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A feast of music lies ahead for Christchurch

A feast of music lies ahead for Christchurch

Christchurch music lovers will be spoilt for choice next week as the city plays host to the popular Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival from 22 to 27 April.

Festival director Jodi Wright has lined up some top performers and paired them with some great venues to ensure this year’s festival provides something for everyone.

“Whether you’re a jazz novice or a jazz aficionado, whether you want to a club-style atmosphere or a big concert experience, we’ve got you covered,’’ says Ms Wright.

Headlining this year’s festival is international blues master Charlie Musselwhite, who will be performing a one-off concert at The Bedford on April 23. Mississippi-born Musselwhite is one of the most revered blues musicians in the world. A harmonica maestro as well as a respected singer and songwriter, Musselwhite has won countless awards during his lengthy career, including Best Blues Album with Ben Harper at this year’s Grammys.

Australian George Washingmachine is also performing at the festival. Renowned for his interpretation of jazz violin he is returning to Christchurch with his band of musicians to play gypsy waltzes, swing jazz and many other flavours of music in Feel the Manouche.

“In addition to the international performers we’ve got a great line-up of Kiwi musicians performing including blues king Midge Marsden, acclaimed vocalist Naomi Ferguson and renowned Christchurch chanteuse Jennine Bailey,’’ says Ms Wright.

“For this year’s festival we’re bringing back big band sound and orchestral strings with three concerts in the Transitional Cathedral, while for those who like a club style atmosphere we’ve got the special Jazz at the Rydges series.

“Our Evenings at the CPIT Jazz Auditorium will feature some great talent with two shows every night at 6pm and 8pm. This is an intimate way to experience the subtle sounds of jazz across a wide range of genres.’’

Also back by popular demand this year are the festival’s jazz dinners, sponsored by Black Estate Wines, where music lovers can look forward to having their wine and food matched to the music.

“Food and music invoke memories and when you match the two you have an unforgettable night. The inaugural Jazz Dine last year was such a success we knew we had to do it again this year, but instead of just having one we’re having three,’’ says Ms Wright.

“I really encourage everyone to get out over the next few days and make the most of the live music on offer because it’s good for the soul and good for the spirits.’’

For more details about the Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival, including performance times and ticketing information, log onto www.jazzfestivalnz.com.

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