Wellington's 2014 Jazz Festival

I'm starting to get pretty excited about this year's Wellington Jazz Festival - last year the city turned on a great weekend with some stellar gigs, including one of the very best live shows I've ever seen; quite possibly the best live performance in fact.

The festival takes place over one weekend in June - gone are the days of a week-long or two-week celebration, it's a long weekend now, Thursday through Sunday. But this year's line-up is pretty fantastic. And funding has been secured to guarantee the event for three years - there's a relationship too with the Melbourne Jazz Festival. It's a good thing. We're going to get some jazz.

Of course I have to be careful, for where there's jazz there's Jazz Police just as Leonard warned.

But I'm pretty impressed with this year's line-up. Thursday, June 5, sees the start of the festival. One of the headlining acts - The Joshua Redman Quartet (check out my interview with Joshua Redman).

Friday, June 6, there's a show by pianist Pablo Ziegler at 6pm and at 8.30pm that night Chick Corea and Gary Burton will perform together; they've been working together on and off for over 40 years now.

Saturday, June 7, has locals Alda Rezende (covering the  Tom Jobim) and Bella Kalolo and The Soul Symphony. That's the early and late shows - in the middle international act Larry Carlton will play to an audience of guitarists and three or four girlfriends who were conned into tagging along. Larry Carlton is of course a legend with chops galore and a huge history of work across TV and film soundtracks and with jazz and pop stars. You'll know his work with Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan, Michael Jackson and perhaps for his solo recordings too. He played on the themes to Hill Street Blues and Magnum P.I. And even more importantly he is not Larry Coryell, who I thought was coming to New Zealand to perform. Carlton will certainly be welcome.

And then Sunday, June 8, the festival closes out with Rodger Fox Big Band of New Zealand and the act I'm most looking forward to - Dawn of Midi. (Here's my review of the band's album). It's worth hearing their album Dysnomia, their Wellington performance will be a live recreation of the record.

Some great stuff here I reckon.

Anything that piques your interest?

Also, still on the jazz tip (and possibly resting only on the very tip of jazz) Peter Brotzmann is currently touring New Zealand. He's in Wellington tomorrow night. Auckland's been and gone but the Christchurch and Dunedin shows are still to come. This is going to be superb.

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