Bestoftauranga Newsletter - Jazz Festival Special

Blowin' Strong in April - with Jazz Fest Tickets!

Nearly $100 worth of Easter National Jazz Fest tickets up for grabs! Best of Tauranga, in association with generous festival organisers, are pleased to announce some ripper prizes:

· Two tickets to the Jazz Village on any day

· Two more tickets to the Wellington Bone Company with Rodger Fox on Easter Saturday night.

(If you're still not clued up on who's playing, where and when... read on for our guide to the Jazz Boat, the Jazz Steam Train, and who's playing where and when).

And just to toot our flute (that's like blowing your trumpet), thanks to the kindness of local event organisers and others, we will be able to give away more than $250 in prizes this month. Aside from the Jazz Tickets, we have been able to send two Tauranga women, Jane and Karen and friends, to Gartshore's Food and Wine Festival at the Domain. Rain Bar at Papamoa also supplied us with a voucher - perfect for their "neighbourhood restaurant" called  Next Door - where they serve wood-fired pizzas, pastas, salads and more.

Coming up at the end of the month, is the Cancer Society's Relay for Life 2009. BoTCom had fun last year, so we're taking part again. It's on at the Cricket Oval, Blake Park, Mt Maunganui, from 2 pm on March 28 to 10 am next day, Sunday 29th. It's not too late to enter this worthwhile fund raiser that's known for its community party atmosphere. (

Hop Aboard the Jazz Train
The Jazz Festival will feature New Zealand's first "Jazz Steam Train," that will transport people to the festival in unforgettable style. A romantic era of train travel will be re-visited when the vintage steam train departs on its two day journey from Paekakariki via Feilding, Taumarunui and Hamilton, to Tauranga.

Passengers will chug along the main trunk line - over historical viaducts and bridges, past forgotten station platforms and sleepy townships, through the longest railway tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere and, of course, the famous Raurimu Spiral.

Festival Director Arne Herrmann says once the Jazz Train arrives in Tauranga, shorter local trips will run throughout the festival. "People will be able to take a journey on a classic steam train and listen to the rhythms of a live jazz band, while enjoying normally hidden views of our country side. Passengers can indulge in fine wine, refreshments and the specially created Jazzy Munch Box. It'll be a truly unique and memorable experience".

Jazz Goes Sailing... the River Boat’s Appealing Blend of Food, History, Harbour Cruise & Jazz

The lazy Missisipi River and its ferry boat traditions are coming to Tauranga Harbour.  BoTCom reckons one of the best bang-for-your-buck events at the Tauranga Jazz Festival is the new Sebel Trinity Wharf Jazz Riverboat - an appealing blend of  harbour cruise, New Zealand ferry boat history, jazz bands - and food provided by the chefs at the five-star hotel. 

The river boat ride offers a lot for your $57 (excluding service fees). The cruises are aboard the 46 foot, classic launch Kewpie, that has the right jazzy feel, and lots of history as a ferry boat up north.  This kauri-built vessel was for many years the boat on the renown Bay of Island ‘Cream Trip.’ The trip follows the path of a ferry that delivered essential supplies in the 1920’s, to outlying islands in the Bay. 

Kewpie will sail from the pier at Sebel Trinity Wharf on a “gentle” tour of the harbour lasting an hour and a half. Drinks will be sold on board but the canapés and other finger food from Sebel are included in the price.

"It’s a perfect match," says Sebel General Manager Gary Dickman,"when we found out about the jazz boat we put our hand up and said, can we sponsor that?”

At previous festivals the Hotel has had a jazz band playing in its restaurant, but Gary Dickman says they felt they were “piggy backing” on the Jazz Festival, rather than being a part of it. "By sponsoring the boat, we’ll be part and parcel of the festival." 
He argues that $57 a head is nothing for great finger food, "something really nice to entice – get those taste buds going," as well as cruising the harbour for an hour and a half, serenaded by a jazz band.

Gary Dickman says with the headline act, the Blind Boys of Alabama staying at the hotel, he’s also excited at the possibility of them, and other musicians, breaking into impromptu jazz sessions.

The Sebel Trinity Wharf Jazz Riverboat will sail three times a day during the Easter Weekend, at 4pm, 6 pm and 8 pm on Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th. Each day will feature a different jazz band.  Kewpie has space for only 60 people per trip so book quickly for this one.  Tickets are available from TicketDirect and Baycourt Theatre and as noted, cover the catering and entertainment (not drinks).  ( Photos courtesy of

Who’s Playing - When & Where at the Festival…?

All the way from New Orleans, comes this legendary ensemble for a two-night Festival appearance. The Blind Boys were formed 1939, and have recorded more than 60 albums, and won four consecutive Grammy Awards (2001-2004). They’ve appeared with  artists from Peter Gabriel to Ben Harper, ‘the Blind Boys have proven themselves masters of drawing out the most spiritual aspects of mainstream music, while bringing their gospel sounds straight to the roadhouse.’
Sunday 12 April, 7.30pm, Monday 13 April, 6.30pm, Holy Trinity Church

Nouveau Manouche and Hot Club Sandwich, with special guests Sarah Bradley (vocals) and Tim Williams (violin).
Get into the swing of the 2009 Jazz Festival with this infectious tribute to Manouche gypsy music. Popularly known as ‘Hot Club’ swing, this unique style shot to global popularity through guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli.
Wellington trio Hot Club Sandwich and master guitarists Leigh Jackson and Nick Granville from Nouveau Manouche faithfully reproduce this style, playing well-loved Reinhardt compositions such as Minor Swing and Nuages. Guest appearances from renowned jazz violinist Tim Williams and New York-trained jazz vocalist and TV presenter Sarah Bradley.
Thursday 9 April, Baycourt Theatre, 8pm

