a statement against injustice, and oppression all around the world.

Today, Jazz has spread all over the globe, and is constantly evolving, being influenced by, and influencing other musical forms and genres.

The initiative to create an International Day of Jazz came from American Jazz pianist, composer, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogues, Herbie Hancock. The purpose of the initiative was to focus global attention to the role that Jazz has played in breaking down race and gender barriers around the world; and in promoting cooperation; mutual understanding, and communication; peace and freedom.

Celebrations

Several activities mark the celebration of International Jazz Day, including Jazz concerts and performances, film screenings, and conference and panel discussions.

International Jazz Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Mon Apr 30 2012 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
Tue Apr 30 2013 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
Wed Apr 30 2014 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
Thu Apr 30 2015 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
Sat Apr 30 2016 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
Sun Apr 30 2017 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
Mon Apr 30 2018 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
Tue Apr 30 2019 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
Thu Apr 30 2020 International Jazz Day United Nations observance
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IN REMEMBRANCE: 4-30-2017

JONATHAN DEMME, OSCAR-WINNING DIRECTOR

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Jonathan Demme

CreditSuzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning filmmaker who observed emphatically American characters with a discerning eye, a social conscience and a rock ’n’ roll heart, achieving especially wide acclaim with “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” died on Wednesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 73.

His publicist, Leslee Dart, confirmed the death. Mr. Demme disclosed that he had cancer in 2015.

Mob wives, CB radio buffs and AIDS victims; Hannibal Lecter, Howard Hughes and Jimmy Carter: Mr. Demme (pronounced DEM-ee) plucked his subjects and stories largely from the stew of contemporary American subcultures and iconography. He created a body of work — including fiction films and documentaries, dramas and comedies, original scripts, adaptations and remakes — that resists easy characterization.

A personable man with the curiosity gene and the what-comes-next instinct of someone who likes to both hear and tell stories, Mr. Demme had a good one of his own, a Mr. Deeds kind of tale in which he wandered into good fortune and took advantage of it. A former movie publicist, he had an apprenticeship in low-budget B-movies with the producer Roger Corman before turning director.

Mr. Demme became known early in his career for quirky social satires that led critics to compare him to Preston Sturges. They included “Handle With Care” (1977), originally titled “Citizens Band,” about eccentric rural Americans linked by trucks and CB radios, and “Melvin and Howard” (1980), a tale inspired by true events, which starred Jason Robards as the billionaire recluse Howard Hughes and Paul Le Mat as an earnest gas station owner who picks him up in the desert after Hughes has had a crash on his motorcycle. Hughes ostensibly leaves a colossal fortune to the man, who never gets the money, of course, losing his claim to it in court.

“Mr. Demme and Bo Goldman, his screenwriter, take Melvin’s tale at face value and present the movie as Melvin’s wildest dream,” Vincent Canby wrote in a review in The New York Times. “The comic catch is that this wild dream is essentially so prosaic. It’s also touched with pathos since Melvin — in spite of himself — knows that it will never be realized. This is the story of his life.”

A Batch of Oscars in the ’90s

Mr. Demme may be best remembered for two films from the 1990s that were, at the time, his career’s biggest anomalies. The first, “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), was a vivid thriller based on the novel by Thomas Harris that earned five Oscars, including best picture and best director. Unlike his previous films, with their mischievous pleasure and tender melancholy, this was straightforward and serious storytelling with only a few moments of shivery humor.

The story is told largely from the perspective of an F.B.I. trainee who becomes a key figure in the pursuit of a serial killer known as Buffalo Bill when she is assigned to conduct a prison interview with Hannibal Lecter, a mad and murderous psychiatrist, hoping to extract from him clues to Bill’s identity.

It was the first big-budget Hollywood film about AIDS, and with its forthright depiction of homosexuality, homophobia and the disease that was rampaging through gay communities, it was a turning point in the way mainstream movies treated gay men and lesbians, who had previously been handled with hush-hush delicacy or flamboyant caricature. Mr. Hanks won an Oscar, and so did Bruce Springsteen, for the song that introduces the film, “Streets of Philadelphia.”

