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.
Neil Billington, Harmonica and band
21 February 2021
Feb 21 at 5:00 to 7:00 at Meow
Coming to the Wellington Jazz Club for the first concert of 2021 on February 21 will be harmonica player extraordinaire Neil Billington, with a line-up of some of Wellington's finest jazz musicians. Neil is a true master of his instrument who has featured on international stages and in recent years has regularly toured Japan. His repertoire ranges from the jazz greats like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, the writers of the American Songbook, through to the deep blues of Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and Little Walter.
Joining him will be a truly stellar band of Nick Granville on guitar, Duncan Haynes on keys, Patrick Bleakley on bass, and Mark Lockett on drums.
Coming to the Wellington Jazz Club for the first concert of 2021 on February 21 will be harmonica player extraordinaire Neil Billington, with a line-up of some of Wellington's finest jazz musicians. Neil is a true master of his instrument who has featured on international stages and in recent years has regularly toured Japan. His repertoire ranges from the jazz greats like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, and the writers of the American Songbook, through to the deep blues of Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and Little Walter. Joining him will be a truly stellar band of Nick Granville on guitar, Duncan Haynes on keys, Patrick Bleakley on bass, and Mark Lockett on drums.
Neil covers a range of genres, from old-time pre-war blues through to the great Chicago blues harp masters, to the ballads of the American song-book and jazz standards of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.
In 2016 Neil performed with Mike Garner at the ‘Live Magic’ blues festival in Tokyo, where he was invited to play with the lead act, slide-guitar legend Sonny Landreth, described by Eric Clapton as ‘one of the most advanced guitar players in the world’.
Neil made his fourth visit to Japan in 2017, where he played with some of their finest blues and jazz musicians, such as former Chicago-based guitarist Shun Kikuta, boogie pianist Rei "Ms Lee" Kanehira, and acoustic guitar virtuoso Yuji Hamaguchi. Neil was invited by the Hohner company, the world's leading harmonica manufacturer, to be a guest star performer at the company's Tokyo festival earler in 2018, where he demonstrated his skills on both the blues harp and the chromatic harmonica - a rare accolade.
Nick Granville – guitar
Nick has played with many big bands including regularly with the Rodger Fox Big Band (also known as the Wellington Jazz Orchestra), the Vaughn Roberts Big Band and with the late great Russell Garcia. He is a regular performer at the jazz club and always produces great music of the style appreciated by our members. Nick has released five CD’s of original music, he teaches Jazz guitar at the NZ school of Music and is a prolific active guitarist on the New Zealand music scene.
Duncan Haynes - keyboard
With a classical background in piano and cello, Duncan studied jazz with the very best of his native New Zealand at Massey University, Wellington where he gained a B.Mus. He then spent 8 years based in London, performing all over the U.K. and Europe including at Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express Dean St, Wembley Stadium, Lords, Queens Club, Blenheim Palace, jazz festivals in Warsaw, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands and rock festivals such as Bestival on the Isle of Wight. After a stint playing rock and blues in Lousiana, USA he moved to Lima, Peru where the music of South America captured his imagination. Having performed there with world class artists he returned to Europe, this time based in Paris, where he established a world music/jazz hybrid project Cuarteto Imaginario in 2017. Recently returned to Aotearoa after 20 years abroad performing and teaching, Duncan has a wealth of experience and material to share.
Bassist Patrick Bleakley is a local bass legend of international repute. Known for playing with Blerta in the 1970s and 80s and being the rock to Jonathan Crayford's jazz trio as well as The Troubles, he is one of the most popular musicians in New Zealand. His group Zeelanders feature his incredible compositional talents and his dynamic playing on the double bass, playing that has been underpinning the New Zealand music scene for decades. Mark Lockett - Drums
Mark graduated from Massey University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz performance. He is the author of the drum method book “The Drum Recipe” and has taught 2000+ students in over 30 schools in New Zealand, Australia and USA. His online lessons are available on teachable.com.
As a musician Mark formed the “Mark Lockett Trio” and “Mark Lockett and friends”. In 2004 Mark released his debut CD “About Time” on Move Records. This CD features special arrangements by Jordan Murray and Eugene Ball. Early in 2005 Mark released a joint project with saxophonist Paul Van Ross, titled “Mark Lockett + Paul Van Ross live at Spleen”. A series of regular weekly gigs were recorded at Spleen Bar and the highlights were released on New Market Records. Mark has also released ‘Now and Then’ and ‘Sneaking Out After Midnight’ (recorded NYC) which includes some of his original compositions. Marks latest release ‘Redaction’ (Rattle Records, 2015) is a collaboration with photographic artist Veronica Hodgkinson, taonga puoro expert Dr. Richard Nunns and free music improviser Jeff Henderson.