Wellington Jazz Club Newsletter

September 2015

President’s Message

On Sunday 16th August the Club hosted the annual ‘Ken Avery Combo Competition’ for jazz students of the NZ School of Music. The event was judged by three members of the School’s teaching staff, Mark Donlon (Jazz Programme Leader), Dr Dave Lisik (Senior Lecturer Jazz Composition and Arrangements) and Lance Philip (Lecturer in Jazz Drums and Percussion).

Three groups competed for a prize pool of $1,000. First up was ‘Toi Nga Whakaaro’ (Creative Ideas), a quartet comprising Eilish Wilson on alto sax, Calum Dundas on guitar, Chris Beernink on bass and Luther Hunt on drums. Next up was the ‘Jon Veitch Trio’ comprising Jon on vocals, Wynton Newman on bass and Jarrod Burns on drums.
Last up was the ‘Mt Cook Volunteer Fire Brigade’, a quintet with vocalist Sophie Cooper, Louisa Williamson on tenor sax, Alexander Boulton on guitar, Oliver Bomann on bass, and Jeremy Richardson on drums.

‘Toi Nga Whakaaro’ played ‘Blues for Alice’ by Charlie Parker and ‘It Could Happen to You’ by Jimmy Van Heusen. The ‘Jon Veitch Trio’ also played ‘It Could Happen to You’ and ‘My Funny Valentine’ by Rogers & Hart. The ‘Mt Cook Volunteer Fire Brigade’ played 'Hallelujah, I Love Him So', by Ray Charles and ‘Cherokee’
by Ray Noble.

There were some very sweet vocal arrangements and very innovative, impressive and exciting improvising and excellent backing. With only three entries this year, the programme was shorter than usual, but very entertaining, and the groups received good applause from the large supportive audience.

Two group prizes were awarded: first prize went to the ‘Mt Cook Volunteer Fire Brigade’; second prize to ‘Toi Nga Whakaaro’. A third prize was awarded to the most outstanding individual player Louisa Williamson. A batch of $20 prize vouchers, kindly donated by Music Works Ltd, were issued to all the competing groups on a merit basis.

The event was successful and the Jazz Club is pleased to have this ongoing liaison with the NZ School of Music to give opportunities for its jazz music students to gain performance experience to a discerning audience; also the Club members enjoy the high quality of jazz continually coming out of the School.

Support entertainment was provided by a Jazz Club sextet: Kevin Clark on trumpet, Chris Anderson on clarinet, Alfred Memelink on tenor, John Jamieson on keyboard, Noel Evans on bass and Bob Little on drums. They started the ball rolling at 4pm, continued while the judges were deliberating and again after the results were announced. They played a selection of well-known classics: ‘Foggy Day, ‘Aint’ Misbehavin’, ‘Green Dolphin Street’, ‘Angel Eyes’, ‘Hello Dolly’, ‘I’m in the Mood for Love’, ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down …’, ‘Isn’t it Romantic’, ‘Let’s Fall in Love’, Rosetta’, Softly as the Morning Sunrise’, ‘Take the A Train’, Tenderly’, ‘There Will Never Be Another You’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From me’, ‘This Can’t be Love’, ‘Wave’ and ‘You’d Be So Nice to Come To’. There was some very nice playing and they set an excellent ambience for the main event.

Our next gig will be on 20th September featuring the ever popular Andrew London supported by a top-class group with Nils Olsen on sax, and clarinet, Wayne Mason on keyboard, Kirsty London on bass and Lance Philip on drums. Andrew always presents an innovative and entertaining performance and this should prove to be a capacity event.

Support entertainment will be provided at 4pm by the Scots College Jazz Band. This will be the first time they have made an appearance at the Wellington Jazz Club and we are looking forward to giving them a rousing welcome. Be there early to secure a good seat.

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 or two. Those who are not yet members will be most welcome to join the Club in helping to keeping the jazz ball bouncing along.

Mike Bain