This is the Events Diary of gigs and events hosted by the Wellington Jazz Club, as well as other jazz gigs and jazz events around Wellington. To book tickets and tables go to Booking page on top menu.
The Mellow Tones
17 November 2019
The Mellow Tones –Music of Duke Ellington
WJC gig 17th November 2019 at Meow 5:00 to 7:00pm
Duke Ellington; a household name of Sophistication, drama, epic storytelling, the great moderniser of 20th century music. Five deep-digging denizens of the Wellington jazz scene come together to deliver a raging spontaneous take on a gig of exclusively Ellington tunes. Don’t miss out.
Eilish Wilson - alto/baritone saxophones
Daniel Yeabsley - alto/baritone saxophones
Ayrton Foote - piano
Johnny Lawrence - double bass
Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa - drums
Duke Ellington was born April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. He became a major figure in the history of jazz music, with a career spanning more than half a century, during which time he composed thousands of songs for the stage, screen and contemporary songbook. He created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in Western music and continued to play what he called "American Music" until shortly before his death in 1974. Perhaps Ellington's most famous jazz tune was "Take the A Train," which was composed by Billy Strayhorn and recorded on February 15, 1941. "Take the A Train," the "A" referring to a subway line in New York City. Other melodies you may know are - Mood Indigo, Sophisticated Lady, In A Sentimental Mood, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Rhapsody In Blue and Jack The Bear (to name a few).
Bio: Dan Yeabsley (alto/baritone saxophones) is a graduate from the Wellington Polytechnic Conservatorium of Music.
He is a multi-instrumentalist and with each band he appears to play a different instrument! He regularly plays with: The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, Fat Freddie’s Drop, The Troubles, Jelly Rolls Trio (Ben Wilcox & John Rae), and Twinset (with twin brother Chris).
Dan and brother Chris never intended to become Jazz musicians. Sons of a prominent economist, Daniel was going to be a mathematician, Christopher a lawyer. It was their teenage discovery of the music of Dave Brubeck that diverted them into a musical education. At eighteen, Daniel took up the sax and Christopher the piano. In spite of their relatively late start, they applied themselves to mastering their instruments with the same passion and obsessiveness with which they had previously collected vintage suits and restored old Holdens.
Bio. Ayrton Foote (Keyboard) has a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance. Since graduating from Te Kōkī NZ School of Music he has performed a range of genres spanning from Jazz to Rock, to Latin to Pop – both solo and with some of the city’s most high-profile artists and groups.
Having been active in the local Wellington and wider NZ music scene for nearly a decade, he has played and performed with many high quality musicians and groups, such as: Rodger Fox Corporate and Big Bands, Caii-Michelle: The Voice of Aotearoa, The Wellington Mingus Ensemble, C-26 Salsa Band, Chocolate Thunder, and countless local Jazz projects, with the Wellington Jazz Festival being one of the highlight. He has also had experience working on cruise ships, and playing for Indian Ink Theatre Company’s 2017 performance of The Pickle King.
Bio: Eilish Wilson (alto/baritone saxophones) After graduating the NZ School of Music with an Honours degree in Jazz Performance in 2015, Eilish has made a name for herself as a saxophonist within the Wellington and New Zealand music scene, performing both nationally, and internationally. Eilish performs regularly with the Rodger Fox Big Band, Wellington Mingus Ensemble, Lisa Tomlins Acoustic Soul Collective, It’s Uptown! as well as featuring as a session musician for numerous other bands.
Bio: Johnny Lawrence (double bass)
Originally from Christchurch and now residing in Wellington, Johnny has spent many years travelling the world, performing on cruise ships, playing residencies at hotels in Asia and living in Toronto, Canada for eight years. Returning from his travels, Johnny is now a firm fixture on the jazz/pop/r&b and electronic music scenes and can be seen playing bass for New Zealand artists such as Iva Lamkum, Thomas Oliver, Louis Baker, Electric Wire hustle and many combinations of jazz and electronic groups around Wellington.
Johnny is also a DJ and teaches guitar/guitar and DJing at Hutt International Boys’ school (HIB) as well as assisting with the HIB’s Jazz Band.
Bio: Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa (drums)
With a playing history that encompasses the diversity of French For Rabbits, Glass Vaults and The Wellington City Shake-Em-On-Downers and the Wellington Mingus Ensemble (to name but a few) Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa has in recent years been establishing himself as one of the capital’s go-to drummers.
Originally from Auckland, he has been based in the capital for the past eleven years. He initially studied visual arts, but his love of music led him to study jazz performance at the New Zealand School of Music from 2009-2013.
He currently play with many groups in the jazz sphere and a lot of straight ahead jazz in various acoustic formats with a host of local instrumentalists, mostly products of the NZSM. He also play in a couple of Brazilian and Salsa ensembles.