Archive | Jazz Festival

2019 Nelson Jazz Festival

On Thursday night during the final Nelson Jazz Club Social of the year, the 2019 Nelson Jazz Festival was officially launched.  The festival will run from January 2nd thru the 5th and include:

Check out the festival website for more information regarding our exciting lineup of national and local musicians.

2018 Nelson Jazz Festival

The 27th Nelson Jazz Festival kicks off on Tuesday 2nd January and runs until Saturday 6th January.

You can hear some of New Zealand’s best musicians performing Swing, Bop, Cool, Dixie  and Gypsy in various cafes and bars around Nelson.

The main event will be the Founders Park concert on Friday 5th January. Along with five bands playing from 4pm- 9.30pm, we have a great selection of ethnic food carts – evening meal sorted. $10 gate fee (under 16 free).

Jennine  Bailey will be performing a tribute to Billie Holiday at The Boathouse on Thursday 4th. Tickets $20 – available at Beggs Music Store

We have late night jams at East Street Cafe from 9-12pm on Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th and Saturday 6th January. $5 door charge.

Programme detail will be uploaded as artists are confirmed.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Gilmour
Nelson Jazzfest Director 2018
021 1542997

2017 Nelson Jazz Festival Lineup Announced

The 2017 Nelson Jazz Festival will be held from Jan 3 – 6 and include local and out of town bands, films and jam sessions at several venues around the Nelson area. For all the details, visit the festival website at

Look out for the 25th Nelson Jazz Festival Programme!

Festival Logo

The Nelson Jazz Club is delighted to announce that the 25th Nelson Jazz Festival will be held during the first four days of 2016. As has become a long-standing tradition, the Festival will launch with the popular Jazz in the Park at Fairfield Park from 3:00pm on New Year’s Day and end with the second Jazz in the Park at Washbourn Gardens on the 4th January. As is also traditional, there will be performances in the streets during the day and in several café and bar venues around the Nelson-Tasman region during the afternoons and evenings. Additionally, to celebrate the 25th Jubilee of the event, the Club will host a Celebration Day on Sunday 3rd January, at The Honest Lawyer Hotel.

As well as several Nelson Jazz Club bands, which will include the iconic Bourbon Street Beat and the Nelson Jazz Club Big Band, there will be five out-of-town bands presenting a variety of jazz sub-genres including Dixie, Funk, Gypsy and Swing with one zany Wellington group covering all of the above and more. The programme will be delivered to every household in the region as a lift-out supplement in the Nelson and Waimea Weeklies. More information can also be found on the Festival website at

The Celebration Day at The Honest Lawyer is the only ticketed event and includes a barbeque lunch as well as six hours of jazz entertainment from Nelson Jazz Club and guest bands. Starting at 11:00am and running through to 5:00pm it will be followed in the evening with a social jam to which musicians and the public are invited. Tickets are $35.00 and can be purchased from The Honest Lawyer, Beggs MusicWorks and the Richmond Mall.

The Nelson Jazz Festival is a not-for-profit festival presented by the Nelson Jazz Club and made possible with funding from municipal and charitable grants, sponsorship, performance fees from street, café and bar venues, and donations collected at the Jazz in the Park events along with hundreds of hours of volunteer effort.

Michael Murphy Ph: 03 546 7297 or M: 027 372 2670
Nelson Jazz Committee

Sophie Kelly 0275 079 637 for high res images or further content details

Nelson Jazz Festival Fairfield Park Venue Moved Due to Weather

Because of the heavy rain expected today (New Year’s Day), the Jazz-in-the-Park event planned for Fairfield Park has been shifted to Old St. John’s in Hardy Street at the same time (3:00pm to 8:00pm) with the same bands plus more.

The venue includes the old church, the hall and the car park, so the bands will be indoors as will some of the food and wine stalls. Old St. John’s is a lovely venue, both visually and acoustically, so it promises to be a great concert for the nominal cost of a $5 donation.

See you there.

2013 Woollaston Nelson Jazz and Blues Festival Announced

Dates and a draft programme are now in place for the 22nd annual Woollaston Nelson Jazz and Blues Festival hosted by the Nelson Jazz Club to be staged January 1st to January 5th 2013.

