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Tuesday, June 08, 2021

2021 APRA Jazz Award Winners Lucien Johnson and The Jac

This evening we celebrate the winners of the APRA Best Jazz Composition and the Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Artist announced at the opening powhiri of the 2021 Wellington Jazz Festival.  

Diverse composer and saxophonist Lucien Johnson was recognised as the APRA Best Jazz Composition for his song ‘Blue Rain’ while Wellington-jazz octet The Jac received the Tūī for Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Artist for their album ‘A Gathering’. 
‘Blue Rain’ showcases Lucien’s mastery of jazz composition as a standout track from the album Wax//Wane.  

After a decade performing together, A Gathering showcases The Jac’s tight, intricate compositions and strong improvision. 

APRA AMCOS Head of New Zealand Operations Ant Healey says: “There’s a lot of experimentation and barrier-pushing in the compositions we’re seeing created by musicians like Lucien and the other finalists. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Kiwi jazz.”  

Recorded Music NZ Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa Sarah Owen congratulates The Jac for a well-deserved win.  

“How lucky are we to live in a country that has a thriving jazz scene is made up of ringapuoro tautito | jazz musicians like The Jac who craft soulful compositions and albums of such a high calibre.”   

Other finalists for the  APRA Best Jazz Composition award were Anita Schwabe for ‘August Augmentation’, Callum Allardice for ‘Dark Love’ while the finalists for Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist were Lucien Johnson and Unwind.

Finalists for APRA Best Jazz Composition 
WINNER: Lucien Johnson – ‘Blue Rain’ 
Anita Schwabe – ‘August Augmentation’ 
Callum Allardice – ‘Dark Love’  

Finalists for Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Music Artist 
The Jac – A Gathering 
Lucien Johnson - Wax//Wane 
Unwind – Saffron 

Renowned taonga pūoro musician Richard Nunns dies

Taonga pūoro master player and historian Richard Nunns has been described as one of New Zealand’s most remarkable instrumentalists, has died. He was 76.

Nunns, Māori musician Hirini Melbourne and artist Brian Flintoff were renowned for reviving interest in traditional Māori instruments or taonga pūoro.

Together they researched and recorded instruments held in museum collections, many of which had not been played for over a century, rediscovering their unique sounds and techniques to play them.

Groove listeners will know Nunns through his recordings with Rattle Records an collaboration with local jazz like Chris Mason-Battley Group. 
He has also performed with musicians as diverse as classical orchestras and drum and bass. He's composed and toured with Whiramako Black and Gareth Garr. He contributed to sound tracks for 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Whale Rider'. 

As a long term practitioner Nunns was pivotal to the restoration and education of taonga pūoro.

After Nunns was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2005, he rarely appeared in public but used music as a healing therapy.

He collected numerous awards for his work. He was an arts laureate and honorary life member of the New Zealand Flute Association; received an honorary doctorate of music from Victoria University and a Queens Service Medal for services to taonga pūoro.

A lifetime contribution to Māori music prize was awarded to Nunns at the Waiata Maori  Music Awards in 2012.

Monday, May 31, 2021

National Library: Flying Nun poster collection

As part of Music Month 2021, the label's 40th Anniversary and their huge project to correctly catalog their Flying Nun collection The National Library has selected, framed ad displayed 7 unique posters supporting band gigs and albums from the 1980s. 
Posters include Look Blue Go Purple, The Alpaca Brothers, The Clean, The Bats and the Outnumbered by Sheep bfm student radio compilation.
These are displayed in the downstairs public entrance and are a magnificent document to one of our most memorable and significant periods of music and recording.
for more info go to

Wednesday, May 26, 2021


Photo: Mckenzie Jennings-Gruar

WOMAD, the world’s festival, is delighted that following New Plymouth District Council’s announcement of a host city agreement with WOMAD International, New Zealand’s premier international festival will return to its home of the last 18 years in the stunning Brooklands Park in Taranaki in 2022. The festival dates of March 18-20 have been confirmed.

