Concert series provides platform for local musicians
Jazz, hip hop and rock will all be bumping elbows when a series of Palmerston North summer concerts launches this weekend.
The Sounds of Summer series, which will see local musicians perform in the Esplanade and The Square during the next three months, starts tomorrow.
The concerts, organised by Access Manawatu, are running for the second time.
Access station manager Fraser Greig said the series had its genesis after the radio station was asked to run community events.
Destination Manawatu came up with the idea of running a series of shows in the Esplanade, and Access took the opportunity, he said.
Last year's inaugural run of shows saw artists grouped together by genre, but Mr Greig said feedback showed people wanted more variety at each concert.
Tomorrow's show will see acts as varied as rapper Stanley Pedigree and The Sue Pugmire Jazz Combo.
Mr Greig said the focus of the shows was providing free entertainment for all ages, as well as giving musicians valuable experience.
Singer songwriter Benny Tipene performed at last year's series, and Mr Greig said that would have played a part, albeit a small one, in his development as a musician.
"It builds skills by giving them the opportunity to play on an outdoor stage in front of a large audience.
"We are all about the local community, so we are promoting local music.
"There's no need for a big national or international band at every concert, because you can have a very good concert with local acts."
As the concerts are outdoors, people are encouraged to bring their own shelter, furniture and picnics, he said.
Tomorrow's concert begins at 2pm, and will take place on the lawn near the Cafe Esplanade.
The concert may be cancelled if it rains. To check, visit www.accessmanawatu.co.nz or search for #amsos2014 on social media.