Rock music — music in general, really, but rock and its Caribbean siblings most of all — is central to many of Mr. Demme’s films. Among them was one of his last, “Ricki and the Flash” (2015), which starred Meryl Streep as the aging singer of a bar band in California who is the ex-wife of a well-to-do Indianapolis businessman (Kevin Kline) and the estranged mother of their children.

Where to Stream Jonathan Demme Movies

From a Justin Timberlake concert film to several romantic comedies, here are some of the director’s most interesting movies.

The synchronization with music and narrative is evident in “Something Wild” (1986), a “really screwball” comedy, as Pauline Kael of The New Yorker described it, that “breaks conventions and turns into a scary slapstick thriller.” The beginning, set in New York City, has a telling establishing shot, perfect for the time and place — the Reagan ’80s, with its ostentatious masters of the universe and a teeming, disdainful underclass — in which the head of a young man shouldering a boom box is held firmly in the frame before the camera moves.

What elevates the ending from disappointing sentiment to a winking, it’s-only-a-movie joy is the credit sequence, in which the singer Sister Carol, who plays a minor role in the film, sways against a graffiti-splashed wall and performs a reggae variation on the 1960s standard “Wild Thing.” The song was one of 49 to be featured in the movie, which also included music by Jimmy Cliff, Oingo Boingo, Fine Young Cannibals and David Byrne of Talking Heads.

Mr. Byrne also scored Mr. Demme’s “Married to the Mob,” a gaudy 1988 farce in which Michelle Pfeiffer plays the wife of a Long Island gangster (Alec Baldwin) who tries to exit the mob life after her husband is bumped off when he dallies with the girlfriend of the local boss (Dean Stockwell). Things get especially dicey when she moves with her young son into a shabby Manhattan apartment and strikes up a romance with an F.B.I. agent (Matthew Modine) who has her under surveillance.

A Happenstance Start

Robert Jonathan Demme was born on Long Island, in Baldwin, on Feb. 22, 1944, and grew up mostly in nearby Rockville Centre, where he listened to music and went to the movies.

His father, Robert, was a publicist in the travel industry; his mother was the former Dorothy Rogers. (At 71, Dorothy Demme appeared in a music video for UB40 and Chrissie Hynde directed by her son. She later appeared in some of his films, including “Something Wild” and “Philadelphia.” She died in 1995.)

It happened that Mr. Levine was on vacation in Miami Beach, staying at the Fontainebleau Hotel, where he had become acquainted with the hotel’s publicist, Robert Demme. The elder Demme introduced Mr. Levine to his son, whose review of “Zulu” impressed him. Mr. Levine offered him a job.

Jonathan Demme in 1980. Credit Eddie Hausner/The New York Times

In 1971, he took a job as a unit publicist in Ireland for a Roger Corman film, “Von Richthofen and Brown,” about a German flying ace. Shortly after that, he began making films of his own for Corman’s production company. He wrote (with Joe Viola) and produced a biker film, “Angels Hard as They Come,” and wrote and directed a handful of others, including “Caged Heat” (1974), a heavy-breathing women’s prison movie, and “Crazy Mama” (1975), a campy road story with a ’50s rock score that starred Ann Sothern and Cloris Leachman as mother-and-daughter outlaws.

After other directors passed on “Citizens Band,” a script by Paul Brickman, Paramount hired Mr. Demme to direct it.

Mr. Demme’s first marriage, to Evelyn Purcell, ended in divorce. He later married Joanne Howard, an artist. She survives him along with three children, Brooklyn, Ramona and Jos. Complete information on survivors was not immediately available. Mr. Demme also had a home in Nyack, N.Y.

Mr. Demme was a member of the alternative arts scene of Lower Manhattan, which included Mr. Gray, who died in 2004, as well as Mr. Byrne and the composer and performer Laurie Anderson, who scored “Swimming to Cambodia.”

Better was “The Truth About Charlie” (2002), a well-paced remake of “Charade,” the 1963 thriller set in Paris about a woman (Thandie Newton in the Audrey Hepburn role) pursued by men who are out to reclaim a treasure filched by her husband, who has turned up dead.

