JazzFest resounding success (with video)


JAZZ music provided a soothing soundtrack to the Queenstown Labour Day weekend.
The 33rd annual Queenstown JazzFest saw dozens of international and local musicians take to the stage.
Over five days the town has reverberated to all kinds of jazz, blues, funk, reggae beats and electronica.
Many of the performances were free open-air events, with Earnslaw Park the main focal point.
Organiser Jono Sutherland says: “It really brought people together and got them in the mood for the final.
“Rather than dwelling on the game, as Kiwis tend to do, people were getting into the spirit and dancing.
“The atmosphere built and built over the afternoon and it was absolutely cranking for the final set.”
Hundreds of people relaxed in the sunshine over three days at the park.The concert finished a 7pm, just in time to find space in a bar to watch the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup.
Festival highlights included Fat Freddy’s Drop at the Memorial Hall on Friday night.
The pulsating set by the Wellington seven-piece with its energetic horn section delivered its usual blend of jazz with reggae beats and a touch of technology.
They were supported by Manchester trumpeter, DJ and producer Matthew Halsall, who also performed in the park on Sunday evening.
Festival-goer Kate Richards says: “It’s been a great day and the musicians are amazing.
“It’s such a fabulous setting. There’s nowhere I’d rather be, except perhaps Eden Park.”
It was standing room only at St Peter’s Anglican Church for the Rocking with God Jazz Service, led by the For Pete’s Sake Gospel Choir.
And festival favourite King Leo with his hard drivin’ blues was also a hit with the crowd.
The Earnslaw concerts were part of the nationwide Real New Zealand Festival, funded by the Lotteries Commission to celebrate the country during the world cup.