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2012 Youth Jazz Competition Report

The following report on the 2012 Youth Jazz Competition was submitted by Andrew Leachman, one of the organizers and also one of the three judges.  We also intend on posting some photos in the near future.


The 2012 Youth Jazz Competition was held in the reception room of the Honest Lawyer on Sunday 24th June. The Big Band competition was won by the Nelson College for Girls, the Jazz Combo competition was won by Waimea College, closely followed by the Nayland College (Chevy Shack) and the Motueka High School combo. The standard of the music was at times exceptional.

The Nelson Jazz Club Inc., thanks the sponsors, Nelson Art Council (Lloyd Harwood) Collingwood Fresh Choice (Mark A?Court), Beggs Music Works owner Tim Babbage, and Stuart Hebberd of Prices Pharmacy for their financial support. I would like to thank David North for his tireless work communicating with Heads of Music at the various colleges and for his Master of Ceremonies role during the competition.

The Youth Jazz competition could not happen without support, I thank judges George Jury and Iain Clark. Event Audio?s Andrew Shellock assisted by David Bowater for kindly taking care of the sound system. Michael Rhodes did sterling work getting bands and combos on and off the performance area. The NJC thanks Chris Baillie for the use of the Honest Lawyer facilities and Tim Parker for his tireless support along with providing drum kit, bass and guitar amps and additional music stands.

The final results had Nelson College for Girls narrowly beating Waimea College Little Big Band, with the Motueka High School Big Band (the 2011 competition winners) coming a credible third. The Girls plus one lucky young man, gave a very accurate rendition of the Andrews Sisters “Bugle Boy Rag” with their lead singer Maisie Blackwood displaying passion and extraordinary talent with her renditions of “It?s a New Life” and “Perhaps”. Jarra Dowrick stood out, not only because he was the only male member of the band, he displayed musical strength leading the trombone section plus he displayed a warm tone.

Martin Emo has a ?ne group of talented music students at his Waimea College. Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance” was a challenging surprise. The Cuban piece “Afrodesia” was a stand out piece, the interplay between soprano, alto and trombone had interesting harmony lines and reminded this judge of Roland Kirk. The Louis Bonfur piece “Black Orpheus” was beautifully played. Having such a rhythmically strong bass and drummer obviously helped drive this groups music.

The Motueka High School big band really enjoy playing music. Their enthusiasm is infectious. The sax section displayed good intonation, and their lead trumpet was very strong with good “chops”. Bass and drums worked well together to provide a sound foundation for the band. The International student (whose name I did not catch) sang “Minnie the Moocher” a la Cab Calloway, as soon as he started singing he raised the energy level of the whole band. All the students in ALL the big bands are to be congratulated, their music was really enjoyable.

The Jazz Combo competition also proved to be a close run event. Motueka High School jazz combo came third. They kicked off their set with “Blue Monk”, followed by a Freddy Hubbard like blues. The bass player was very solid and the young man on trumpet displayed a nice rich tone with quite a few interesting licks. I would have liked him to play a few more choruses, for he certainly had the creativity to do so. It was interesting to hear a restrained guitar. Well done that man!

Nayland College combo called themselves “Chevy Shack”. They had the distinction of playing the only original piece of the afternoon. I am guessing the young man on piano wrote this interesting tune. A really talented piano player. Interestingly the young woman who played trumpet doubled on trombone, she played both instruments with alacrity. There was lovely interplay between the horns, and Elliot, the sensitive drummer, he sang a duet with vocalist Katlyn on “Fly me to the Moon”. The combo played an interesting version of Ellington/Juan Tizols “Caravan” followed by the Lee Morgan hard bopping “Sidewinder”. I thought the piano player was exceptional and the vocalist confident.

The Jazz Trio from Waimea College were worthy winners. All three young men displayed musical talent and sophistication. “Sister Sadie” by Horace Silver was well played. Obviously alto saxophonist Patrick West knows his way round his horn. The drummer and bass player were supremely empathetic. The tune by semi blind drummer Mark Lockett was a surprise. How on earth did three young Waimea College students pick up on this guys compositions? The Lockett tune was beautifully played. Chick Corea?s “Spain” with the changes in temp and accents was played with precision. The bass and saxophone playing the “head” in unison. The solo sections were handled with impressive facility by alto saxophone, bass and drums. Wonderful to listen to such creativity by these three young talented musicians.

