Meet Our Community
Ken Chernoff New Zealand
Ken Chernoff is the president of the Whanganui Jazz Club, which has presented International Jazz Day events in New Zealand since 2018. For information on what the Whanganui Jazz Club has planned for International Jazz Day 2022, visit their event page.
“Jazz knows, and Mr. Hancock, by creating International Jazz Day and proposing the Ethics of Jazz, puts jazz in the conversation about how we can work to bring peace and justice to the world.”
Why do you celebrate International Jazz Day?
In 2016, I was asked by the Whanganui Jazz Club to take on the role of President. In the course of my duties, I found out about International Jazz Day and discovered that no one in Aotearoa New Zealand had registered an event. I found it remarkable that jazz music had joined with UNESCO to create this platform. I consider it to be important in so many ways, and my energies are directed to establishing the event in the civic calendar.
Tell us about a favorite memory from International Jazz Day
Last year, the Communication and Information Commissioner of the NZ Commission for UNESCO attended the event. She was truly moved by the event, and I will always cherish the memory of her heartfelt appreciation for what she experienced.
How do you think jazz can improve people’s lives?
Jazz does improve people’s lives. That’s part of what it is. A great Quebecois poet, Gilbert Langevin, stated the problem and I paraphrase “To love..this a a vast country…but how do we live in it?” Jazz knows, and Mr. Hancock, by creating International Jazz Day and proposing the Ethics of Jazz, puts jazz in the conversation about how we can work to bring peace and justice to the world.