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Downtown Jumping with Jazz this Easter

Downtown Jumping with Jazz this Easter

This Easter, more than twenty bands and performers will once again flood Tauranga waterfront for the 53rd National Jazz Festival’s Downtown Carnival.

Taking place in the central city on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 April, Tauranga’s biggest street party brings some of the best jazz, blues, funk and soul to downtown. With four stages set up along the Strand, street performers in Red Square, and fantastic family entertainment on the waterfront, the city is a hive of activity from noon until 6pm each day.

Kicking off the festival on Saturday are local blues stalwarts Kokomo, a local six-piece who are renowned for their dynamic live shows. The stella line up also features several festival favourites, including the high-energy, hard driving, rhythm and blues band Brilleaux on Sunday.

Saturday afternoon sees the return of the ever-popular Hipstamatics performing their red hot take on funk and soul on the Radio Hauraki Stage, the perfect set to follow Aaron Saxon’s funky jazz-fusion power trio.

On Sunday jazz vocalist and flutist Trudy Lile opens the carnival with her talented foursome on the Classic Hits stage. Kelly Ballard, ex-Tauranga Boys College, returns from the Wellington Jazz School to perform later that afternoon with his contemporary jazz four-piece.

The family fun-zone is back again this year, with plenty of great rides and activities for the kids on offer on the waterfront. The Little Big Markets set up shop on Sunday, providing a place to relax and rest your weary feet between sets.

For the full Downtown Carnival lineup and to find out when your favourite band is playing, check out

Catch a Bus for Free this Easter!
If you’re after a no-fuss way to travel to and from the Jazz Festival this Easter Weekend, then why not go by bus – for free! On Saturday and Sunday (19 and 20 April), Bay of Plenty Regional Council is providing free buses, at an increased frequency of service, on all Tauranga urban routes. For full route information, visit or call 0800 4BAYBUS (0800 422928).


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