7 Jun 2018

What’s hot at the Wellington Jazz Festival

From Upbeat, 1:00 pm on 7 June 2018

The Wellington Jazz Festival started with a hiss and a roar this week, and there's more to come.

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Photo: Wellington Jazz Festival 2018

Composer, performer and tutor Norman Meehan has compiled a list of must-not-miss performances by visiting and local artists.

The genre of jazz spreads far and wide, and Norman says there’s something for everyone, covering everything from the mainstream to the fringes and edges. There’s also a host of interesting international acts and “very fine” locals.

Christian McBride’s New Jawn

In New Orleans a “Jawn” is a “thing”. The quartet, rather than McBride’s usual trio, helped open the festival. McBride is a virtuoso bassist – masterful performance & playing. It took them a little while to find their groove, perhaps a little jetlagged? They played for a couple of hours. A good crowd on a cold Wellington night.

Aldebaran Quartet & friends

Aldebaran Quartet have already performed at the Festival, but it’s never too late to discover how great they are. Featuring some cool Kiwis, they explore jazz through original works.

The Labcoats

Kiwi group The Labcoats are a cross between free music and a German groove band – psychedelic, “instrumental music from Mars”. They blend together all sorts of different influences, where just about anything could be poured into it.

The Labcoats perform10pm Friday 8 June at Caroline.

The Labcoats

The Labcoats Photo: Supplied

Arthur Street Loft Orchestra

Saxopohonist and composers Jasmine Lovell-Smith and Jake Baxendale lead a 10-piece chamber jazz ensemble covering a huge musical palette including Cinematic themes and reverberant variations.

The Orchestra is performing 5pm Saturday 9 Jun at The Third Eye.

Arthur Street Loft Orchestra

Arthur Street Loft Orchestra Photo: Supplied

Slightly Imperfect Presents … the surreal, strange and wonderful songs of Ivor Cutler

Scottish poet and songwriter Ivor Cutler was a colourful character and that colour comes to life thanks to Jenny Ward (voice), Greg Malcolm (guitar), John Bell (vibes) and Chris O'Connor (drums).

Hear these tunes 5pm Saturday 9 June at Meow

Ivor Cutler

Ivor Cutler Photo: wikicommons

Jazz at St Peter’s with Barney McAll and Bella Kalolo

If you’re looking for a family friendly offer, this gig is for you. It fuses jazz with gospel, bringing St Peter’s alive. It’s the world premiere of Barney McAll’s arrangements of gospel composer Doris Akers, featuring Kiwi vocalist Bella Kalolo.

 The Sunday Jazz Service – a much loved jazz fest tradition – follows on the Sunday.

See Bella and Barney at 6pm Saturday 9 June, St Peter’s on Willis Street. RNZ is recording this show for later broadcast.

Bella Kalolo and Barney McAll

Bella Kalolo and Barney McAll Photo: Supplied

More jazz from RNZ Music

Nick Tipping brings you classic recordings and modern masterpieces from the world of jazz on a weekly basis.

RNZ Music recorded some of the hottest performances at last year's festival, so you can listen at will.

A collection of recordings and interviews about jazz

The evolution of jazz across the decades from the early 1900s to the 1990s and beyond.

New live recordings of the 2018 Tui winner, from RNZ Music and SOUNZ