After a year off in 2021 due to the global pandemic, 2022 will be an extra special year with all the features that have made WOMAD NZ an award-winning festival along with a raft of new ideas and exciting developments to celebrate its return.
Getting WOMAD NZ back up and happening has been a priority for Director of WOMAD International, Chris Smith.

Smith, who has been in New Plymouth for the festival for the last 14 years comments, “2021 was such a difficult year around the world, but this partnership agreement has been central to the decision to bring the festival back in 2022.  WOMAD means so much to the people of New Plymouth who welcome our artists into their community and the festival brings a significant investment into the regional economy – We simply can’t wait to be back here in March.

Now in a five-year direct partnership with the New Plymouth District Council, the three-day WOMAD festival will continue to be produced by TAFT (Taranaki Arts Festival Trust) who have presented the festival in New Plymouth since 2003.

Chairman of the TAFT Board Charles Wilkinson adds, “TAFT is thrilled to continue to deliver WOMAD to the thousands of people who attend each year.  2022 will see the WOMAD NZ festival carry on business as usual for our festival teams and volunteers. We are looking forward to welcoming back WOMAD audiences for our 17th anniversary year.

New Plymouth District Mayor, Neil Holdom said, “This is awesome news for music lovers, local business and visitors as the country emerges from our Covid bubble. WOMAD is part of our district’s DNA.

Smith adds, “We are intending to deliver the international line-up that WOMAD NZ fans expect, through the richly diverse talent already here in New Zealand and hopefully supported by a number of artists from overseas if circumstances allow.”

WOMAD NZ 2022  is set to be a glittering celebration of our Aotearoa/New Zealand cultures and the diversity of our magnificent world as always. 

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

The Art Of The Record Exhibition

The NZ Music Commission are presenting, an exhibition of album artwork by NZ artists and musicians to celebrate the art of recorded music, coinciding with the 21st anniversary of NZ Music Month. This exhibition’s purpose is to celebrate the Art of the Record - the album format itself, and the insight its design provides to the artist and the music. 

The exhibition is touring to four centres and open free to the public during May 2021. To be eligible, both the album cover art and music needed to be by New Zealanders, and from albums released over the 21 years since NZ Music Month launched.  

The exhibition was initially conceived to be displayed in parliaments Bowen House gallery space. This space has since closed and the exhibition was refocused on getting the works to more places and people. As an organisation the NZ Music Commission embrace the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and strive to create a diverse and equitable environment for the creation and sustainability of the New Zealand music industry and associated business. 

As such the artworks chosen have been curated from many sources, including Tui finalists and winners of Aotearoa Music Awards as well as potentially lesser known artists and acts. These are a stunning visual representation of music and album art that speaks to the viewer about where we are from. 

With the works only spanning since the year 2000 the NZ Music Commission have endeavoured to find something for everyone to enjoy through either the genre of music, to the art style of the pieces. 

 The NZ Music Commission have gathered many original paintings, photographs and sculpture, which are on loan for the duration of the tour. 

The tour starts in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland at Monster Valley on Karangahape Road 1 May.  The show then travels to Te Auaha Gallery on Pōneke Wellington’s Dixon Street for 10 May; the 17 of May sees us open in The Pūmanawa Gallery in Ōtautahi Christchurch’s historic Arts Centre and finishes the month in Ōtepoti Dunedin in the Golden Centre.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Te Marama Pouro o Aotearoa May 2021

NZ Music Month’s Rodney Fisher commented: “With a focus on bringing great music from Aotearoa to all New Zealanders, we look forward to highlighting stories from across the country, along with the reminder to support our musicians by getting out and catching live gigs, streaming local, following local acts online, and buying local music and merch.”

To mark 21 years of NZ Music Month | Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa, the NZ Music Commission are proud to present Art of the Record, a travelling exhibition to showcase 21 iconic album covers. The exhibition will open in Auckland on May 1st, before travelling to Wellington for May 10th, followed Christchurch on May 17th and Dunedin on May 24th.

Art of the Record’s curator Willa Cameron from NZ Music Month commented: “We’ve compiled a beautiful collection of artworks across various musical genres, including Fat Freddy’s Drop’s Boondigga from Otis Frizzell, and The Mint Chicks’ Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! from Ruban Nielson. We think there’s something for everyone in our collection of 21 pieces.”

