Covid-19 Alert

NZ is ALERT LEVEL 4 LOCKDOWN for Auckland & north and ALERT LEVEL 3 for the rest of New Zealand.
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Monday, September 06, 2021

Unite against Covid - Update

Covid-19 Update

Other countries (including our neighbors) ridiculed Aoteoroa/NZ for going into a hard lockdown and continuing our elimination strategy with just one case but after a few days daily cases were hitting the 100 mark. Now, only 3 weeks later, we're down to 20 new cases a day whereas New South Wales alone is still close to 1500 cases after being in a slightly more relaxed lockdown for 2 1/2 months. Whose approach is better?

For most of the year we've had almost no restrictions at all (no masks, no gathering limits, no social distancing etc) and it looks like we'll be back to that soon.

All of NZ apart from Auckland drops to Level 2 this Tuesday night (11.59pm 7/9/21) with Auckland remaining in Level 4 a bit longer. Don't take it for granted though. Remember to stick to the Level 2 rules here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Lockdown Level 4

After more than 5 months of no cases of Covid-19 in the community, New Zealand has discovered a case in Auckland. As a result, the entire country goes into Level 4 lockdown as of 11.59pm tonight (Tuesday 17/8/21). For the Auckland and Coromandel regions, this will be for a period of 7 days. For the rest of the country, it will be reviewed after an initial period of 3 days. We are now arguably the most successful country in the world at dealing with the pandemic and successfully eradicated it 'in the wild'. It makes me proud that with even just 1 case the team of 5 million pulls together to do what's needed and the approach of 'Going hard and going early' by Prime Minister Jacinda and the Government has proven to work every time. 

This is just another one of those times, so time to play 'Go home - Stay home' again unless we are essential workers. If you can work from home, you must. If you can't, you get to have a break...at home. If you are unsure of what you can and can't do at Level 4, check the official word here, and yes, Groove FM will be broadcasting from our homes too.

For the full details on the NZ Covid-19 situation, see the government website.

Be Kind

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 
WINNER: 
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 and collaborations with local jazz artists such as the 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 Farr. 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 www.natlib.govt.nz

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

WOMAD RETURNS IN 2022

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.

www.womad.co.nz 
www.facebook.com/WomadNZ 

www.twitter.com/WomadNZ 
www.instagram.com/womadnz 
www.youtube.com/channel/WOMADNZ 
https://open.spotify.com/user/womadnz 

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 | NZ Music Month - 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.”

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. 

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.

  • GUINNEVERE
    Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, soloist
    Track from: Axiom
  • PACHAMAMA
    Regina Carter, soloist
    Track from: Ona (Thana Alexa)
  • CELIA
    Gerald Clayton, soloist
  • ALL BLUES
    Chick Corea, soloist
    Track from: Trilogy 2 (Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade) 
  • MOE HONK
    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
  • SECRETS ARE THE BEST STORIES
    Kurt Elling Featuring Danilo Pérez 
  • MODERN ANCESTORS
    Carmen Lundy 
  • HOLY ROOM: LIVE AT ALTE OPER
    Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big Band Conducted By John Beasley 
  • WHAT'S THE HURRY
    Kenny Washington

Ambrose Akinmusire

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

  • ON THE TENDER SPOT OF EVERY CALLOUSED MOMENT
    Ambrose Akinmusire
  • WAITING GAME
    Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science
  • HAPPENING: LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD
    Gerald Clayton 
  • TRILOGY 2
    Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade 
  • ROUNDAGAIN
    Redman Mehldau McBride Blade

Gregg August

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

  • DIALOGUES ON RACE
    Gregg August 
  • MONK'ESTRA PLAYS JOHN BEASLEY
    John Beasley’s MONK’estra 
  • THE INTANGIBLE BETWEEN
    Orrin Evans And The Captain Black Big Band 
  • SONGS YOU LIKE A LOT
    John Hollenbeck With Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Gary Versace And The Frankfurt Radio Big Band 
  • DATA LORDS
    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.

  • TRADICIONES
    Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra 
  • FOUR QUESTIONS
    Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra 
  • CITY OF DREAMS
    Chico Pinheiro 
  • VIENTO Y TIEMPO - LIVE AT BLUE NOTE TOKYO
    Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymée Nuviola 
  • TRANE'S DELIGHT
    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.

www.musichelps.org.nz/backline/wellbeing

www.soundcheckaotearoa.co.nz