Wellington Jazz Festival Line-Up Confirmed
With over 100 gigs in the city across five days, the capital’s biggest mid-winter music festival is back from 8 – 12 June, showcasing some of the world’s most acclaimed jazz performers, including the Wayne Shorter Quartet already announced last month. Wellington Jazz Festival’s Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza said the international line-up, which goes on sale to Culture Club supporters on 12 April, and to the general public from 18 April, is set to be a sure-fire antidote to the winter blues.
Her stage duets with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stone’s Gimme Shelter are showstoppers, and now singer Lisa Fischer is bringing her intimate performance of gospel, soul, and rock to the Opera House, as part of the 2016 Wellington Jazz Festival.
With over 100 gigs in the city across five days, the capital’s biggest mid-winter music festival is back from 8 – 12 June, showcasing some of the world’s most acclaimed jazz performers, including the Wayne Shorter Quartet already announced last month.
Wellington Jazz Festival’s Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza said the international line-up, which goes on sale to Culture Club supporters on 12 April, and to the general public from 18 April, is set to be a sure-fire antidote to the winter blues.
“From jazz giant Wayne Shorter and his esteemed quartet to gorgeous singer Lisa Fischer and her new band Grand Baton; from the father of Ethio jazz, Mulatu Astatke, to the Grammy-award winning fusion ensemble Snarky Puppy, this year’s international line-up brings some special musical treats to Wellington. So forget the winter chill; get up, get out and get amongst the good global vibes coming your way this June, ” Shelagh says.
The line-up includes New York-based jazz fusion collective Snarky Puppy, who has worked with some of the music industry’s biggest players, including Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake. The band of up 14 musicians has won fans all over the globe with exploratory forays into jazz, rock and funk.
American jazz vocalist Karin Allyson, known for her broad musical range, will also perform at the Opera House as part of the Wellington Jazz Festival, covering the greats from Duke Ellington to Dizzy Gillespie.
With his unique blend of Ethiopian, Latin and US influences, jazz legend and multi-instrumentalist Mulatu Astatke will perform at the Wellington Jazz Festival with the eight-piece Melbourne-based ensemble Black Jesus Experience. According to his sometime bandmate Alexander Hawkins, Astake produces music that is “at once the sound of surprise and the only note it could ever have been”.
Wellington Jazz Festival favourite The Rodger Fox Big Band will be back in June too, with a new take on the Great New Zealand Songbook. Accompanied by chart-toppers Hollie Smith, Mark Williams, Debbie Harwood, and Erna Ferry, the band will present their favourite classic Kiwi pop tunes and jazz standards.
The complete local line-up for the Jazz Festival will be announced later this month.
Wayne Shorter Quartet (USA) Wed 8 June
Experience the searing sax style of jazz giant Wayne Shorter, performing with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade. The multi-Grammy Award-winning quartet continues to win fans with dynamic compositions and electrifying improvisations. Early bird rates apply until 30 April.
Karrin Allyson with the Tom Warrington Trio (USA) Thu 9 June
Be swept away by smooth chanteuse Karrin Allyson, supported by the Tom Warrington Trio and New Zealand School of Music Big Band. Known for her impressive musical range, Karrin glides between bittersweet and sassy, covering the greats from Duke Ellington to Dizzy Gillespie. The experienced trio of bassist Tom Warrington, drummer Joe La Barbera, and guitarist Larry Koonse perform with her.
Mulatu Astatke with Black Jesus Experience (Ethiopia/Australia) Fri 10 June
The influential father of Ethio jazz Mulatu Astatke performs with the eight-piece Melbourne-based Black Jesus Experience. Together their hypnotic grooves and Afro-beat funk will seduce you.
Snarky Puppy (USA) Sat 11 June
Get down to the new jazz sound from the underground and revel in a night of raw “animal magic” (The Telegraph). This two-time Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn-based outfit is ready to bring the Festival funk with a jazzed-up rock concert of synth-driven grooves, “horn-hollering soul hooks, floor-shaking beats and punchy improv” (The Guardian).
Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton (USA) Sun 12 June
The voice that has backed the Rolling Stones for 25 years, Lisa Fischer is now stepping into the spotlight. Capable of both raw power and breathtaking subtlety, she mesmerised movie-goers in the Academy Award-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom. A humble and inventive performer, this Grammy Award-winning artist brings an intimate one-night-only show fusing gospel, soul and rock.
Borrowed, Blue, Old but New (New Zealand) Sun 12 June
Take a break with some of New Zealand’s most iconic entertainers as they jazz up the great New Zealand songbook. Led by the Rodger Fox Big Band, chart-toppers Hollie Smith (Bathe in the River), Mark Williams (Show No Mercy), Debbie Harwood (Melting Pot, When the Cats Away) and Erna Ferry will surprise you with their favourite classic Kiwi pop tunes and jazz standards.