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City Choir Dunedin presents Jazz Café in the Town Hall


Media Release
City Choir Dunedin presents Jazz Café in the Town Hall on 6 October 2018

Background: City Choir Dunedin wishes to attract a new and different audience with this offering of a multi-dimensional Jazz Café experience. Watch out for bicycles! As this is an experimental, first-time collaboration with the jazz fraternity, this concert is presented as a non-ticketed event. It may be an experimental format, but we are confident that fabulously fizzy and swinging jazz of the highest order will be presented. Everyone we’ve spoken to about this concept found it very exciting and innovative. A selection of photographs submitted by the artists accompany this media release.

Jazz Café – Big choir! Big band! Big night out! Presented by City Choir Dunedin, Saturday 6 October 2018, 7:30 pm, Dunedin Town Hall.
Enjoy a relaxing evening of fabulously fizzy and swinging jazz at our café. Watch out for bicycles! Experience the Dunedin Town Hall decked out as a café with lots of atmosphere and cash bars for coffee, beer, wine and snacks. There will be room to dance and you may sit or stand, chat to your neighbour, as you please. Come early to get a good seat and enjoy the pre-show entertainment, from 7 pm, by the Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra. This is a general admission, child-friendly, FREE concert in the Dunedin Town Hall. Suggested koha/donation $10 per person.

Jazz Café – Big choir! Big band! Big night out!
presented by City Choir Dunedin
Saturday 6 October 2018, 7:30 pm
Dunedin Town Hall

City Choir Dunedin conducted by David Burchell
Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra conducted by Calder Prescott
Jazz Quintet
Sophie Morris
Café Operana
Southern Youth Choir
Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra
Swing Riot Dunedin

Enjoy a relaxing evening of fabulously fizzy and swinging jazz at our café. Watch out for bicycles!

City Choir is letting its hair down with an evening of jazz! Experience the Town Hall decked out as a café with lots of atmosphere and cash bars for coffee, beer, wine and snacks. There will even be room to dance for those who get so moved. You may sit or stand, chat to your neighbour, as you please. Come early to get a good seat and enjoy the pre-show entertainment, from 7 pm, by the Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra.

City Choir will perform a selection of jazz standards and the main feature on the programme is the New Zealand première of Alexander L’Estrange’s quirky Song Cycle: vive la Vélorution: songs on the subject of cycling and the great outdoors. It is an exuberant celebration in music of this most environmentally friendly mode of transport. L’Estrange has perfectly captured the euphoria of two-wheel travel for this joyous, uplifting song cycle which includes an amusing take on the invention of the bicycle, as well as stunning new settings of poetry and arrangements of much-loved songs.

City Choir will be accompanied by a jazz quintet and orchestra, while the Swing Riot Dunedin dance group will sizzle on the dance floor, inviting you to swing along with them.

This is a general admission, child-friendly, free concert in the Dunedin Town Hall. Suggested koha/donation $10 per person. Seating in the stalls is arranged café style at tables and the usual theatre seating in the gallery will be open.

The fabulous line-up of artists is:

City Choir Dunedin
City Choir Dunedin has been entertaining audiences for over 150 years. Critically acclaimed conductor David Burchell has been Musical Director since 2000 and under David’s baton and direction City Choir performs a wide range of genres, from classical to contemporary, to a very high standard. In 2010 City Choir presented a jazz performance: Zimbe! Come sing the songs of Africa! by Alexander L’Estrange. In the words of the reviewer: “This infectiously joyful and energetic show had the audience clapping along and won all performers a standing ovation.”

Sophie Morris
Sophie Morris holds a BMus Hons in classical voice performance and a MMus in contemporary voice performance. She has performed at multiple events such as Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, Silver Scroll Awards and national anthems at major sporting events including the Rugby League Four Nations and the Parker vs Ruiz WBO World Heavyweight Championship Title Fight. Roles performed include ’Sophie' (Mamma Mia), ‘Rapunzel’ (Into the Woods), and ‘Sandy’ (Grease: The Arena Spectacular). Sophie’s shows ‘Sophie Goes to Broadway’ and ‘Sophie Morris on Stage’ were sell-outs. She released her debut album ‘Sophie Morris – Songs from the Stage’ in 2016 and recently toured New Zealand performing with The Ten Tenors.

Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra
The DCJO is Dunedin’s premiere Big Band formed in 1988 by Calder Prescott MNZM from local players who had grown up through the jazz scene. The band follows a long line of groups big and small that Calder has run in Dunedin for over 60 years. DCJO gigs regularly around the town at public events, pubs, dances and concerts as well as travelling to festivals in Queenstown, Oamaru and Christchurch. DCJO has also made trips to Australia, West Coast USA and Europe, including the Montreux Jazz Festival, and always plays to great acclaim. We have a focus on developing promising young players and although the personnel changes over the years Calder keeps the standard high and swinging. The DCJO has been described as “one of Dunedin's great musical treasures”.

Jazz Quintet
A jazz quintet will accompany City Choir in the performance of Alexander L’Estrange’s Song Cycle. The members of this quintet are all well-known Dunedin musicians: Will Martin (piano), Nick Cornish (saxophone), Ralph Miller (trumpet), Nathan Berg (double-bass) and Robert Craigie (drums).

Café Operana
Featuring Helen Webby on pedal harp, Sophia Bidwell on accordion and Lois Johnston on vocals Café Operana re-create the heady atmosphere of a French Salon in the early 1900's. “These three top-flight artists are clearly serious about their music but combined at Whare Flat Festival to present a light-hearted and delightfully quirky show that skipped from heart-stopping Puccini arias to bravura Eastern European dances to tangos and treats of all descriptions. The audience absolutely loved it! And the dresses were great too...” – Máire Ní Chathasaigh.

Southern Youth Choir
The Southern Youth Choir, directed by Benjamin Madden, was formed in 1992. It is comprised of young singers between the ages of 16 and 25 years; some from secondary schools, most from the University of Otago and some continuing to be members after starting their working lives. The choir, an OUSA affiliated student club, aims to up-skill young singers in the Dunedin region to participate in four-part choral music. Of their “Home and Away” performance in May this year the reviewer, Elizabeth Bouman, said: “The choir achieved impressive blend and contrast of tone…”

Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra
This new orchestra was established in April 2018 and enjoyed their first performance in collaboration with the Dunedin Youth Orchestra in their “In Blue” concert on 18 May this year. The DYJO is a community-based jazz ensemble for young adults under the age of 25, performing traditional Big Band music and originals from their members. Their musical directors are Nick Cornish and Will Martin, both well-known Dunedin-based jazz musicians.

Swing Riot Dunedin
Swing Riot Dunedin is a lively community of dancers who run regular events and classes to increase the presence of vintage swing dance in our community. Swing dance and jazz music “grew up” together. You’ll most often see Swing Riot dancing solo vernacular jazz or the Lindy Hop – a high energy improvisational dance style that emerged in Harlem, New York (late 1920s). Influenced by big band jazz and pioneered by African-American dancers at the Savoy, Lindy Hop personifies the joy of shared athletic movement to a strong, swung beat.


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