And even better was “Rachel Getting Married” (2008). Set during a weekend in which Rachel (Rosemary DeWitt), a white woman, is to wed her black fiancé, Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe), the film presents a diverse gathering of two families and various friends within and around the sprawling Connecticut home of Rachel’s father (Bill Irwin) and his second wife (Anna Deavere Smith).

In many ways, “Rachel Getting Married” synthesizes the main characteristics and concerns of Mr. Demme’s body of work. Among the wedding guests are character actors who make appearances in other Demme films, so there’s a family within a family on the screen. And in its obvious but casual multiethnicity, the movie recognizes, with the progressive hopefulness often present in his films, an American whole after providing many close-ups of individual slices.

“It might seem that this tableau is a kind of utopian wish fulfillment, the naïve projection of a longed-for harmony that does not yet exist,” A. O. Scott wrote in his Times review. “To some extent this may be true, but the texture of ‘Rachel Getting Married’ is so loose and lived in, its faces (many of them belonging to nonprofessional actors) so interesting and real, that it looks more plausibly like a mirror of the way things are.

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SKYWATCH: CASSINI DIVES BETWEEN SATURN AND ITS RINGS, USPS HONORS AMATEUR ASTROPHOTOGRAPHER FRED ESPENAK, AND MORE

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The U.S. Postal Service’s new Total Eclipse Forever stamp will feature photos by the well-know eclipse expert Fred Espenak, who is also a master of many different kinds of astrophotography.

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Orbital Path Podcast: Making Gravitational Waves

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Hear the latest on gravitational waves from NASA’s Michelle Thaller and astronomer Marco Chiaberge. Plus, learn how the universe sings to us in gravitational waves, and how we’re starting to listen.

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LISA Pathfinder: From Gravitational Waves to Space Dust

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LISA Pathfinder, the technology testbed mission for a future gravitational-wave detector, turns out to be a surprisingly good micrometeoroid hunter.

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OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, April 28 – May 6

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Tonight, as twilight fades in the west, spot Aldebaran and Mars to the lower right of the crescent Moon, as shown here.

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Are You Ready, Willing, and Abell?

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A cosmic rabbit hole in the tail of Leo will take you to Abell 1367, a wonderland of galaxies more than 300 million light-years from Earth. Step in and lose yourself in the vastness.

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Tour April’s Sky: Critters on the March

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Spot a lion, a sea serpent, and two bears in the evening sky of April. And stay tuned for May’s Sky Tour podcast, coming soon!

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COMMUNITY

Spring Astronomy Day 2017!

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Don’t have any weekend plans? You do now! Join your local amateur astronomy community in celebrating Spring Astronomy Day, Saturday April 29th.

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Astronomers March for Science

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Three celestially minded participants in April 22nd’s March for Science share their experience. Hear from representatives of the Planetary Society, the American Astronomical Society, and the International Dark-Sky Association.

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DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF CHEMICAL WARFARE: APRIL 29, 2017

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

The United Nations (UN) officially observes the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare on April 29 each year.

A gas mask, or respirator.
©iStockphoto.com/kramer-1

What Do People Do

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare gives people the chance to pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare. It also allows governments and organizations to commit or reaffirm their commitment to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an organization that aims to end the threat of chemical weapons and promote the peace and security worldwide.

Public Life

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is a UN observance and not a public holiday on April 29.

Background

In November 2005 the UN decided to observe a memorial “Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare” on April 29 each year. The date April 29 was chosen for this observance because it was when the Chemical Weapons Convention came into force.

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Fri Apr 29 2011 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Sun Apr 29 2012 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Mon Apr 29 2013 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Tue Apr 29 2014 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Wed Apr 29 2015 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Fri Apr 29 2016 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Sat Apr 29 2017 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Sun Apr 29 2018 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Mon Apr 29 2019 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance
Wed Apr 29 2020 Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare United Nations observance

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WORLD DAY FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK: APRIL 28, 2017

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations (UN) actively promote the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28 every year.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work
World Day for Safety and Health at Work helps raise awareness of workplace safety and health issues.
©iStockphoto.com/Eagle_373

What Do People Do?

