Friday marked the 10th anniversary of International Jazz Day and it was the second time the milestone has been celebrated in Whanganui.
The international event was started by jazz legend Herbie Hancock, a goodwill ambassador for United Nations arm Unesco, who says the mutual co-operation 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 Organisation. Its aim is to build peace through international co-operation across many disciplines.
Jazz is one of several "international days" the Unesco hosts to mark human life and history.
"Jazz helps peace because jazz is like a language and we use language to share ideas to share knowledge, to share things with people that bring them together," said Unesco Commissioner Vanisa Dhiru.
"Unesco is the United Nations organisation that supports all the thinking around science culture and education," Dhiru said.
While jazz and science may seem worlds apart, Dhiru says it's how you conceptualise science.
"Science is around making sure that people discover, that they learn, that we take learnings from science and apply them to everyday life."
The event's organiser and president of the Whanganui Jazz Club, Ken Chernoff, said the event brings people together.
"From all walks of life, from all over the world to promote a kaupapa that is very important to the world today," he said. "Which is communication, international co-operation and initiatives locally to get people together to promote intercultural dialogue."
Rodger Fox led the workshop for school students during the day. He was pleased with the turnout.
"We had about 30 students from around the area. Fifteen or sixteen came across from Freyberg High School in Palmerston North which is great," he said.
"Most of them play in concert bands, brass bands and orchestras with a few playing jazz. It's really giving them insight into what the music is all about. I think a lot of them think with the improvisational side of jazz people just make it up, they don't realise there is a formula to go through to actually be able to improvise, so that you are 'in key', as it were."
A gala performance was held at the Whanganui Collegiate Prince Edward Auditorium, with students sharing the stage with the pros - the Rodger Fox Nonet and WAI.TAI.
Whanganui is the only place in Aotearoa that formally celebrates International Jazz day.
Unesco is funded by the New Zealand Government. Dhiru said. "It's part of the responsibility of the New Zealand Government in being part of the Unesco Family, to make sure that we've got some resources here in New Zealand to help promote the objectives of Unesco."
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