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Bon Jovi meets Bennett

Veteran entertainer Ray Woolf will belt out a few hard rock anthems as well as swing classics at JazzFest.
The 64-year-old TV and singing star teams up with Kiwi music maestro Rodger Fox for A Night with the Fox and the Woolf, a big band extravaganza at the Millennium Hotel on October 24.

And he says he can’t wait to tackle versions of songs by Bon Jovi, Queen and Deep Purple – backed by an 18-piece band.

“I’ll be doing all my old favourites by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett, but there will be a few newer numbers in there, too,” Woolf says.

“We’ve come up with big band arrangements of tracks like Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen and Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple. Nobody really expects me to be singing songs by the likes of Freddie Mercury so it’ll be a lot of fun.”

Woolf is hoping for a mixed crowd at the Queenstown show. “Our audience predominantly still consists of people who are 50 and over, but swing music has become more popular with youngsters in recent years.”

This year’s JazzFest has more of a community focus, with just seven ticketed events slotted for the 10-day live music celebration.

It runs from October 17 to 26, with 50 bands and 200 performers playing numerous free gigs at various venues around the district.

People can also participate in a host of musical workshops and master classes, plus there’s national youth and emerging talent jazz competitions where up and coming musicians between the ages of 12 and 25 are given a chance to shine.

A Night with the Woolf and the Fox is at the Millennium Hotel on Saturday, October 24, from 8pm-11pm. Tickets cost $85

Find out more about the Jazz fest at www.asbjazzfest.co.nz