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Prominent Women Of Jazz Feature At The Launch Of The Dunedin Jazz Club

Prominent women of jazz feature at the launch of the Dunedin Jazz Club (DJC) on Saturday 6 March, with legendary trumpeter and vocalist Edwina Thorne from Auckland being joined by Dunedin singer Molly McGee.

Edwina Thorne has a long standing relationship with the musical scene in Dunedin, having performed regularly with pianist and club director Bill Martin in the past.

She has performed at the Queenstown and Harbour Street Jazz Festivals with players from the South Island and has always thrilled audiences with her big trumpet sound, smooth flugelhorn playing and husky vocals.

Thorne is a legend of the New Zealand jazz scene, having trained in New York at Berklee College and formed her own all female group called "The Thornebirds", who performed at the New York Women's Jazz Festival.

For the launch of the DJC, Thorne will present a selection of her original compositions with a local band including bass player Andy Lynch and drummer Carl Woodward.

One of the purposes of the recently formed DJC is to present original music or curated programs from the history of jazz for local audiences in a concert setting, says DJC director Bill Martin.

Another aim of the DJC is to give young performers an opportunity to perform in a professional setting, he says.

To complement the women of jazz theme of the first concert, local singer Molly McGee will perform a short set of jazz standards with the same rhythm section, adding horn players Finn McKinlay (trombone) and Kevin Chen (alto) to the mix.

Molly McGee is a performance student at the University of Otago. She began performing at folk festivals as a child and developed a passion for music. As a young adult, she performed with various bands around Christchurch at weddings, functions and bars.

After moving from Christchurch to Dunedin in 2016, she began taking lindy hop lessons, where her interest in jazz grew. In 2017, she had the opportunity to sit in with Gordon Webster and his jazz orchestra in Wellington at the lindy hop exchange Windy Lindy. This inspired her to pursue music and performance at University. Now in her final year of her Bachelor of Music, Molly is very excited to be performing at the launch of the DJC.

The formation of the DJC is an initiative of the Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra, who will be the houseband at the club.

Comprising monthly performances on a Saturday night at Hanover Hall, the DJC will create a club vibe with a cash bar and mood lighting, while still retaining the excellent acoustics that make Hanover Hall a great concert venue.

The program for the first five shows can be viewed on the Dunedin Jazz Club website and features upcoming performances by Geoff Culverwell, The Jac and Umar Zakaria. The organisers encourage audiences to purchase tickets online at a discount rate to ensure the financial success of the concert series.

When: Saturday, March 6, 7:30pm

Where: Hanover Hall

Entry: $20 door / $15 presale (undertheradar) / $10 concession

© Scoop Media

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