NZ Music Month | Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa will see a stellar line-up of local acts performing right across Aotearoa, with shows happening in a vast range of venues and regions. Confirmed tours include The Chills, The Veils, Nadia Reid and her band, Miles Calder, and Harper Finn & LA Women.

A bumper edition of the Music Commission’s Musicians Mentoring in Schools Programme will run throughout the month, with musicians working in classrooms nationwide. There are over 50 school visits planned across Gisborne, Hastings, Ōtaki, Lower Hutt, Christchurch, Invercargill and more, with the artists involved including Annie Crummer, Joel Shadbolt, Bella Kalolo and Louis Baker.

There will be events in all kinds of public spaces throughout the month, including a huge performance programme rolling out across the sites of Museums Wellington, both in the Space Place at the Carter Observatory and the Wellington Museum. The Christchurch Art Gallery is holding a launch concert on 1st May with an all Ōtautahi line-up, while the Lake Wanaka Centre is hosting the YAMI SouNZ Summit, with two days of workshops and concerts featuring Troy Kingi, Delaney Davidson and P.Diggsss of Shapeshifter. Dunedin will have the annual Nook & Cranny Festival at the Public Library, along with a lunchtime concert series each Saturday in May at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, and Auckland Live will host activations in Britomart and Aotea Square – stay tuned for more news.

A follow up to the original Waiata/Anthems album released in 2019, the Waiata Anthems series will celebrate some of our most loved Kiwi artists, including Che Fu, Bic Runga, Katchafire, Hollie Smith & Don McGlashan and more. Highlighting personal stories from the artists and their connections to Te Ao Māori and Aotearoa, each episode will see the artist either record a brand-new track, or re-record one of their biggest hits in te reo Māori, before treating audiences to a live performance of their waiata. Produced by Hinewehi Mohi and directed by Julia Parnell, Waiata Anthems will air exclusively on TVNZ On Demand from May 1st.

This year’s NZ Music Month Summit will return on Saturday, 29th May, with discussions from Kiwi artists and music industry professionals on topics including working with international stars and touring in Aotearoa. The Summit will take place in Auckland and be streamed online, with a focus on accessibility and support for local musicians and others in the industry. 100% of ticket sale income will go to MusicHelps, to help them continue their incredible efforts in providing help to those who need it.

For those keen to enjoy NZ Music Month | Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa from the comfort of home, NZ Film On Demand will be streaming a collection of Kiwi music films, from Herbs: Songs of Freedom and Daffodils, to POI E: The Story of Our Song and Shihad: Beautiful Machine.

NZ Music T-Shirt Day returns on Friday May 28th, with Kiwis encouraged to wear their favourite NZ music t-shirt and donate to the MusicHelps Live appeal, where the charity is providing vital support to Kiwi musicians affected by COVID-19. New Zealanders can text MUSIC to 2448 to donate $3.

NZ Music Month is run by the NZ Music Commission, with support from APRA AMCOS, Independent Music NZ, the Music Managers Forum, NZ On Air, Recorded Music NZ, SOUNZ and Te Māngai Pāho. The purpose of NZ Music Month to celebrate music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.
NZ Music Month is Access All Aotearoa: Great local music for all New Zealanders – in every place, for every age & in every genre.

Website   Instagram   Facebook  #nzmusicmonth  #NZMM2021

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Beyoncé Leads the 63rd Grammys Awards With 4 Wins

It was Beyoncé’s night at the Grammys yesterday. The singer won four awards last night and is now winner of the most Grammys ever. This is her 28th win (plus one for daughter Blue Ivy Carter) 

Taylor Swift picked up Best album, and Billie Eilish scored Record of the Year. 

The Black Lives Matter movement was honored with a performance by Lil Baby and a film about Beyoncé’s 'Black Parade'. Megan Thee Stallion was left speechless by her Best New Artist win. 

