Jazz Festival secured for three years

Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014

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The Wellington Jazz Festival's short-term future is assured with $600,000 in funding and running costs secured for the next three years.

Wellington City Council has promised $170,000 with the remainder of running costs drawn from $240,000 in sponsorship, grants and donations and $190,000 from forecast box office revenue.

Billed as a midwinter boutique event, the four-day Latin-infused festival will liven up Wellington's Cuba Quarter from June 5 to June 8 and is set to feature a mystery Grammy Award-winning headliner but details won't be announced until March 24.

"We can't say more just yet, but jazz and music fans should block out the dates in their diary - we're confident we have a lineup to excite and we know Wellington provides a perfect festival setting," festival artistic director Shelagh Magadza said.

This year festival organisers have forged new links with the embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba and Mexico so audiences could expect a Latin flavour to the event, Ms Magadza said.

Ms Magadza said it was a recipe that had worked with the 11,000 attendees and businesses who hosted events at last year's event - 91 per cent of venues surveyed were in favour of seeing the jazz festival go annual.

In 2013, Grammy Award-winning headliners Chucho Valdes and Cassandra Wilson brought music-lovers into the capital from across New Zealand and played to packed houses, with 25 per cent of ticket-buying audiences coming from outside the region.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, a trustee for the Wellington Jazz and Music Festival Trust, said council backing was targeted at developing the event during winter to attract visitors to the city.

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- The Dominion Post

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