Archive | Jazz Festival

Jazz Fans ignore Richmond rain

Rain did not deter more than 500 people from enjoying the second Jazz in the Park concert in Richmond yesterday. Nelson Jazz Club president Tony Bowater said Nelson secondary school bands Goove On and Funktron gave the event a well-received younger element.
The club’s own band, The Big Band, which had been rehearsing for the past six months, was the standout performer at yesterday’s show, he said. The band was formed to promote the jazz club community.
While the rain forced most people home near the end of the concert, a group of about 70 took shelter under the trees to enjoy the last few minutes.
“The weather is causing a few headaches, but the show must go on,” Mr Bowater said. “It was another good concert and the next two will be outstanding.”
On Monday afternoon, more than 5000 people turned out at Nelson’s Fairfield Park for the first of four free concerts, as part of the Nelson Jazz Festival. The festival continues at Motueka’s Decks Reserve this afternoon and Takaka’s Village Green tomorrow.
Richmond Crowd

Thousands get into the groove at park

More than 5000 people grooved to cool beats at Nelson’s Fairfield Park as the 15th annual Jazz in the Park kicked off this year’s summer jazz festival. Nelson Jazz Club president Tony Bowater said yesterday’s free event was an outstanding way to begin the festival. Canterbury violinist Fiona Pears and former Dunedin saxophonist Craig Walters, now living in Sydney, were the stars of the lineup, although Mr Bowater said all eight bands got good crowd support.
Fairfield Park crowd
Former Nelson keyboardist and singer Trudi Wilson also performed yesterday in what may have been her homecoming concert after living mainly in Christchurch. “She’s worked with a few international acts, including Billy T James, in her early years. She’s got a hankering to come back home,” Mr Bowater said.
The turnout was similar to previous years, pleasing on a day when so many events were held throughout the region, and when threatening weather loomed early in the day. “The wind wasn’t the most pleasant, however the sun shone on us and it got pretty hot there for a while,” he said.
The festival continues at Richmond’s Washbourn Gardens this afternoon, Motueka’s Decks Reserve tomorrow and Takaka’s Village Green on Thursday.

Region cruising to sounds of jazz

Nelson’s annual jazz festival will fill the city and its surrounds with music for six days from next Monday. The festival kicks off as usual with four hours of Jazz in the Park at Fairfield Park.
Then, while some of the bands take Jazz in the Park to Richmond, Motueka and Takaka, others will keep up the rhythm outdoors with lunchtime concerts at the top of Trafalgar St, and indoors at bars around the region.
Nelson singer Ruby Page is back from Melbourne, where critics praised her “fine and polished readings of some great standards”. Nelson last heard Page when she sang her Millennium Song for the New Year celebrations on Rabbit Island.
She will be singing classics and originals from her upcoming CD at the Boathouse on Thursday at 8pm.
Singer-songwriter Trudi Wilson is another Nelson musician who has returned after a career that includes touring with Billy T James’s band and becoming a regular on the Christchurch scene. She’ll be playing with her combo, Franchise.
Nelson locals will recognise many faces in the Nelson Jazz Club Big Band, getting together to play the kind of jazz made famous by Duke Ellington, Glen Miller and Count Basie. Club member Barry Korcheski says it’s exciting to get enough musicians together to perform this style of music. “It’s been years… there’s been smaller versions, but never enough people to have a full band for the repertoire. This is something really unique.”
A few Wellington favourites are crossing the water – funky Cuban band Calle Cuba, and the energetic acoustic swing band Hot Club Sandwich. The latter appears with special guests Bob Heinz, guitarust, and Fiona Pears, New Zealand violinist who’s wowing London audiences with her compositions.
Saxophone fans should catch the Stu Buchanan quartet. Buchanan is one of New Zealand’s foremost jazz saxophonists. Longtime Auckland trumpet legend Edwina Thorne will appear with backing band the Moonlighters.
Those in search of groovy danceable jazz should check out funk band the Oval Office, made up of Christchurch musicians.
This year’s jazz festival is also a training ground for young Nelson players, who have been playing and workshopping with Nelson sax player Tim Parker and his Nelson band Kaleidoscope.
Two young bands will play at the 1903 site and Washbourne Gardens: Waimea College and Motueka High School students.
Young players will also be showcased in performances with Kaleidoscope. Some of them no doubt hope they will one day be the headline act for future jazz festivals.

Franchise playing live at the 2006 Jazz Festival!

Franchise features the talents of Trudi Wilson (singer, keyboards, songwriter). Trudi started out in Nelson, before moving on with Billy T James’s band “Hawaiki”. She was invited to Australia with them on tour, returning to settle in Christchurch where she became a well known performer around that city. Trudi has recently returned to Nelson with her family.
Rob Carpenter (guitar) has a long history of professionally playing bass and guitar. From early on playing bass with the Doug Caldwell Trio, Harry Voice, Malcolm McNeil, through to jazz fusion bands out of Christchurch, and session work for TVNZ. After a three year stint in Europe, Same Atkins (bass) is back in Nelson and playing locally. The previous Nelson School of Music tutor has appeared on NZTV ‘Showcase’ playing a solo bass piece back in the late 90’s. He admits that these fifteen minutes of fame went straight to his head and has since lived in constant denial vis a vie his menual, sober existence. Dale Ching (drums) has been playing drums for around 15 years. He is currently playing in Nelson with the Mojo Funk Orchestra, Loose Unit and is one of the drummers with the Lee Fern Band.