New Zealand School of Music and Tauranga Big Bands
Friday night is Big Band Night at the Festival. The New Zealand School of Music Big Band under Music Director Rodger Fox is one of the most exciting additions to the New Zealand big band scene. Featuring some of the country’s best up-and-coming jazz talent drawn from the cream of the New Zealand School of Music, the band has appeared in concert with major artists such as pianist Mike Nock, trumpeter Jon Papenbrook (USA),  Georgie Fame (UK) and in the Sinatra “Lives” concert series. They’ll be playing musical chairs with our own Tauranga Big Band, who are playing better than ever.
Friday 10 April, Baycourt Theatre, 8pm

World Premiere
Charmaine Ford, the ‘rising star of New Zealand jazz piano,’ returns to her hometown of Tauranga to treat us. Based in Sydney to build her international jazz career, Charmaine won the 2007 Jazz Tui Award for Best Jazz Album for her sophomore release Busy Silence and has just released her third album. In this concert she’ll also introduce us to the sensational Australian vocalist Kristin Berardi, winner of the prestigious 2006 International Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition judged by Al Jarreau.
Saturday 11 April, Baycourt Theatre, 8pm

Look up ‘soul’ in the dictionary, and dusky-voiced chanteuse Hollie Smith embodies every aspect of the term. The career of this ‘Kiwi soul sister’ has sky-rocketed since she won Best Vocalist in our own Youth Jazz Competition a few years back. Hollie signed last year to the Manhattan label, one of the world famous Blue Note stable, home to Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Norah Jones. Continuing to scoop up awards, Hollie won Best Female Solo Artist, and Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
Sunday 12 April, Baycourt Theatre 9.30pm

Phil Broadhurst's Chick Corea Tribute Band (NZ)
He has redefined the jazz piano. His music is infused with the flavours of his Puerto Rican heritage fused with a New York jazz sensibility. Chick Corea is a living legend. One of New Zealand’s foremost jazz pianists, Phil Broadhurst, will take us and his ensemble of seven master musicians on a breathtaking journey through Chick’s compositions.
Friday 10 April, 7.30pm, Jazz Club ( Exhibition Hall Baycourt)

It’s never too late for some booty-shakin’, groovy soul funk music by the Grand Central Band. Named after the Auckland bar they performed in, GCB have taken this brand of 70s jazz-funk to new levels. ‘With their smooth vocals, Hammond organ, gripping rhythms and take-no-prisoners attitude…’
Friday 10 April, 10pm, Jazz Club (Baycourt)

Featuring Rodger Fox and guest vocalist
Kiwi jazz icon Rodger Fox will be playing up a storm with a seven piece band featuring four trombones. Enjoy arrangements by the acclaimed US trombonists JJ Johnson and K Winding and music from Rodger’s album with the Oklahoma Trombone Choir. Keeping an eye on the ‘Bones’ is Rodgers’ hand-picked guest vocalist who will be treating us to sultry ballads and swinging blues tunes.
Saturday 11 April, 7.30pm, Jazz Club (Baycourt)

Pulsating grooves and irresistible beats delivered in laid-back East Coast style have made the Tropical Downbeat Orchestra a regular item at festivals around the country. ‘This seven-piece orchestra’s original and adventurous mix of funk, soul and jazz will have you on the edge of your seat.’
Saturday 11 April, 10pm, Jazz Club (Baycourt)

Dylan Elise & Joel Shadbolt
The amazing young drummer, Dylan Elise, wowed audiences at last year’s festival in a vivid multimedia display of jazz, Latin, groove and rock drumming. Featuring a special collaboration with rising star, 18 year-old local guitarist Joel Shadbolt.
Sunday 12 April, 12.30pm, Baycourt Theatre 

The Jazz Village in Tauranga’s unique Historic Village on 17th Ave, offers the ideal setting for a family day-out like no other. Across four stages more than 20 bands will delight visitors from near and far against this nostalgic backdrop. Highlights include the large Classic Hits Outdoor Stage with non-stop foot-stomping jazz action, a jam session stage and bands including Tropical Downbeat Orchestra, Darcy Perry Band, Kokomo and the Hamilton and BOP Blues Clubs. Also, tap-dancing buskers, barbershop quartets and food stalls.
Sunday 12 April, Monday 13 April, 10am – 6pm, Historic Village 17th Ave

Gather in the heart of the city to experience the Festival’s famous Downtown Tauranga Carnival. Several stages set up along The Strand, Mid City Mall and Aspen Reserve will wash the city with live Jazz music all afternoon. Free to the public and located near dozens of fine bars and restaurants, Carnival is a popular choice to experience the Festival in its most casual way.
Saturday & Sunday 11 & 12 April, 12 till around 5pm, Downtown Tauranga

Taking the Mississippi theme onto Tauranga Harbour are jazz cruises on the Kewpie. This quaint charter boat will sail three times a day as the Jazz Riverboat and take Festival fans on a gentle tour around the harbour. Jazz band and food included.
Friday to Sunday 10 - 12 April, Depart:  The Sebel Trinity Wharf Pontoon, 51 Dive Cr, Tauranga

A special feature of the Festival is the prestigious National Youth Jazz Competition. Some of NZ’s best jazz musicians, including Nathan Haines, Hollie Smith and Charmaine Ford, have been discovered in this competition, and have gone on to become international jazz stars. This is where aspiring young musicians can showcase their talents. Get a sneak preview of our emerging stars...
Friday to Saturday 10 & 11 April, Baycourt Theatre

Posted: Sun 01 Mar 2009






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