High-octane multi award-winning American jazz star Trombone Shorty headlines the 49th National Jazz Festival in Tauranga in April 2011.
The five-day event held over Easter from April 21-25 features more than 60 bands and musicians of the present and the future, plus the free Downtown Carnival, the hugely popular TV3 Jazz Village, the return of the Bay of Plenty Times Jazz Steamtrain and The Sebel Trinity Wharf Tauranga Jazz Riverboat, and the festival is the new host of the New Zealand Music Award Tui in the Jazz category.
As the third oldest jazz festival in the world, and heading for the half-century, the National Jazz Festival is an iconic event on the music calendar in New Zealand.
Headlining the National Jazz Festival is a jazz legend in the making – American jazz/funkster Trombone Shorty. Aged just 24, Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews took home an historic five 2010 Best of the Beat Awards, including Best Artist and Best Album, in January, and he was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award.
“He is incredible,” says National Jazz Festival director Arne Herrmann. “We’re absolutely thrilled to have him coming to Tauranga and playing two concerts at the National Jazz Festival.”
Wowing critics and fellow musicians alike – jazz greats Wynton Marsalis and Allan Touissant agree he’s a genius – Troy Andrews learned to play drums and “the world’s smallest trumpet” at the age of three and by six years old he was playing trumpet and trombone in his brother’s jazz band. He’s since gone on to share the stage with jazz legends of today and his shows are a rare combination of virtuosity and high-energy intensity melding jazz, rock, soul and funk together to create his own musical mix.
Trombone Shorty’s only New Zealand concerts are at the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga – he plays as part of the first ever Hurricane Party at Classic Flyers, and then takes centre stage with his band, Orleans Avenue, for the final night concert on Monday 25 April.
New in 2011 is the Hurricane Club at Classic Flyers for a night which will explode with the future of jazz. Sax man Lewis McCullum’s groove-laden jazz-funk opens the night, followed by dDub with their roots explosion of horns, harmonies and hands-high tunes, followed by dance party stalwarts Sola Rosa, then shizzle with sonic rocket Trombone Shorty!
“The Hurricane Party is a result of our continued push to create an intense, musically focused, one night mini-festival within the National Jazz Festival, where one highlight chases the next, from the best-known New Zealand jazz, funk and dub ensembles to the New Zealand debut performance of one of the most explosive new jazz artists on the circuit, Trombone Shorty!”The National Jazz Festival’s concerts also feature Irish jazz and blues singer Mary Coughlan. Singing straight from the soul, she mixes a wry and laconic humour with a stage presence which has earned her the title as the undisputed ‘Lady of the Blues’. She’s collaborated with music greats including Jimmy McCarthy and Elvis Costello and has been likened to legends such as Peggy Lee and Marianne Faithful.
Outstanding New Zealand performers feature in concerts throughout the festival including Bella Kalolo and the Soul Symphony, The Gospel According To …, The Beat Girls & the Royal New Zealand Air Force Central Swing Band and Midge Marsden, back from a 20,000 mile trip around the USA.
Plus, for the first time ever at the National Jazz Festival, the New Zealand Music Awards Best Jazz Album of the Year for 2010 will be announced at a very special concert night featuring performances by each of the three Tui Award nominees – Reuben Bradley, Tessa Quayle and Sumo Jazz. It will be a big night for Wellington jazz drummer Reuben Bradley – as well as being a finalist for his own second album ‘Resonator’, he also drums as a member of Tessa Quayle’s quartet on her debut album ‘Whisper Not’. Christchurch’s Sumo Jazz quartet is nominated for the album ‘Throwing Salt’.
The festival’s University of Waikato Jazz Club at Baycourt’s Exhibition space features jazz and blues from Hot Club Sandwich, Sacha Vee, Fusion Australasia with Aaron Saxon, Chico & The Soneros, Shaken Not Stirred with Neil Billington and a special afternoon discussion with Blue Smoke author Chris Bourke.
Returning in 2011 are popular features including the Bay of Plenty Times Jazz Steamtrain, The Sebel Trinity Wharf Tauranga Jazz Riverboat, Tauranga’s own version of New Orleans’ French Quarter, the TV3 Jazz Village, the Port of Tauranga Youth Jazz Competition and the Downtown Tauranga Carnival with four stages bringing a diverse assortment of jazz to the central city.