Ruby Page live at the 2006 Jazz Festival!

Ruby Page will be performing for the 2006 Nelson Jazz Festival at The Boathouse on Thursday 5 January at 8pm. She will be backed by a great Nelson line-up: Garbor Tolnay (keyboards), Andrew Leachman (saxophone), Chris Cowles (bass) and Chris Pierson (drums). It is now six years ago that singer Ruby Page sung her Millennium song at dawn 1 January 2000 at Rabbit Island in front of thousands of Nelsonians. Shortly after that she left her hometown Nelson and settled in Melbourne Australia to further her singing career. During this period she has performed extensively with the cream of Melbourne’s top jazz musicians at residencies, shows, 5 star hotels, clubs and on the corporate scene. She has also toured in Australia and with her show ‘Smile’, which is also the title of her latest album, Ruby sings mostly jazz and Latin standards with upbeat and funky feels.
Ruby Page
She is excited to be able to perform for her ‘home crowd’. It will be a show not to be missed with well known tunes and seven of her originals, which are destined for her new album to be released in 2006. This vibrant show would be ideal to get up and dance to, or just tap your feet while sipping a wine on a summer’s night at the wonderful Boathouse. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased at the door, or at Radio Nelson, Bowater Toyota and Good Vibrations Music store.

The Oval Office Live at the 2006 Jazz Festival!

The Oval Office
Composed of Christchurch?s most sought after and respected jazz musicians ? all of whom have performed professionally overseas ? The Oval Office is a fresh, innovative and very hard grooving funk band. These boys draw their inspiration from artists such as James Brown, Parliament, Maceo Parker, Stevie Wonder, the JBs, Al Green and Bob Marley. Coupling elements of soul, reggae and blues with jazz improvisation, tight horn-lines and soulful vocals means that the music is very danceable, super groovy and ensures that a great time will be had by all. Featuring the talents of Scott Taitoko ? Trombone, Vocals; Gwyn Reynolds ? Tenor Sax, Vocals; Harry Harrison ? Guitar, Vocals; Richard Pickard ?Bass, Vocals; & Sam Jones ? Drums, Vocals

HOT CLUB SANDWICH live at the 2006 Jazz Festival!

Hot Club SandwichHot Club Sandwich playing live at the Nelson Jazz Festival with Christchurch violinist Fiona Pears and Christchurch guitarist Bob Heinz.

Hot Club Sandwich is an energetic acoustic swing trio from Wellington, New Zealand, who play an eclectic repertoire of jazz, blues, swing standards and original songs. The trio began in the early 1990s at a recording session involving guitarist/singer Andrew London and pianist/bass player Terry Crayford. The brief was to record some well-known standards in the style of the ?Quintette du Hot Club de France?. A splendid time was had by all and the Hot Club Sandwich was born.

London and Crayford spent the next few years playing this style and repertoire with a variety of ?floating? third members, including guitarists, violinists, saxophonists and harmonica players, before circumstances allowed them to pursue ?Sandwich? activity on a full-time basis in 2000. Elements of country, blues, folk and rock?n?roll were added to the mix and the end result is now almost uncategorisable, although the choice of third member tends to dictate the direction of any given performance; eg. a harmonica will always suit blues styles, violins are particularly suited to country or bluegrass styles and ?Hot Club? swing etc.

2001 saw the release of their first album of original material. Entitled ?Enjoy Yourself or Get Out?, the CD contained quirky songs about dead pets, sports fans and fashion victims, and featured local Wellington musicians Nik Brown on violin and Neil Billington on harmonica. In mid-2003 they released a live album of tracks culled from a series of performances at Wellington?s ?Verandah? caf?, which featured Billington?s harmonica, English saxophonist Johnny Lippiett on tenor, and bass player/vocalist James Cameron on bass with Crayford moving to piano.

Their second album of originals was released early in 2004. Recorded at Wellington?s Matrix Digital Studios and entitled ?Toasted?, the theme of quirky subject matter continued with songs about television evangelists, caf? culture and Wellington nightlife. Among the guest musicians are Americans Bill Ware (vibraphone), Buddy Wachter (banjo & mandolin) and Christchurch violinist Fiona Pears, on leave from her contract with Hayley Westenra. ?Toasted? achieved the rare feat of a four-star review in Downbeat USA in August 2005. (see

A second live album was released in mid-2005. Entitled ?Live at Old St Paul?s? , tracks were compiled from a series of live recordings at an historic cathedral in Wellington which hosts a monthly jazz night. Along with London on guitar and Crayford on piano, guests include James Cameron on Bass, Johnny Lippiett on sax and Christchurch guitarist Bob Heinz. By this time the Hot Club Sandwich trio had become well established on the national Festivals circuit, appearing in New Plymouth, Wanganui, Tauranga, Wanaka, Wellington, Nelson, Taupo and Christchurch between 2002 and 2005. Their recordings have become a staple on National Radio and they have several television appearances to their credit.

The Nelson Jazz Festival 2002

By Rupert Winter
SaxAt the beginning of each year we set off with an empty bucket, yet spirited and enthusiastic to achieve another year of live music culminating with the Nelson Jazz Festival. The festival continues to expand in Nelson as well as performances in Richmond and Takaka. All this is putting more demand on funding and more enthusiasm in achieving it all. Every year we run right to the wire cramming in every possible group for the six day event. For this reason the programme is not released till the last possible minute. However I can tell you that more than 50 musicians have pledged to be here and we still have Read More…