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Norah JonesTo Headline 2005 Jazz Festival

Grammy Award Winning Jazz Superstar To Headline The 2005 Festival

Montana Christchurch International Jazz Festival
30 March – 10 April 2005
Christchurch, New Zealand

Blue Note’s Grammy award winning artist, Norah Jones is set to headline the 2005 Montana Christchurch International Jazz Festival March 30, 2005 in the Westpac Trust Centre.

Jones, appearing courtesy of Pacific Entertainment Ltd, is expected to attract capacity crowds at Christchurch’s largest venue, the Westpac Trust Centre, on Wednesday, 30 March 2005. Tickets on sale via Ticketek at 9am Monday, 22 November 2004.

“We just couldn’t pass up the chance to get Norah back to New Zealand. It’s an honour to bring her back to our shores and to have her headline the 2005 Festival, says Ian Magan, Managing Director, Pacific Entertainment Group.

Jones studied jazz piano at the University of North Texas before going on to sign with the prestigious Blue Note label in 2001. Her debut album ‘Come Away With Me’ eventually went multi-platinum, selling over 18 million copies worldwide. Sold as a “jazz informed” album, Jones has garnered a huge public following and has since released a second album ‘Feels Like Home’ to cement her popularity in this new jazz aesthetic. In spite of her youth, Jones has collaborated with some heavy hitters in the music world including Arif Mardin of Aretha Franklin fame, renowned guitarists Charlie Hunter and Bill Frisell as well as outstanding drummer Brian Blade. Her career promises to be long and stellar.

Two other jazz greats, James Morrison and Mary Coughlan have confirmed their appearances for the 2005 Festival as well.

James Morrison (AUS) – Best known around the world for his performances, compositions and recordings as a trumpet virtuoso, Morrison will make his debut appearance in Christchurch at the James Hay Theatre on Friday, 8 April 2005.

Morrison first hit the international stage at just 16 years old, touring the US and Europe and playing with jazz legends, including Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, B.B. King and Wynton Marsalis, and appearing at the world’s most famous jazz clubs – New York’s Blue Note and Village Vanguard, the New Morning in Paris and Ronnie Scott’s in London. He’s also played with some of the world’s finest orchestras. He’s head of Morrison Records, an independent label dedicated to the best of jazz, and recently collaborated with designer Steve Marshall to create the Morrison Digital Trumpet – a new brass-style MIDI wind controller.

Mary Coughlan (IRE) – Mary Coughlan is well known in Christchurch and had an established following prior to her sell-out appearances here during the last two years. This year, Coughlan will perform her acclaimed tribute show ‘Sings Billie Holiday’ at the James Hay Theatre on Thursday, 31 March and Friday, 1 April 2005.

Coughlan has released more than 10 albums since she began singing in 1974. A latecomer to the jazz scene, she has developed a unique sound, blending her life of blues into original and inspired jazz and cabaret. The torch singer has struck a chord with a devoted and eclectic following worldwide. Her first album, Tired and Emotional, one of many produced with the venerable Dutch musician Erik Visser, sent her to number one in her home country and she continues to find favour with new audiences around the globe.

“We’ve secured three of the world’s foremost musicians”, says Festival Director, Jodi Wright. “They each have a trademark style and provide a perfect complement to each other”.

The three headline artists have international reputations as recording, composing and collaborating jazz artists with multiple albums in the market. Tickets for these select evenings are predicted to sell out with more than 70,000 people anticipated to attend the Festival.

Bookings

All tickets can be booked at Ticketek Phone: (+64 3) 377 8899 Online: www.ticketek.co.nz

Norah Jones Westpac Trust Centre Wednesday, 30 March, 2005
Tickets on sale 22 November, 2004

Mary Coughlan James Hay Theatre Thurs, 31 March & Fri, 1 April 2005
Tickets on sale February 22, 2005

James Morrison James Hay Theatre Friday, 8 April 2005
Tickets on sale February 22, 2005

About the Festival
The Montana Christchurch International Jazz Festival has been running since 1998 and is now an annual event. The largest jazz festival in New Zealand, the event comprises more than 100 national and international jazz artists performing at a range of venues in the Christchurch region. The Festival is core funded by the Christchurch City Council and receives donations from a range of other in-kind, contra and financial supporters.

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