For performances, the Recording Academy served us DaBaby with some violins and Judge Judy clones , a seductive song from Silk Sonic and Mickey Guyton’s emotional debut Grammy performance. Lockdown queen Dua Lipa gave new dance moves, Taylor Swift brought us a 'woodsy' folky medleyand Harry Styles shook his butt in a feather boa.  Megan Thee Stallion proved she (still) is that bitch with a dream performance of 'Savage (Remix)" “Savage (Remix)” and we got 'WAP', the clean version.  See how your favorites fared with the full slate of winners below:

Record of the Year “Everything I Wanted,” Finneas O’Connell, producer; Rob Kinelski and Finneas O’Connell, engineers/mixers; John Greenham, mastering engineer (Billie Eilish) 

Song of the Year “I Can’t Breathe,” Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.) 

Best New Artist Megan Thee Stallion 

Best Pop Solo Performance “Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance “Rain on Me,” Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande 

Best Pop Vocal Album “Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa 

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album “American Standard,” James Taylor 

Best Dance Recording “10%,” Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis 

Best Dance/Electronic Album “Bubba,” Kaytranada 

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album “Live at the Royal Albert Hall,” Snarky Puppy 

Best Rock Performance “Shameika,” Fiona Apple 

Best Metal Performance “Bum-Rush,” Body Count 

Best Rock Song “Stay High,” Brittany Howard, songwriter (Brittany Howard) 

Best Rock Album “The New Abnormal,” The Strokes 

Best Alternative Music Album “Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” Fiona Apple 

Best R&B Performance “Black Parade,” Beyoncé 

Best Traditional R&B Performance “Anything For You,” Ledisi 

Best R&B Song “Better Than I Imagine,” Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello and Gabriella Wilson, songwriters (Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. and Meshell Ndegeocello) 

Best Progressive R&B Album “It Is What It Is,” Thundercat 

Best R&B Album “Bigger Love,” John Legend 

Best Rap Performance “Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé 

Best Melodic Rap Performance “Lockdown,” Anderson .Paak 

Best Rap Song “Savage,” Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe and Anthony White, songwriters (Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé) 

Best Rap Album “King’s Disease,” Nas Best Country Solo Performance “When My Amy Prays,” Vince Gill Best Country Duo/Group Performance “10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber 

Best Country Song “Crowded Table,” Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna, songwriters (The Highwomen) 

Best Country Album “Wildcard,” Miranda Lambert 

Best New Age Album “More Guitar Stories,” Jim “Kimo” West Best Improvised Jazz Solo “All Blues,” Chick Corea, soloist 

Best Jazz Vocal Album “Secrets Are the Best Stories,” Kurt Elling featuring Danilo Pérez 

Best Jazz Instrumental Album “Trilogy 2,” Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade 

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album “Data Lords,” Maria Schneider Orchestra 

Best Latin Jazz Album “Four Questions,” Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Best Gospel Performance/Song “Movin’ On,” Darryl L. Howell, Jonathan Caleb McReynolds, Kortney Jamaal Pollard and Terrell Demetrius Wilson, songwriters (Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music) 

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song “There Was Jesus,” Casey Beathard, Jonathan Smith and Zach Williams, songwriters (Zach Williams and Dolly Parton) 

Best Gospel Album “Gospel According to PJ,” PJ Morton Best Contemporary Christian Music Album “Jesus Is King,” Kanye West 

Best Roots Gospel Album “Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album),” Fisk Jubilee Singers 

Best Latin Pop or Urban Album “YHLQMDLG,” Bad Bunny 

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album “La Conquista Del Espacio,” Fito Paez 

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) “Un Canto Por Mexico, Vol. 1,” Natalia Lafourcade 

Best Tropical Latin Album “40,” Grupo Niche Best American Roots Performance “I Remember Everything,” John Prine Best American Roots Song “I Remember Everything,” Pat McLaughlin and John Prine, songwriters (John Prine) 

Best Americana Album “World on the Ground,” Sarah Jarosz 

Best Bluegrass Album “Home,” Billy Strings 

Best Traditional Blues Album “Rawer Than Raw,” Bobby Rush 

Best Contemporary Blues Album “Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?,” Fantastic Negrito 

