Wānaka Sun       

Dixieland jazz at its best

Posted at 7:48am Thursday 14 Jan, 2021 | By Joanna Perry newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Christchurch's award-winning River City Jazzmen (RCJ) will be returning to deliver ‘authentic' dixieland jazz at the Lake Wānaka Centre on January 23 in the venue's first concert of 2021.

This highly acclaimed band has appeared all over New Zealand playing their spirited and entertaining brand of traditional dixieland jazz and their appearance here is much anticipated. The group, who have been playing together for over a decade, follow the New Orleans model, with six skilled and inventive soloists. From ‘Bourbon Street Parade' to ‘The World is Waiting for the Sunrise', the RCJ repertoire boasts in excess of a hundred numbers dating from 1917 up to the best of the 50s and 60s trad.

Since its inception - and while surviving the traumatic earthquakes of over a decade ago - the band has been extremely busy and successful. They have won Fat Eddie's ‘New Orleans Dixieland Band' competition over 16 competing groups, and featured at the Art Deco festival in Napier in 2019, as well as performing at the Taranaki, Wellington and Whanganui Jazz Clubs. 

Michael Bain, President of the Wellington Jazz Club, said the band “played an outstanding performance,” with “tight ensemble playing and superb improvisations… [it was] great to hear the old standards played with such gusto.”

The ensemble includes Neill Pickard (QSM), founder of the Christchurch Jazz School, on banjo/guitar/vocals; Michael Fairhurst on trumpet/flugel horn/vocals; Tony Lewis (MNZM) on trombone; Allan Hawes on clarinet; David Pitt on acoustic bass; and Lou Moverley on drums.

The event will start at 7:30pm. Tickets ($35 for adults, school students go free) are available from Gifted Design at 19 Helwick Street or eventfinda.co.nz, or on the door from 6:30pm. 

Read edition 1009 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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