The festival which will feature over 40 jazz performances in 18 venues and will open with the annual Jazz in the Park concert at Fairfield Park, to be held on New Year’s Day, and will close with  another park event at Washbourn Gardens, Richmond on Saturday January 5th.

During the 5 day festival, 12 bars and performance venues across the region will also host a range of daytime and evening shows. The programme will feature a ticketed concert series at The Boathouse and Woollaston Estates.

“We are all about promoting jazz and blues and in Nelson we can stage fantastic music in great surroundings,” says Nelson Jazz Club President Mike McElhinney. “Music fans and holiday visitors to the region will be able to take in great jazz performances in parks and outside venues during the summer days and in the evenings the city’s bars will host some of Australasia’s finest jazz players”.

The artist list will see the return of some favourite national jazz acts, a range of emerging jazz exponents from the Wellington and Christchurch jazz scenes, and some special headliners.

“2012 has seen a resurgence in interest in the Nelson Jazz Club so we will have a selection of great local Nelson jazz and blues acts alongside national and overseas guests,” says festival director and Nelson Jazz Club member, Liam Ryan.  “We love the local feel of the festival and we are lucky that the 2013 festival has been approached by some fantastic Kiwi jazz players who are working overseas and want to return to New Zealand for the summer – there will be something for everyone.”

Planning is now in full swing and a complete artist list and details for the 2013 Woollaston Nelson Jazz and Blues Festival will be announced at the festival programme launch which will be hosted by the Nelson Jazz Club on November 1st.

For more information please contact:

  • Nelson Jazz Club President Mike McElhinney:  027 435 0783

  • Nelson Jazz Club Secretary: Mike Murphy: 5467297



The Sunday night Grand Finale concert at the school of music was an appropriate way to wind up the highly successful 2008 Woollaston Nelson Jazzfest. ?Nobody wanted to leave?, said the Jazzfest organiser , Rowena Richards-Orange. ?The last 5 days have been truly special and Sunday night?s concert delivered another dose of fine music and stunning entertainment?.

Richards-Orange went onto explain ?Our festival is truly unique as we provide the majority of our performances free of charge. One fan said they would be paying over 60 pounds (NZ$180) to enjoy this quality of music back in London, but we are able to provide the majority for free thanks to the generous support of funding agencies, commercial sponsors and venues?.

?This year has been the biggest and best yet, just like we promised at our launch in November. The turnout of both locals and visitors has been unbelievable. There were people at Fairfield Park and Washbourn Gardens? who could not even see the stage, however could still enjoy the excellent music and the pleasure of being there? with the support of great sound technicians.
?We owe special thanks to both councils for providing such beautiful settings for our park events and of course, the performers who created such a memorable festival.? Every concert has received glowing reviews and we are gaining a good understanding of the musical tastes of our audiences? said Richards-Orange. Read More…

Hear it, see it, taste it, drink it, feel it, love it!


Concert Tickets

Countdown with less than two weeks left before the Jazzfest commences, with concert tickets flying out the door. And if you are looking for that Christmas stocking filler, a concert ticket or two should do the trick, available from Everyman Records, On Cue (Nelson Tourism) or checkout

Unforgettable ? Celebration of Nat King Cole. Now this is a show you will not want to miss. The very first time to be performed at a National Jazz Festival, this unique group of musicians is one you just have to see. All the way from Queensland, Australia, the golden-voiced Dan Teka has returned to his homeland for this one night concert. His easy going and self-effacing personality, coupled with his natural talent as a singer and all-round entertainer have made Dan a popular attraction on both sides of the Tasman. One night only Sat 5 Jan ? Nelson School of Music. Tickets $40

Julie Mason & The Jazz Divas. One classy act you will certainly want to see. Only 200 tickets on sale with platters available (order by 28 Dec). Join us at Woollaston Estates for an evening of glamour and glitz of yesteryear in a vocal tribute to the Great American Songbook.. This show sold out at the Christchurch Jazzfest.. Bus service available $8 pp return.

