Jazz festival will kick off new year

Last updated 12:46 08/11/2012
Neil young
ON FORM: Miho Wada and her pocket jazz orchestra are playing at the Woollaston Nelson Jazz and Blues Festival.

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The 2013 Woollaston Jazz and Blues Festival is keeping it "lean and local" for its 22nd birthday, focusing on the best of South Island jazz in its programme lineup.

The festival programme, announced this afternoon, features 45 events stretching over six days in early January, including music in parks, in bars, on Nelson's city streets and at events across the Tasman region to Golden Bay. The festival is a not-for-profit event hosted by the Nelson Jazz Club, with a budget of about $100,000.

Festival director Liam Ryan says the event "keeps it real" in light of reduced sponsorships and grant funding, with corporates keeping a tight rein on spending.

"You have to think lean and local," he says. "This is a problem at national level and the provinces are feeling it badly."

He points out it has been a great couple of years for Nelson jazz and the festival highlights that.

"Youth jazz has taken off in schools and more gigs have opened up locally," he says. Some of those youth bands, joined by others, will be playing on Trafalgar St during the festival, and holding free concerts at the 1903 Stage by the cathedral steps.

It kicks off with the Classic Hits Jazz & Blues in Fairfield Park Concert on New Year's Day, featuring Christchurch's Catherine Wells Quartet, MINT, Trudi Wilson and Jasper along with One Vibe, playing a mix of contemporary jazz, funk and roots reggae jazz. Food stalls, drink stalls, and kids' fun abounds, and entry is by $5 donation.

Other highlights include the Woollaston Estates Gala Concert on Thursday, January 3, featuring Jennine Bailey and band with a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald; Blues at the Boathouse on Thursday, January 3, featuring six blues musicians playing acoustic blues; and Charlotte Jane and JazzLab, from Australia, playing the music of Freddy Hubbard, also at the Boathouse on Friday January 4. The following day, Washbourn Gardens hosts Nelson Jazz Club Big Band, Adams and Gavin, and local acts Out on Bail and Boogie Train.

See the complete programme at nelsonjazzfest.co.nz.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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