All in all it was a great event. The future of jazz in Nelson is in good hands. So much musical talent exists within the colleges of our region. The gold coin collection raised $162.20 plus a 1 Euro coin. I counted seventeen club members in attendance. I will inscribe the certificates and deliver them in due course, I shall do a final budget statement for the Club Treasurer, when all bills come to hand. All we need to achieve now, is to encourage these wonderfully talented young people to become involved with the Nelson Jazz Club.

Andrew Leachman


First Nelson Jazz Club Jazz Jam at Bar Berlin

The first Nelson Jazz Club Jazz Jam night at Bar Berlin was good fun with a number of soloists turning up to add to the solid foundation provided by the rhythm section put together by Barry Korcheski, Trevor Hunter and Tony Bowater.

Jada front liners, Dave Jack (clarinet) and Dave Powdrell (trumpet and vocals) stepped up first and were joined by new committee member, Iain Clark (tenor sax) for a few numbers.  Then, after a break, the ever-enthusiastic Andrew Leachman stepped up on baritone and Rupert Winter took over the drum kit.  It was great to have Rupert back at a club gig and judging by the smile on his face, he had a good time, too. Meanwhile, Chris Harris, who has recently arrived in town, drove home and got his trumpet and treated us to some magnificent solos complete with clever and amusing use of the mute.

I know it was a cold night and many of you clearly chose to stay in by the fire, but those of you who did missed another good one in the lovely ambience of Bar Berlin.

Later in the evening, Steve Hainstock arrived and treated the musicians and audience by sitting in with his double bass adding to the great night with a terrific solo in the Yardbird Suite.  All in all a great night that Nelson will be sorry they missed! Make sure you get to next week eh!

Thanks to all the musicians who made it a worthwhile and enjoyable event.

Review comments and photos submitted by Mike Murphy, Deb Knapp and Tony Bowater

Bar Berlin gig 25 April

Hi everybody,

The Bar Berlin gig last night was excellent with Urgent and Marlo telling me that it was exactly what they wanted to compliment the warm jazz club/cocktail bar atmosphere they have created – a nice mix of standards led by Cass on vocals and Andrew on saxes with solid support from Martin (guitar), Trevor (bass) and Chris Pierson (drums).

Deb and I enjoyed great pizzas, a couple of nice drinks, the music and the good company of several of the club regulars. Our hosts have offered us a wonderful opportunity to truly be a jazz club and I want to encourage you as strongly as I can to come along on Wednesday evenings.

Freewheelin’ are on next week and I have heard that there might just be a special sit-in guest available to join the front line. More on that when I send out a reminder early next week.

Best regards,

Mike Murphy
546 7297

MINT at Bar Berlin on Wednesday 18 April

Hi everybody,

I am sure that those of you who were there will know why I litter what I write below with superlatives. The first gig of our new relationship with Bar Berlin was truly fantastic. I could hardly believe how good it was and I remarked to Trevor Hunter, who, like me, had beamed with delight throughout the evening that if either of us had smiled any more our faces would have fallen off.

MINT began the evening with some deliciously-arranged standards and compositions as the audience gradually grew in numbers. The entire first set was delivered at the high standard these guys displayed at their last gig and the bar’s owners, Urgent and Marlo, were clearly delighted with it.

Then, for the second set, Craig Walters, who had been at the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga and has been briefly visiting Nelson, joined the band and helped to lead a truly exceptional performance that they all sustained for the rest of the evening. At one point I remarked to Smiley that I had not realised that we needed to be set up to record the gig. I wish we could have.

As expected, the venue is ideal and the first Jazz Club gig confirmed that it is an appealing place to go and play, and listen to, and enjoy jazz. It has a cosy atmosphere, the staff are friendly, the drinks and meals are reasonably priced and there is a good selection of both. It was good to see the number of club members who came and who were rewarded with a wonderful evening of jazz, but I have to add that there was room for plenty more.

On behalf of the club, I want to thank Urgent and Marlo for inviting us into their lovely venue and for supporting our musicians. I can hardly wait for next Wednesday.

Best regards,

Mike Murphy

Improv evening at the Vic Rose, Tuesday 11 October

The Improvisation Evening event at The Vic on 11 October was a great success with a full schedule of participants.  In fact, Dave North, who organised and compered the evening, had to ask the later participants to shorten their sets in order to finish on time.

The support musicians consisted of Chris Baillie (flugelhorn/trumpet), Simon Williams (saxes/clarinet), Tim Parker (saxes), Gabor Tolnay (keyboard), Chris Cowles (bass) and Simon Terrill (drums).  Their familiarity with one another in various regular band combinations surely contributed to the sympathetic and professional way in which they supported the other participants to provide an entertaining and enjoyable evening.

