Wellington Jazz Club Newsletter

Newsletter April 2016

President's Report

April Gig – Nick Granville Big Band Project

Jazz Club Tribute in October to Colin Hemmingsen

Collection of Jazz Audio Tapes

Jazz Theme DVDs

Dixieland Jazz Trumpeter/Player Vacancy

Gigs Schedule

How to find Meow Cafe

Download Membership Application Form

President's Report

On Sunday 20th March the Club hosted a return visit by legendary jazz vocalist Malcolm McNeill with a star-studded trio comprising Mark Donlon on piano, Lance Philip on drums and Chris Beernink on bass, who presented an excellent programme of jazz and swing standards with ease and panache. Malcolm has a relaxed and good humoured stage presence and had an easy rapport with the audience. Mark, Lance and Chris played with empathy and drive with excellent solo breaks. Malcolm expressed a particular fondness for Brazilian music and always includes some in his repertoire.

They opened with ‘Just the Way You Look Tonight’, then ‘Aint Misbehavin’, ‘Meditation’ (Jobim), ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’, ‘Starlight’, ‘Lady Be Good’, and finished the first half with ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’. The second half kicked off with ‘Autumn Leaves’, then ‘You Must Believe in Spring’, ‘One Note Samba’, ‘ Being Green’ (from the Muppets), ‘Fool On the Hill’, ‘Fascinating Rhythm’, ‘Misty’, ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ and ‘Our Love is Here to Stay’.

Support entertainment was provided before the main event by the Wellington Jazz Club Band led by Graham Kelly on piano with Alfred Memelink on tenor, Chris Caudwell on trom, Noel Evans on bass, Denis Taylor on drums and yours truly on clarinet and tenor (thanks Chris Anderson for the opportunity). We also played a selection of standards including ‘Foggy Day’, ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’, ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter’, ‘Angel Eyes’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Days of Wine and Roses’, ‘Rosetta’, and ‘Softly as in a Morning Sunrise’. It was a good fun time with more than a touch of Dixie.

The audience was a bit sparse, probably due to competing events including the last night of the Festival and the nearby CubaDupa, but they were enthusiastic and gave Malcolm and his excellent backing group a warm reception. It was a night of great entertainment and excellent jazz.

During the interval the Club’s AGM was held and the current Executive Members were re-elected plus new Committee Member Pieter Bos, but without Kelvin Roy this time. Kelvin had contributed very constructively on the Executive for the last three years and had done a grand job handling the sound at the previous venue. He is also an accomplished jazz performer on the exotic bass trumpet. We will miss him on the Executive, but hope that he will continue to contribute in performance mode.

2016 is already looking exciting with some great jazz coming over the horizon.

Our next gig is on 17th April at Meow. Nick Granville is putting together another sizable group of stars. Nick last performed in July last year, and earned comments such as “evocative, inspired and brilliantly performed to enthusiastic applause from a capacity audience”. This next performance should represent jazz at its best.

Support entertainment will be provided by Don Franks with Hawkes Bay guest vocalist Jemima Rose kicking off at 4pm. We’ll make sure we prepare capacity seating. Come early and get a good seat and don’t miss the programme.

The Jazz Club is an excellent venue for entertaining friends and celebrating special events and listening to great jazz played by top-class musicians. Members are encouraged to organise a party and enjoy the best jazz that the Capital has to offer in convivial and friendly surroundings over a nice meal and a tipple. Those who are not yet members will be most welcome to join the Club in helping to keeping the jazz ball bouncing along.

See y’all on 17th April at Meow.

Mike Bain

P.S. Members’ 10% discount is available at Music Works in Ghuznee St on production of Club Membership Card.

P.P.S. Also visit Creative Showoff Costume Hire, 89 Thorndon Quay. They have a great range of costumes for any occasion (even suitable for a jazz concert!) 10% discount to Jazz Club Members on production of Membership Card.


April Gig - 17 April Gig 5pm @ Meow - Nick Granville Big Band Project

This special project has been assembled especially for the Wellington Jazz Club as a means to showcase some of Nick Granville’s original compositions which he has arranged for big band and some favourites from the likes of Count Basie and more.

Over the years 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 to name but a few. Playing in Big Band is a great learning situation for a composer / arranger - hearing first-hand the music, during which time Nick has amassed a collection of his own arrangements of tunes (both original and covers). A selection of these will be played for this event.

