Sunshine, dancing and all that jazz

00:00, Jan 06 2014
LET IT OUT: Sophie Ricketts performs with the Nelson Jazz Club Big Band at the 1903 site on Saturday.

The sun was a welcome visitor, helping the Woollaston Jazz and Blues Festival end on a vibrant note yesterday.

The week-long festival finished with jazz and blues at Washbourn Gardens in Richmond, and the Andrew London Trio on the lawn at Woollaston Estates.

The festival organisers said they were very happy with the Washbourn Garden event which attracted about 3000 people. The festival finished with four bands playing in good conditions.

"The event had a very family-orientated feeling with lots of kids dancing and, after the uncertainty of the weather earlier in the week, there was a sense of celebration as the sun came out," festival director Liam Ryan said.

On Saturday, the Nelson Jazz Club had its turn on the stage, and got the crowd toe-tapping to Glenn Miller and swinging to Steely Dan at the 1903 site in Trafalgar St.

The festival, which started on New Year's Day with a washed-out jazz-in-the-park concert being brought indoors, had since been going very well, with good crowds and quality musicians at all events, Nelson Jazz Club Big Band drummer Warren McLew said.


Singer Sophie Ricketts started Saturday's hour-long lunchtime jazz concert with an upbeat Sam's Boogie Couples slow-danced in quiet corners of the 1903 site.

Meryl Kirkham of Wellington, who was in Nelson visiting family and for the music, said she was impressed so far with the calibre of musicians.

"Miho Wada was the best, and the jam session at Bar Berlin.

"I just love the atmosphere and this outdoor theatre," she said of the 1903 site.