Best Folk Album “All the Good Times,” Gillian Welch and David Rawlings 

Best Regional Roots Music Album “Atmosphere,” New Orleans Nightcrawlers 

Best Reggae Album “Got to Be Tough,” Toots and the Maytals Best Global Music Album “Twice as Tall,” Burna Boy 

Best Children’s Music Album “All the Ladies,” Joanie Leeds 

Best Spoken Word Album “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth,” Rachel Maddow 

Best Comedy Album “Black Mitzvah,” Tiffany Haddish Best Musical Theater Album “Jagged Little Pill,” Original Broadway Cast 

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media “Jojo Rabbit,” Various Artists Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media “Joker,” Hildur Gudnadottir, composer 

Best Song Written For Visual Media “No Time to Die,” Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas Baird O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish) Best Instrumental Composition “Sputnik,” Maria Schneider, composer (Maria Schneider) 

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella “Donna Lee,” John Beasley, arranger (John Beasley) 

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals “He Won’t Hold You,” Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier featuring Rapsody) 

Best Recording Package “Vols. 11 & 12,” Doug Cunningham and Jason Noto, art directors (Desert Sessions) 

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package “Ode to Joy,” Lawrence Azerrad and Jeff Tweedy, art directors (Wilco) 

Best Album Notes “Dead Man’s Pop,” Bob Mehr, album notes writer (The Replacements) 

Best Historical Album “It’s Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers,” Lee Lodyga and Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Mister Rogers) 

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical “Hyperspace,” Drew Brown, Julian Burg, Andrew Coleman, Paul Epworth, Shawn Everett, Serban Ghenea, David Greenbaum, John Hanes, Beck Hansen, Jaycen Joshua, Greg Kurstin, Mike Larson, Cole M.G.N., Alex Pasco and Matt Wiggins, engineers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer (Beck) 

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Andrew Watt Best Remixed Recording “Roses (Imanbek Remix),” Imanbek Zeikenov, remixer (Saint Jhn) Best Engineered Album, Classical “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, ‘Babi Yar,’" David Frost and Charlie Post, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Riccardo Muti and Chicago Symphony Orchestra) 

Producer of the Year, Classical David Frost Best Orchestral Performance “Ives: Complete Symphonies,” Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic) Best Opera Recording “Gershwin: Porgy and Bess,” David Robertson, conductor; Frederick Ballentine, Angel Blue, Denyce Graves, Latonia Moore and Eric Owens; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; the Metropolitan Opera Chorus) 

Best Choral Performance “Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua,” JoAnn Falletta, conductor; James K. Bass and Adam Luebke, chorus masters (James K. Bass, J’Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon, Kenneth Overton, Hila Plitmann and Matthew Worth; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and UCLA Chamber Singers) 

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance “Contemporary Voices,” Pacifica Quartet Best Classical Instrumental Solo “Theofanidis: Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra,” Richard O’Neill; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony) 

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album “Smyth: The Prison,” Sarah Brailey and Dashon Burton; James Blachly, conductor (Experiential Chorus; Experiential Orchestra) 

Best Classical Compendium “Thomas, M.T.: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke,” Isabel Leonard; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Jack Vad, producer 

Best Contemporary Classical Composition “Rouse: Symphony No. 5,” Christopher Rouse, composer (Giancarlo Guerrero and Nashville Symphony) 

Best Music Video “Brown Skin Girl,” Beyoncé, Blue Ivy and WizKid 

Best Music Film “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” Linda Ronstadt

Thursday, March 11, 2021

2021 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Jazz Nominees

The 63rd GRAMMY Awards are airing Sunday, March 14, 2021. And we have the nominees for this year's Jazz Category 

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter's name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or Tracks only.

    Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, soloist
    Track from: Axiom
    Regina Carter, soloist
    Track from: Ona (Thana Alexa)
    Gerald Clayton, soloist
    Chick Corea, soloist
    Track from: Trilogy 2 (Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade) 
    Joshua Redman, soloist
    Track from: RoundAgain (Redman Mehldau McBride Blade)

Thana Alexa

Best Jazz Vocal Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal jazz recordings.

