Fluid Mr Jones kicking off Queenstown jazz fest


Mesmerising musician Paul Ubana Jones is bringing 40 years of dedication to Queenstown.
The New Zealand-based Londoner, here for the Queenstown International Jazz & Blues Festival starting tonight, is famed for his intricate finger-picking style and soulful voice. 

And he says he’s spent a lifetime perfecting his craft. “I think I’m very at one with my playing, I’ve got it up to the level near enough where I want it to be. 

“I’ve been working on this for 40 years, refining the whole process. 

“I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point where I’m totally satisfied but there’s now an ability to just sit down and get close to the level you want to play. I’ve paid my dues, it’s been a long apprenticeship but there’s now fluidity.” 

Ubana Jones, who set up home in NZ 16 years ago, has seven albums of originals and arrangements. 

The soloist has opened for Bob Dylan and Patti Smith and is looking forward to the festival. 

“I like playing festivals over the duration of a few days because you can really present the diversity of your repertoire. 

“They’ll be a multitude of my own original tunes and a couple with arrangements of Hendrix, some U2, signature stuff that I’ve rearranged that’s not mine. A wide spectrum – some traditional blues and folk as well.”

Paul Ubana Jones plays at CBC Brewery Bar from 10-10.50pm tonight – preceded by Dr Sanchez and followed by Billy TK Jnr & The Groove Shakers from 11-11.45pm (door sales are $20).

For Jazz Fest’s four-day FULL PROGRAMME, see today’s Mountain Scene