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.

Nick promises that the musicians are of the highest calibre but at the time of publishing this newsletter the composition of his band was not available. It’s all about the music not the musicians.

Support band at 4:00 pm will feature Vocalist from Hawkes Bay Jemima Rose, backed by Wellington pianist Don Franks.

Don is a Wellington pianist, previously resident at The Skyline, Kircaldies, and Il Casino. Don is author of, “Nice work if you can get it: notes from a musician’s diary” (Steele Roberts Publishers). He also produces a weekly Access Radio programme, Don Franks' Music.


Wellington Jazz Club Gigs Schedule

Main band 5.00pm to 7.00pm. Often a support band from 4:00pm. Normally on the third Sunday of the month and normally at the Meow. But for artists and location of gig see Gigs Schedule

May Gig 15 May 5pm – Kevin Clark Group with Fran Barton. Jazz with a classical bent.

June Gig 19 June @ Meow - Erna Ferry. The support band will be her school jazz choir. Their last visit with Erna they were a joy to hear.

July Gig 17 July - RNZAF Big Band.


Jazz Club Tribute in October to Colin Hemmingsen))

In 2016 Colin Hemmingsen was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music. Read about this on stuff.co.nz or visit Colin's website.


Collection of Jazz Audio Tapes

Free to an appreciative home. The Club has been contacted by jazz fan Michael Wright, who has a large collection of jazz audio tapes including (he believes) tapes taken off the old ‘V’ discs issued for servicemen overseas during WW2 and never made for general release, which had been collected and passed on to him by the late Robert (Bob) Wood. Included in the collection are other jazz tapes, books on jazz and some jazz CDs. He is keen to see these go free to a good home and be preserved for future generations, rather than be destroyed. Contact Michael Wright on 04-905 8419, 021 0278 9987, email


Jazz Theme DVDs

Donated Jazz Theme DVD's available for sale. The Jazz Club has been donated a collection of jazz theme DVDs with the intention that they be offered for sale with the proceeds going to the Jazz Club. They were kindly donated by Mort Butler through Mervin Barrett. The DVDs will be available at the April gig and offers may be directed to Committee Member Bernard Weinstein.

Movie titles $20 each are:
The Glen Miller Story;
Second Chorus;
Sweet Smell of Success;
Round Midnight;
The Miles Davis Story Billy Eckstine Sings / Dizzy Gillespie Swings; Memories of Duke Ellington; Diane Schuur & The Count Basie Orchestra/Kenny Drew Trio Live at the Brewhouse;
The Fabulous Dorseys.

Music DVD's $15 each are:
The Frank Sinatra Show;
A Tribute to Charlie Parker: Birdland;
A Tribute to Charlie Parker: Birdmen;
Norman Granz' Jazz at Montreux presents Benny Carter '77;
Norman Granz' Jazz at Montreux presents Eddie Lockjaw Davis '77; Norman Granz' Jazz at Montreux presents Tommy Flanagan Trio '77;
Norman Granz' Jazz at Montreux presents Marylou Williams '78;
Jazz Legends: Art Hodes Jazz Valley: Vol 2;
Jazz Legends: Art Hodes Jazz Valley: Vol 3;
Jazz Legends: The Small Black Groups.


Dixieland Jazz Trumpeter/Player Vacancy

The Valley Stompers Dixieland Jazz Band, which has been operating in Wellington for over 40 years, is seeking an experienced jazz trumpet player following a retirement. Email Chris Caudwell



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How to find Meow Cafe

Meow is hidden away in the middle of the block between Manners, Willis and Victoria Streets.

It is a brick building which you can see 50 meters ahead of you along Edward Street from Victoria Street.

There is also a walkway through buildings from the corner of Manners and Victoria, and you can also walk under cover from Willis Street through the Food Court.

You could arrange to be dropped off at Meow but Edward Street is narrow and you cannot park there.

Parking is available free in the surrounding streets, especially Willis Street and Victoria Street (beyond the present roadworks).

There is plenty of parking in Wilson's multi-storey carpark (access off Willis Street) for $2 an hour (take a ticket and pay before exit).

After parking there you can take the lift to Ground and walk through the Food Court to Meow.

Food at Meow. In addition to snacks and toasted sandwiches ($8 to
$12) the Meow has a 3 course dinner menu with mains at $14.