The theme for Boston’s eighth annual Jazz Week (April 25 through May 4) is “No Walls: A Salute to the Power of Jazz to Bring People Together.” Its centerpiece will be a free concert to be held at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., on April 30, the date proclaimed as International Jazz Day by UNESCO a little over three years ago with that theme in mind.
The title “No Walls” comes from an anthemic South African-style piece written by Boston composer Mark Harvey (of the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra). The purpose of the April 30 concert, says JazzBoston executive director Pauline Bilsky, is to “bring together, onstage and off, Boston’s diverse ethnic communities.” To that end, the program will include Latin American, Afro-Caribbean, Haitian, Armenian, and Cape Verdean jazz performed by, among others, Danilo Pérez, the Either/Orchestra, Musaner, Watchout Creole Jazz, and Zérui. The event will begin with a prelude on the steps of the church by Boston’s New Orleans-style brass band, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. The prelude begins at 6 p.m., the indoor concert at 7 p.m.
There are numerous other events throughout the week, many of them free and outdoors, some in clubs. On April 27, at Wally’s Jazz Café on Mass. Ave., Emilio Lyons, the legendary “sax doctor” of Rayburn Music — who has been the technician of choice for everyone from Illinois Jacquet, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, and Wayne Shorter to Branford Marsalis and Kenny Garrett — will be honored as a Boston Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association. The event, from 3 to 6 p.m., is free and open to the public, with music and light refreshments.
The Roy Haynes Award party for Fred Taylor at Scullers on May 4 will include performances by Rebecca Parris, Grace Kelly, Bob Gullotti, Yoko Miwa, Amanda Carr, and others.
Other free events include daily noon concerts at South Station and other public spaces around town and, as part of a “Next Generation of Jazz” program, a high school jazz band showcase at the Boston Public Library main branch in Copley Square on April 29 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
For more information about these and other related concert and club performances, go to www.jazzboston.org.