  • ONA
    Thana Alexa
    Kurt Elling Featuring Danilo Pérez 
    Carmen Lundy 
    Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big Band Conducted By John Beasley 
    Kenny Washington

Ambrose Akinmusire

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new instrumental jazz recordings.

    Ambrose Akinmusire
    Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science
    Gerald Clayton 
    Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade 
    Redman Mehldau McBride Blade

Gregg August

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new ensemble jazz recordings.

    Gregg August 
    John Beasley’s MONK’estra 
    Orrin Evans And The Captain Black Big Band 
    John Hollenbeck With Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Gary Versace And The Frankfurt Radio Big Band 
    Maria Schneider Orchestra

Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra 

Best Latin Jazz Album
For vocal or instrumental albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material. The intent of this category is to recognize recordings that represent the blending of jazz with Latin, Iberian-American, Brazilian, and Argentinian tango music.

    Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra 
    Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra 
    Chico Pinheiro 
    Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymée Nuviola 
    Poncho Sanchez

Find out who is nominated in each of the 83 categories in the full nominees here

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Groove gets down at the Island Bay Festival

Dean and Groove FM provided the sounds at the Island Bay Festival today.  For once the weather gods smiled a sunny 23 degrees with light winds.  Several 1000 locals turned up to share the day of food, fun and entertainment, including the traditional Greek blessing of the fishing boats.  

The Island Bay Festival started in 1985 and is one of Wellington's longest-running festivals.  Showcasing the talent and diversity of the South Coast, this annual 2-day summer festival is held every February.

The festival continues tomorrow - check out what's happening here

Thursday, January 28, 2021

NZ Artists Release Open Letter To Music Industry

Last week's revelations of sexual harassment and exploitation in Aotearoa's music industry have resulted in a number of high profile sackings, including at Warner Music and CRS Management.  It has prompted a open letter calling for some much-needed significant change. 

The following, which has been published in a number of media outlets was written by Anna Coddington and signed by Bic Runga, Anika Moa, Lorde, Tami Neilson, Hollie Smith and Mel Parsons.  The letter below was originally published here.  

“Music is a powerful force, capable of moving us impressionable humans in all directions. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to make moving art without allowing yourself to be vulnerable and emotional sometimes. It is part of an artist’s job to feel deeply in all directions in order to create something worth listening to. 

People in the engine room of the music industry – studios, venues, festivals, any place where music is being made – are working in conditions where emotions may be high, hours may be long, green rooms may be small, and alcohol is often used as a social lubricant or a way to pass the time. These are the conditions of the workplace. 

To everyone working in the industry – you know the conditions. We’re all passionate about music and regularly in awe of the talent around us. But if the artist’s job is to feel deeply and be vulnerable enough to create moving music, yours must be to help them professionally and personally, without crossing boundaries and taking advantage of them. 

Right now is an opportunity to assess yourself honestly and reflect on how you conduct yourself in those environments. If you can’t work in those conditions while preserving the dignity of those around you, now is the time to either find another work environment that you can handle yourself in, or make use of the various resources and procedures being put in place by SoundCheck Aotearoa and other initiatives to educate yourself and change behaviours. This goes for everyone, industry-wide.

Men in the music industry have been operating in a safety-in-numbers scenario since forever. Young women, takatāpui, and other minorities stepping fresh into the music industry do not have that safety. Yes it’s a hard knocks career choice. Everyone needs to be ready to have their ego checked and confidence crushed, or the opposite – great success, fans at their feet, whatever. Either way artists are up for some head-messing times and need to learn to deal with that, hopefully with good support around them. What nobody should have to deal with ever – under any circumstance – is sexual harassment. 

We need better behaviour from those who hold power now, but ultimately we need more diversity in those positions of power so that the music industry as a whole can thrive and reap the benefits of different perspectives. Innovation in both business and creativity will follow – there is plenty of research to back this up. It requires active and conscious change, and the transfer of some power from the restricted group who hold it now to others who don’t look or think like them. We’ve been talking about this and failing to affect change for a very long time, but it can and must be done. 

• Learn about boundaries and consent. If you can’t operate within those boundaries don’t operate.

• Do not accept the transgression of those boundaries from anyone you work with. If you see or hear something don’t let it slide. 

