Local focus: Jazz for peace
International Jazz Day shows cooperation through music. Made with funding from NZ On Air.
Friday marked the 10th anniversary of International Jazz Day and it was the second time that this milestone was celebrated in Whanganui.
The international event was started by jazz legend Herbie Hancock, goodwill ambassador for Unesco, the United Nations branch, who says the mutual cooperation needed to play jazz is a skill the world could use in everyday life.
Unesco is the acronym for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Its objective is to build peace through international cooperation in many disciplines.
Jazz is one of the many “international days” that Unesco hosts to mark human life and history.
“Jazz contributes to peace because jazz is like a language and we use the language to share ideas, to share knowledge, to share things with people who bring them together,” said Unesco Commissioner Vanisa Dhiru.
“Unesco is the United Nations organization which supports all reflections on scientific culture and education,” said Dhiru.
While jazz and science may seem like worlds apart, Dhiru says that’s how you conceptualize science.
“Science is about making sure that people discover, that they learn, that we take the lessons of science and apply them to everyday life.”
Event organizer and Whanganui Jazz Club president Ken Chernoff said the event brings people together.
“From all walks of life, all over the world to promote a kaupapa who is very important to the world today,” he said. “Which is communication, international cooperation and initiatives at the local level to bring people together to promote intercultural dialogue.”
Rodger Fox led the workshop for the school’s students during the day. He was happy with the turnout.
“We had about 30 students from all over the region. Fifteen or sixteen came from Freyberg High School in Palmerston North, which is great, ”he said.
“Most of them play in orchestras, fanfares and orchestras with some jazz. It really gives them a taste of what music is. I think a lot of them think with the improvised side of jazz. ., they don’t realize that there is a formula to be followed to be able to actually improvise, so that you are “in key”, so to speak. “
A gala performance was held at the Whanganui Collegiate Prince Edward Auditorium, with the students sharing the stage with the pros – the Rodger Fox Nonet and WAI.TAI.
Whanganui is the only place in Aotearoa that officially celebrates International Jazz Day.
Unesco is funded by the New Zealand government. Said Dhiru. “Being part of the Unesco family is part of the New Zealand government’s responsibility to ensure that we have resources here in New Zealand to help promote Unesco’s goals.”
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