Written by Kaileigh Carew, produced for Online by Holly Parkinson.

International Jazz Day is about celebrating the art form of the music. Source: Flickr – Fabrice Plas.

Jazz music is renowned all over the world and to celebrate performances will be held today to celebrate International Jazz Day.

However, Jazz Music Institute CEO Nick Quigley says today is not just about beautiful music; there is meaning behind the art form.

“You have to be a really good listener to be a good jazz player, in my opinion, and that sort of brings about a bit more of a selflessness about trying to understand and have empathy for other people,” says Mr Quigley.

“That sort of core value of empathy can really help with trying to understand people of different backgrounds, different cultures, different ideas and beliefs and help people dealing with gender issues, race issues or class issues.”

Celebrations will bring the community together, according to jazz vocalist Charlotte Mclean.

“Especially the jazz parades and that sort of thing in the city – everyone, even if they don’t play an instrument, can come together, clap their hands or sing,” Ms Mclean says.

Mr Quigley also says that to appreciate jazz music and be a part of the International Jazz Day celebrations, people don’t even have to speak the same language.

“People that are from completely different cultures or backgrounds can all connect through the medium of jazz and I think that’s a really important thing to kind of celebrate is democracy and everything that jazz represents reflects the rest of society.”

Many jazz artists, including performer Andrea Gallagher, say jazz music has the ability to promote peace and freedom of expression, eradicate discrimination and even foster gender equality.

“Music in general is one of the most powerful sources,” says Ms Gallagher.

A Brisbane Jazz street parade is happening this afternoon at Queen Street Mall.