One night only Thurs 3 Jan ? Woollaston Estates. Tickets $45

Other concerts:

  • Tomato Kiss, Thurs 3 Jan, The Boathouse $30
  • Fiona Pears,? Fri 4 Jan, Nelson School of Music $40
  • Rainbow Bridge, Fri 4 Jan, The Boathouse $30
  • Whirimako Black, Sat 5 Jan, Woollaston Estates? $45 (close to sell out)
  • The Grand Finale, Sun 6 Jan, Nelson School of Music $40?
  • Masterclasses ..stocking fillers for just $10 per Master class

Don?t miss your chance to learn some of the secrets of successful jazz from some of the finest musicians and teachers to visit Nelson.

To coincide with the 2008 Woollaston Jazzfest, we have invited selected jazz musicians to conduct Masterclasses on their favoured instrument. In the case of Julie Mason, this is a vocal session.? For Jamie it is Sax, Phil is doing Piano and Frank on drums. Regardless of which instrument you play, there will be lots to learn from each of these experts. And the best part is the cost ? just $10 per session but numbers are limited, as you would expect, so do not delay. Pop into Good Vibrations at 120 Bridge Street to collect your master class tickets.

  • Julie Mason (jazz vocals): Fri 4 JAN 11 ? 12.30pm
  • Phil Broadhurst (jazz piano): Fri 4 JAN 1.30pm ? 3.00pm
  • Frank Gibson (drums): Sat 5 JAN 11am ? 12.30pm
  • Jamie Oehlers (saxophone): Sat 5 JAN 1.30pm ? 3.00pm

Nelson Mail 8 page Jazzfest supplement .. pickup your copy Thurs 20th December

We said at the launch we were wanting to print a 4 page supplement .. well we decided 8 pages was better. A BIG thank you to our supporters taking an advertisement and sponsorship from Nelson Mail. So pickup your copy of the Nelson Mail Thursday 20th December.

For further details on the 2008 Woollaston Nelson Jazzfest, checkout our website ?

Jazz Fest 08 News

Hello Jazz Lovers ? Check out the jam packed programme with over 70 events over 5 days -? 7 ticketed concerts, 5 park events, 4 master classes and more than 50 venue and street performances. Programmes from Nelson Mail, Nelson City Council, participating venues and advertisers, On Cue (Nelson Tourism), Everyman Records, Good Vibrations Music, Radio Nelson and Bowater Toyota, libraries or go online to the website.

Concert tickets make great stocking fillers? but don?t leave it till the last minute as tickets are going fast. Early bird pricing closes Wed 5th December. Purchase tickets from Everyman Records, On Cue (Nelson Tourism), 284 Trafalgar St or

  • Julie Mason & The Jazz Divas, Thurs 3 Jan, Woollaston Estates
  • Tomato Kiss, Thurs 3 Jan, The Boathouse
  • Fiona Pears,? Fri 4 Jan, Nelson School of Music
  • Rainbow Bridge, Fri 4 Jan, The Boathouse
  • Unforgettable ? a celebration of Nat King Cole, Sat 5 Jan, Nelson School of Music
  • Whirimako Black, Sat 5 Jan, Woollaston Estates
  • The Grand Finale, Sun 6 Jan, Nelson School of Music

Woollaston Estates – Coaches
Coaches to Woollaston Estates (and return) cost just $8 for a carefree evening. Make a point of being part of the Jazzfest and letting visitors know it is happening.? YOU can help us make the Woollaston Nelson Jazzfest the best there is.


The Boat House was jumping and pumping for the final concert of the Woollaston Nelson Jazzfest 2007. This event was sold out several days ago and promised to be a fitting conclusion to the festival. Just like the previous concerts, the Grand Finale concert held the audience spellbound, says the organiser Rowena Richards-Orange.