Dave North launched proceedings himself with a rendition of ‘All Of Me’ on sax and was followed by Jimu Grimmett, also on sax, and Sandro Lionello on drums, with, among other songs, a lovely rendition of ‘When Sunny Gets Blue’.  David Jack then took the lead on clarinet with numbers including ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’.

One of the stars of the Motueka High School Big Band that won our High School Bands Competition, Duncan Phillips, then stood up with his tenor sax and performed ‘Cold Duck Time’, ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘Red Clay’ with great style.  Deb Fish bravely left the keyboards to Gabor and sang ‘Moondance’ and ‘Summer Samba’, and then Sandro Lionello returned to the drums for ‘So What’ and ‘Green Dolphin Street’.

Fleur Jackson then took us on a radical and refreshing departure with jazz violin, an instrument that has not featured in club gigs for many years.  Simon Williams joined her on clarinet for a couple of songs in a manner that suggested they had done this before, launching with a delightful version of ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’.  The support band, being largely made up of the members of ‘Out On Bail’, then went to close the evening with their usual funky version of ‘That’s All’ but the audience demanded an encore before letting them pack up somewhat later than the scheduled time.

The success of the event in terms of variety, quality and audience enjoyment guarantees that it is likely to become a regular fixture on our gig roster.

Mike Murphy

Adrienne Hindmarsh Trio

On 24 August, the Nelson Jazz Club was treated to an evening with the Adrienne Hindmarsh Trio at the Vic Mac?s Brew Bar. Not surprisingly, there was a good turn out of club members Read More…

Hard Lines gig at the Vic: 22 June 2010 By Mike Murphy

A new combination of familiar faces played their first gig at the Vic on 22 June, with Andrew Leachman and George Jury on saxes, Gabor Tolnay on piano, Brett Holland on bass guitar and Chris Pearson on drums making up Hard Lines – a name some of you will have heard before around town.

They began by launching into a tight yet fluently relaxed rendition of Blues In The Closet followed by the bossa number, Nadalin, signalling to those present that we were going to be treated to an evening of top quality jazz by a band who all play great solos and know how to work well with others. Read More…

Jessica Murphy Trio

by Mike Murphy.
One of the best recent turn-outs by Jazz Club members was treated to a
delightful evening by newcomer, Jessica Murphy, on piano and vocals,
Brett Holland on bass and Chris Pearson on drums. As a first gig after, I was
told, only a couple of rehearsals, the talent of all three members of this new
combination was clearly evident right from the opening bars of Stolen
Moments. From there, it quickly became obvious that we were in for a
refreshing and enjoyable performance.
The programme included, among many other fine arrangements,
outstanding renditions of Softly As A Morning Sunrise and Blue Bossa, solid
renditions of standards such as Stella By Starlight and Night and Day, and
sultry interpretations of Lover Man and Fever all with great solos by all
concerned. The band concluded the evening with a funky version of
Autumn Leaves, having held the attention throughout of several regulars
who usually head home after the first set.

Press Release – The Vic Mac’s Brewbar

Nelson | Tuesday, 19 August 2008

AT YOUR SERVICE: Roger Colville behind the pumps at the new Macs Brew Bar in Trafalgar St
Old lady scrubs up for new life

One of the grandest ladies of Nelson’s pub scene re-opens tomorrow as the South Island’s first Macs Brew Bar. Sally Kidson talks to the new owners at the Victorian Rose.

Sophistication and style are not words that are usually chosen to describe many of Nelson’s pubs, but that’s what the new owners of the Victoria Rose are promising to serve up.

Mike Thomas and Paul Davenhill, who co-own Smugglers Pub in Tahunanui, and hospitality business newcomer Roger Colville have spent the past six weeks gutting the historic building and giving the old lady a face lift for her next incarnation as a Macs Brew Bar.

The Vic Brew Bar is scheduled to open Wednesday at 4pm and the men are promising big changes from the Vic Rose of old. It is the first Macs Brew Bar in the South Island.

Thomas says the men bought the pub from Queenstown-based Frenzi Group Ltd, which owns a chain of pubs around the country.

Thomas – who owned the pub until five years ago – is too diplomatic to say why they think the drinking establishment lost a lot of its shine with Nelson locals, but says it is good the pub is back in the hands of “locals”. He also won’t say how much he spent buying the pub back, only that the “price was right”. Read More…


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…


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…

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