• Check on people. If you suspect someone is being made to feel uncomfortable – ask them if they’re ok. 

• Do your best to be in the right, but always be ready to be wrong. If someone tells you a behaviour is not acceptable to them, no matter how small, don't get defensive – learn from it. 

• Diversify your workplace. If you need another person, actively seek candidates from different backgrounds, with different perspectives. 

• Speak to professionals who can help you achieve these goals – there are plenty. Do not rely on musicians and others in your own industry to teach you. That is unpaid labour and surprise – we aren’t psychologists or HR pros and probably don’t even have the tools you really need. 

• Don’t make public statements without taking private action.

Imagine a music industry without women, non-binary, rainbow community, differently-abled, Māori, and other ethnic minorities. Imagine if the artists demographically reflected the “industry”. No one wants that. It’s boring. You could say goodbye to most of the acts we’ve all been enjoying at festivals this summer for starters – the ones who have been helping EVERYONE in the industry recover the losses of last year. Without an interesting array of people the music suffers. Make it safe for them. Safety – it’s the very minimum every human being deserves.

The onus for change can’t sit with those of us who don’t hold that power. Everyone should want a better, safer, more productive industry. Artists are not here to help you make these changes. We don’t want to be writing open letters and talking to the media about the inappropriate behaviour of others. We want to be working on our music.”

 – Anna Coddington, Bic Runga, Anika Moa, Lorde, Tami Neilson, Hollie Smith and Mel Parsons

Groove supports this and condones sexual harassment of any kind.  We support all music workers and artists, no matter who they are.  If you are a music worker in Aotearoa and you need crisis or counselling support, the MusicHelps Wellbeing Service is available 24/7 online here, on the phone (toll free 0508MUSICHELPS) and in-person for free, fully funded by MusicHelps.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

This Just In: Dave Brubeck posthumously releases Time Outtakes

Featuring 7 never-before-heard tracks from the original 1959  'Time Out' recording sessions and 2 tunes that weren't on the original recording, this new release will have Brubeck fans buzzing.

“While researching books written to celebrate jazz legend Dave Brubeck's Centennial, a fascinating discovery was made; there were brilliant alternate takes for most of the tunes released on Time Out, the first jazz LP to sell over a million copies… These newly discovered recordings feature wonderful performances that are every bit as compelling as their famous counterparts!”
- Chris Brubeck

Includes previously unreleased takes of: 

1. Blue Rondo a la Turk
2. Strange Meadowlark

3. Take Five

4. Three To Get Ready

5. Cathy's Waltz

6. I'm In A Dancing Mood

7. Watusi Jam and 

8. Band Banter from the 1959 Recording Sessions

Read a review at All About Jazz

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Strang's Instant Coffee

Kiwis love their coffee. 
We're known for producing fantastic roasted beans. And we can  and claim we're the inventors of the Kiwi classic, the flat white. 

Wellington can claim some of the Best brews- Havana, Lafarge, People's, Mojo, etc. Taranaki has Ozone Coffee, produced at a roastery in Waiwhakaiho.

Here's Robert Harris, Bravia and a whole hose of others. And in in the 60's and 70's  Welly had the famous brand Faggs, in Cuba St. 
Coffee has been around a long t8me. Usually dominated by the big brands, especially in the instant market: Netscape, Bushels and International Roast. 

But our New Zealand has a long history of coffee related innovation in coffee drinking. David Strang, based in Invercargill, invented what could be the very first instant coffee in the world, applying for a patent for “Strang’s Patent Soluble Dry Coffee-powder” in 1890. His coffee was on the shelves in 1889, 12 years before Satori Kato is credited with inventing instant coffee in Chicago. 
Either way, Strang’s coffee was a hit in New Zealand because of its ease of preparation. It was described in the Otago Daily Times as an economical and flavoursome solution for coffee drinkers. The use of chicory powder,made from roasted and ground chicory root, to mix with the coffee may not be as appealing to today’s coffee drinkers, the Strang method of roasting doesn’t sound too dissimilar to our methods today. It was “roasted by a current of hot air which develops the flavour more thoroughly”.