Category Archives: Jazz

Joy Yates at Tauranga Jazz Festival 2012 review

In the old Church at the Jazz Village, a perfect venue for an intimate soulful performance from Joy and David MacRae (piano). Wonderful vocals of old standards with nice bluesy soulful accents and great piano. Could have listened for hours.  Sadly I was disappointed with the CD I bought but only because it didn’t reflect the style of the performance I had just seen. Still a good well produced CD though from a very talented performer. Great Joy – come back soon and give us more!

Shaken Not Stirred at Tauranga Jazz Festival 2012 review

Another good performance from a band well known at this festival.  Maybe a little shaky in places, perhaps after a big gig on the Strand the night before. Playing lots of standards with their own flavour – the sort of music that appeals to many of the middle of the road jazz audience.  Easy to listen to and not so improvisational that only really serious Jazz officianados can appreciate it.  A good mix for the many who crowded Red Square for a pleasant sunny afternoon

The Hispanics at Tauranga Jazz Festival 2012 review

Sadly due to clashes with other bands I also wanted to catch, I only saw a couple of numbers by this talented and highly energetic band from Auckland.  I think they will probably rate as “the best Tauranga Jazz festival band that I didn’t see enough of”.

What I did see was great, high energy funk and soul crossover of much loved classics including a sort of souls funk, reggae version of the Beatles Come Together.

It all sounded good from this 9 piece band with real attitude. I just wish I had been able to catch more of them.  Such is the nature of festivals, too much to see in too many places.  Happily spoiled for choice though!

Malcolm McNeil at Tauranga Jazz Festival 2012 review

With a guitar and a bass (Nigel Masters from Kokomo), this didn’t seem like the tightest performance, but hey that’s Jazz, and maybe they haven’t played together much.  His voice faltered at times and some of the improv seemed out of synch but we can live with that.  Malcolm has been in this business a long time, is highly talented and has a large repertoire so was still very pleasant to watch,  Some excellent scatting and generally high musical standard to keep everyone happy

Adam Page at Tauranga Jazz Festival 2012 review

What can you say when you see someone this musically talented.  Adam plays everything from a U-bass (tenor sized bass ukukele), to flute, great Jazz Sax (his instrument of choice), to two PVC pipes that made a key changing Digeridoo, kalimba (african thumb piano), indian flute, keyboard and more, plus beat box vocals and Tuvan throat singing.  This totally improvised performance using looping pedals and raw talent had the audience spellbound from the onset.  Adam also played his beard (yes, his beard) in a highly musical and Muppet like song. Great entertainment! His incredible musical skill, including the ability to make up sequences on the fly using names of audience members or anything else, combined with his hugely engaging character made this one of the best musical performances I have seen anywhere. One of those special performers and performances which stand way out above others!!

Adam also ran interesting, informative and entertaining workshops at the Jazz Village

Whirimako Black & Nigel Gavin Coromandel Concert Review

Whirimako Black & Nigel Gavin’s concert at Coromandel town on 25 Nov 2010 was a real treat. Both exceptionally talented musicians, they captivated the audience throughout with everything from jazz standards to originals in both English and Maori. Whirimako’s originals, some written by family members, were so heartfelt that they were still strongly meaningful to those of us who do not understand the Maori language.

Nigel’s sensational guitar skills complemented Whirimako’s great vocals wonderfully. The small Church venue and Whirimako’s wonderful ability to engage and connect with an audience made for a great intimate performance.

To quote Motueka Online’s recent review of the same concert held there:

“Such was the high quality of Whirimako’s rich, honeyed voice and emotional presentation and of Nigel’s at times almost unbelievable guitar playing, that it would be presumptuous of any minor-talented music reviewer to criticise anything.

Whirimako has a wonderfully true voice that holds its richness and apparent ease of production and transition over a large vocal range. Many songs were jazz/blues classics, such as “Autumn Leaves”, but a substantial minority of her repertoire was sung either fully or partly in te reo. Even those who do not understand spoken (in this case sung) Maori had little problem in understanding the emotions they expressed – specially as Whirimako’s introductions spoke intimately of the background of several – and would have left the evening with a better appreciation of the beauty of te reo and how well it can fit with English tongue.

Nigel’s guitar work flowed with a consummate ease which belied the complexity of what he can achieve with just 10 fingers, six strings, a few bits of wood, and an electronic system which allowed him to record live his own background chord patterns over which he could play instrumental breaks. “

We agree entirely, except that in Coromandel, Nigel was actually playing a seven string guitar – with an extra bass string added for more depth and versatility – further showcasing his extraordinary skills!

Well done to the Coromandel Music society for organising this great night.

An Evening of Song and Dance

The World Youth Peace Foundation in conjunction with Mercury Bay Community Choir presents:

An Evening of Song and Dance


  • The Bay Festival Choir (formerly the Big Sing Choir) performing the ‘Repertoire for Peace’
  • Dr James Niblock, visiting choral director
  • Carol Niblock, guest soprano
  • Adam Maha, guest violinist
  • SPYL Dance per forming ‘Transcend’
  • Diana Morcom and Elizabeth Nicholls, pianists
  • The Bay Festival Junior Choir
  • Maruata Kelly, classical guitarist
  • And more

7pm Saturday 9 October Mercury Bay Area School Hall

Tickets available from Whitianga I Site, Whitianga Paper Plus and Whitianga Social Services

Or contact us and we can arrange tickets for you.