Jan Preston opened the show and set the scene jamming firstly with Neil Billington on Harmonica then the other members of Hot Club Sandwich. A succession of fine performances by HCS, Swing 42 and Nick Granville combo had the crowd yelling for more. Fiona Pears and her band again held them speechless until the final act, Sideshow Bob. Then the tempo and the volume pumped up. These guys are really a musical act rather than a band and soon had the punters pushing chairs out of the way so they could dance. Read More…

Line up for Woollaston Nelson Jazzfest Announced

The programme for the 2007 Woollaston Nelson Jazzfest is to be launched at The Boathouse on Monday 13th Nov, along with an exciting new website.? Press, sponsors, supporters and friends are invited to join the celebrations between 5 ? 7pm, with music by The Gabor Trio and wine by Woollaston Estates accompanied by nibbles.
Now in its 16th year, the jazzfest promises to be bigger and better than ever before.? A jam-packed programme from 2-6th January 2007 is planned with more than 60 events and 90 performers spread over 5 days, offering a dynamic array of new, national and international acts, and a selection of favourite acts from previous festivals.
?With Woollaston Estates as our major sponsor we are able to deliver a wide range of exciting acts this year?, said Rowena Richards-Orange, organiser for the Nelson Jazz Club.? ?This year we are extremely proud to announce our partnership with Woollaston Estates. This has allowed us to expand on our programme, merchandise and create a fresh new website. Our aim is to help fill the void that WOW has left, to support Nelson and Tasman businesses and take the Woollaston Nelson Jazzfest to a whole new international level. Already we have people from as far as USA, UK, Australia and the top of the North Island planning their holiday around the festival. With local businesses wanting to join our exciting venture, the future looks extremely bright.

The 7 major headline concert acts are Nathan Haines, Fiona Pears, Jan Preston, Hot Club Sandwich, Gahu, Swing 42, Sideshow Bob and Nick Granville Combo ? all of which are certain to be sell-out shows.??? In addition to the diversity of jazz music, the location of jazzfest events is refreshingly varied, from the streets of Nelson and public parks, to bars and cafes, Woollaston Estates Winery and the School of Music.

Free events include the 4 hour-long Jazz in Park events, held throughout the Nelson and Tasman districts. The park events are a great time to get together with family and friends to relax. Fairfield Park & Washbourne Gardens will have a variety of food stalls on site, and for the first time, Woollaston Estates will be hosting a wine tent. Jazzfest merchandise including caps, t-shirts, cooler chillies and lanyards will be on sale.???
Daily street performances during the festival will occur in Trafalgar Street at Hannafins, 1903 site and Air NZ.? Other venues include Woollaston Estates, The Victorian Rose, Smugglers Pub & Caf?, The Honest Lawyer, House of Ales, The Verdict, Prince Albert, Silkwood Gallery and Caf? and The Boathouse.

It is thanks to our supporters and sponsors (Canterbury Community Trust, Nelson City and Tasman District Councils, Woollaston Estates, Radio Nelson, Nelson Mail, Toyota Bowater, Good Vibrations Music, Pub Charity, TrustHouse Charitable Trust, HotHouse, Smythes Lawyers, Printhouse and Palazzo Motor Lodge) that we are able to offer such an exciting range of quality entertainment, the majority of which is free, to enhance all that is good about Nelson in summer.
Ticketing and programme information will be available from sponsor venues and most retail outlets and also available after 20th November on

For more information contact the organiser, Rowena Richards-Orange or 03 5445538

2007 Nelson Jazz Festival

The 16th annual Nelson Jazz Festival is to be held from the 2nd of January until the 6th January, 2007.

Launching with Jazz in the Park at Fairfield Park in Nelson on 2nd January this promises to be a day of entertainment you will not want to miss. Fairfield Park, walking distance from central Nelson, comes alive with both locals and visitors from all over the world basking in the summer sun, enjoying an array of artists and bands from New Zealand and the World.

As a Jazz lover you will want to book your accomodation early to be sure of being part of a week of outstanding Jazz, played at some of the most beautiful venues around Nelson, Tasman and Golden Bay. Street performances, afternoon and evening performances every day.

Rowena Richards Orange has recently been recruited by the Nelson Jazz Club to manage and organise the 2007 Festival, so please all communication through Rowena directly.

Confirmed Bands for 2007:
Fiona Pears and her band, Hot Club Sandwich and more …

If you or your band wish to be considered, please visit send us an email to receive your registration form.

If you are a Jazz lover and wish to be kept up to date with regular updates, please email Rowena at