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National Jazz Festival reveals 2014 lineup

The 52nd National Jazz Festival launched in Tauranga on Friday night, as the festival programme for Easter 2014 was revealed. In a break from tradition, organisers threw open the launch doors and invited the wider Tauranga community to celebrate with them, creating a fun-filled evening for all on the beautiful Tauranga waterfront.

Boasting five days of jazz in its many forms over the Easter long weekend (17 21 April) organisers are upbeat about the upcoming festival.

Featuring a mix of old and new, original and jazz standards, the festival sits squarely on a solid core of the best of New Zealand jazz spiced with some
outstanding overseas acts.

Festival Director, Becks Chambers, is thrilled with the way the festival has come together. "We have a great line up of ticketed concerts; a Downtown Carnival that runs for two days on the beautiful Tauranga waterfront with five stages of free music; and a slice of New Orleans at our family-friendly Jazz Village. We're confident there is something for everyone this Easter."

Headlining the festival's gala night on Thursday 17 April is Jackie Ryan, direct from the US. Ryan has a formidable reputation as a jazz singer and has performed with a long list of jazz greats including Buddy DeFranco, Jeff Hamilton and John Mayer. A recording artist and singer, known for her jazz scatting skills, Jackie's musical director for her Tauranga gala performance will be pianist and composer, Phil Broadhurst.

New to the festival, and hot off the heels of her Wellington Fringe performance, is singer/actor Liz Kirkman in her show, Jezebel of Jazz. This unique tribute concert is a theatre show that traces the life of one of the great jazz singers, Anita O'Day. Showcasing a life of music, men, drugs and jail time, Kirkman and her outstanding band allow you to experience the legend that is O'Day.

Big Band night presents a tribute to the music of Duke Ellington by the Auckland Jazz Orchestra (AJO). Featuring the best musicians from the Auckland jazz scene led by trumpeter Mike Booth, with special guest vocalist Caitlin Smith. Continuing a long tradition at the festival, Big Band night will open with a performance from the Tauranga Big Band.

Blues legend, Midge Marsden, presents an intimate show accompanied by guitarist Chet O'Connell in the Baycourt X Space. Marsden's show was a sell-out and received a standing ovation at the recent Nelson Jazz Festival.

The Baycourt X Space also hosts Japanese jazz-punk flautist Miho Wada, returning after her sell-out concert in 2013, and Australian multi instrumentalist Adam Page, whose solo show sold out over 25 shows at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Page will also be conducting workshops as part of the National Youth Jazz Competitions.

Closing the festival on Monday evening is acclaimed Australian jazz violinist George Washingmachine and his Sydney-based band, with a special appearance form New Zealand virtuoso jazz violinist Richard Adams.





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