The lights were dimmed, the candles were lit and from the very first note, the ASB Jazz Club came to life last night (Thursday October 21) as a capacity audience and more than 50 artists came together to pay tribute to Queenstown entertainment icon Margaret O’Hanlon.
The event was the opening salvo in a five-day fiesta of music over Labour Weekend with more than 50 bands and 150 Kiwi and international performers bringing music to the masses in the ASB Queenstown JazzFest.
While not all the performances at last night’s Opening Gala were jazz, the intimate Jazz Club atmosphere and stellar turn out could see the night being one of those quintessential Queenstown events that was talked about for months to come, according to ASB Queenstown JazzFest director Simon Green.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to start the 2010 ASB Queenstown JazzFest than with a truly locals event showcasing such a wide range of local talent,” he said.
“We had more than 20 different acts performing, from soloists and duos to the full Queenstown Community Choir.
“Margaret has given so much to aspiring artists and entertainment as a whole in the region and it was a wonderful way for people to show their appreciation in the best way they know how, by performing.”
Queenstown turned on blue skies and sunshine for this afternoon’s free outdoor concerts on Queenstown’s Village Green, featuring Australian performers the Daniel Gassin Trio and Mike Frost and the Icemen with Mojo Webb.
The action continues tonight (Friday 22nd) at the ASB Jazz Club with the Peggy Lee Tribute Show with Erna Ferry at 6pm followed by the Big Band Bonanza with Bob Sheppard, Bill Cunliffe and Rodger Fox at 8.30pm.
Tomorrow’s (Saturday October 23) line-up of performances takes musicians from Queenstown’s Village Green and Earnslaw Park to a range of venues around the centre of the resort, in Arrowtown and out at Remarkables Park.
Up and coming young performers will be giving it their all at the NZONE Skydive Youth Competition heats throughout the day in the Memorial Hall.
Only a handful of tickets remain for Saturday night’s performance at Millbrook Resort by Marku Ribas, the ‘godfather’ of Brazilian music, while sultry songstress Kiri Winders will take a trip down memory lane with her 1940s swinging Jazz Club band at the ASB Jazz club.
A laid back lunch is on the menu at Skyline with internationally-acclaimed vocalist Malcolm McNeill on Sunday (October 24), and a mid-afternoon glass of Central Otago’s finest will be the order of the day when the Daniel Gassin Trio and Nigel Gavin, Richard Adams and Geoff Sinnot take jazz to the valley of vines at Gibbston Valley Winery and the Winehouse & Kitchen.
Batucada Sound Machine and Humlai will celebrate the last night of the ASB Jazz Club (Sunday Oct 24 at 8.30pm) with big sounds, great beats, a blistering live performance and lots of dancing.
Mr Green said advance bookings were strongly recommended with limited seating available for each act.
The ASB Queenstown JazzFest is Queenstown’s major springtime event. It brings music to the masses in a 5-day live music celebration from 21 to 25 October. The 32nd annual festival has a sensational line-up of more than 50 bands and 150 Kiwi and international performers.
Full details of all ticketed concerts and free gigs are available in the ASB Queenstown JazzFest programme, available at ASB branches in Queenstown and Remarkables Park. For online information go to www.asbjazzfest.co.nz
Ticket purchase information:
Tickets are available now for all ASB Queenstown JazzFest events at Queenstown’s i-Site on the corner of Shotover and Camp Street in Queenstown and at Queenstown Events Centre at Joe O’Connell Drive, Frankton. To book tickets by phone, call TicketDirect on 03 450 9005 or 0800 4 TICKET.