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New Zealand Iconic Jazz Festival appoints new Director

For 46 years Tauranga has been the stage for the National Jazz Festival delivered to thousands of Jazz fans from around the country. What only a few people realize is that this iconic event has been organized by volunteers all this time.

"But we can only take this Festival so far." says Tauranga Jazz Society President, musician and past Festival organizer Liam Ryan. "The Festival has outgrown its present structure and it was time for us to appoint a paid Festival Director."

Today the Jazz Society has appointed Festival and Arts Manager Arne Herrmann as their first professional Director. Mr. Herrmann has just moved to Tauranga from Wellington where he was the Marketing Director of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

"We are extremely excited that in Arne we have found such a skilled and experienced Festival manager and I guess we were a bit lucky that timing was on our side." says Mr. Ryan.

At the New Zealand International Arts Festival Mr. Herrmann managed a portfolio of responsibilities that contributed to the $5 Million box office result and $4 Million income from sponsorship and funding. Before his Arts Festival role, Mr. Hermann was Marketing Manager of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, UNITEC School of Performing and Screen Arts and Manager of the contemporary dance company The Human Garden. During this time he worked with many international artists including Grammy award winners Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman, Natalie Cole, Mavis Staples and Meat Loaf.

"In the Jazz Festival Tauranga has got a very, very special event which has achieved iconic status for the region. It is a great privilege and wonderful challenge to take on the Director's role." says Mr. Herrmann, " I am keen to try out some new things and get even more people to Tauranga to enjoy this event."

The appointment of a Festival Director is only one of the changes for the Jazz Festival structure; Mr. Ryan will take on the role as Artistic Director and oversee the programming of next year's Festival. The Society will also delegate Festival responsibilities to an independent Jazz Festival Board which will be established later this year.

Mr. Ryan is confident that these changes to the governance structure of the Festival will strengthen it and make it more sustainable for many years to come.

The 47th National Jazz Festival will take place from 9 to 13 April 2009 in Tauranga.



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