The UN, ILO and other organizations, communities, individuals, and government bodies with an interest in workplace health and safety unite on or around April 28 to promote an international campaign known as World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The UN posts this event in its events calendar each year.

Community leaders and organizational representatives often promote the day by speaking out on issues such as workplace health and safety standards. Various media have promoted the day through news articles and broadcast programs. Different types of events and activities that center on workplace health and safety are held in many countries on or around April 28 each year.

Public Life

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an observance and is not a public holiday.

Background

The International Labour Organization (ILO) started observing the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28, 2003. The ILO is devoted to advancing opportunities for people to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. It aims to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, boost social protection, and strengthen dialogue in work-related issues.

2017 Theme: “Optimize the collection and use of OSH data”

World Day for Safety and Health at Work Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Wed Apr 28 2010 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Thu Apr 28 2011 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Sat Apr 28 2012 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Sun Apr 28 2013 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Mon Apr 28 2014 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Tue Apr 28 2015 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Thu Apr 28 2016 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Fri Apr 28 2017 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Sat Apr 28 2018 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Sun Apr 28 2019 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance
Tue Apr 28 2020 World Day for Safety and Health at Work United Nations observance

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COLORLINES: THE SOUNDS OF RESISTANCE

Meet 5 Jazz Artists of Color Making New Music With Healing Power

Thanks in part to crossover stars such as Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper, a new generation is embracing jazz. Meet five artists of color who are making music to fight the power, tell our stories and heal our hearts in these tough times.

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WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DAY [WIPO]: APRIL 26, 2017

World Intellectual Property Day

World Intellectual Property Day is observed on April 26 each year with a variety of events and activities worldwide. It aims to increase people’s awareness and understanding of intellectual property (IP). World Intellectual Property Day is sometimes referred as World IP Day.

World Intellectual Property Day
World Intellectual Property Day focuses on increasing people’s awareness and understanding of all aspects of intellectual property.
©iStockphoto.com/samdiesel

What Do People Do?

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) works together with various government agencies, non-government organizations, community groups and individuals to hold different events and activities to promote World Intellectual Property Day each year. Activities and events may include (but are not exclusive to):

  • Stage concerts or other public performances centered around the around the World IP Day theme, with the performers delivering messages which encourage respect for creators and creativity.
  • Essay competitions for young people on themes relating to intellectual property, innovation, piracy, counterfeiting, and other similar issues.
  • Seminars or free lectures in universities to build awareness of intellectual property and its benefits among students, faculty and researchers.
  • Exhibits in museums, art galleries, schools and other educational institutions, with presentations explaining the link between exhibitions, innovation and intellectual property.

Some local intellectual and copyright offices may have an open day on or around April 26 to promote World IP Day. Some educational institutions may choose World IP Day as a time to celebrate the works of a notable inventor, artist, designer, or entrepreneur, and link discussions with the important role of intellectual property.

Public Life

World Intellectual Property Day, also known as World IP Day, is an observance held in many places around the world. It is not designated as a special public holiday.

Background

WIPO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.

WIPO decided in 2000 to designate an annual World Intellectual Property Day to address the perceived gap between IP as a business/legal concept and its relevance to people’s lives. April 26 was chosen as the date upon which the convention establishing WIPO first entered into force in 1970.

WIPO plays a key role in organizing World IP Day. The activities, events and campaigns that focus on World IP Day seek to increase public understanding of what IP really means, and to demonstrate how the IP system fosters not only music, arts and entertainments, but also all products and technological innovations that help to shape the world.

External Link

World IP Day Official Site

World Intellectual Property Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Mon Apr 26 2010 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Tue Apr 26 2011 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Thu Apr 26 2012 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Fri Apr 26 2013 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Sat Apr 26 2014 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Sun Apr 26 2015 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Tue Apr 26 2016 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Wed Apr 26 2017 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Thu Apr 26 2018 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Fri Apr 26 2019 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance
Sun Apr 26 2020 World Intellectual Property Day United Nations observance

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