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Thursday, March 07, 2019

Herbie Hancock plays the Jazz Festival 5-9 June Artists Announced (more to come)

We are thrilled to share with you the first release acts for 2019 Wellington Jazz Festival – starting with undisputed legend of jazz, Herbie Hancock, who will open the Festival at the Michael Fowler Centre on Wednesday 5 June.

The full programme will be announced on Monday 15 April. 

Tickets for everything go on sale to the general public at 10am on Wednesday 13 March, so secure your seats early and we will see you at the Michael Fowler Centre in March for some serious play.

The first release of this year’s programme also features the explosive funk ensemble Ghost-Note, ground breaking trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and the exquisite vocalist Alicia Olatuja.

A new commission from composers Lex French and Jasmine Lovell-Smith performed by Canadian/NZ collaborators CODE Quartet, along with perennial favourite the Rodger Fox Big Band spearhead the distinct sounds of New Zealand jazz.


I like to discover new rules so I can break them.
That’s where innovation comes from, that’s what keeps me playing.

Herbie Hancock Winner of 14 Grammy Awards during his illustrious career, Herbie Hancock has had an unparalleled influence on acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B for more than five decades.

In 2019, the 79-year-old maestro remains at the forefront of world culture, technology, business and music.


 The most distinctive, elusive and ultimately satisfying trumpeter of his generation.

The New York Times Motivated by the spiritual and practical value of art, Ambrose Akinmusire aspires to create richly textured emotional landscapes that tell stories of the community, record the time and change the standard. Ambrose's acclaimed quartet will deliver a powerful performance of genre-defying music that sits within the centre and at the periphery of jazz, while intersecting the circles of hip-hop and classical music. Thursday 6 June 8pm 


 A sprawling kaleidoscope of sound, passion, funk, and might. Okayplayer Friday night is all about the Funk with explosive ensemble Ghost-Notepromising seductive danceable grooves and a contagious feel-good energy.

Headed by Snarky Puppy’s multi-Grammy Award-winning percussion duo of Robert ‘Sput’ Searight and Nate Werth joined by a stelllar line up of next level musicians, this is one energy-charged evening not to be missed.
Friday 7 June 8pm

 A singer with a strong and luscious tone and an amiably regal presence on stage.

The New York Times Alicia Olatuja has been astounding audiences with her exquisite vocals, artistic versatility and captivating demeanor.

Her critically-acclaimed album Intuition: Songs from the Minds of Women, celebrates the achievements of esteemed female composers including Brenda Russell, Sade, Tracy Chapman, Kate Bush, Angela Bofill, Joni Mitchell and Linda Creed.
Saturday 8 June 8pm

A powerhouse collective of Canada’s leading jazz composers and improvisers,

CODE Quartet features original compositions that draw from each member’s unique background, along with the premiere of new compositions commissioned by the Festival.
Saturday 8 June 3pm 

SIMON O'NEILL AND THE RODGER FOX BIG BAND The Rodger Fox Big Band continues to defy musical boundaries in a stunning collaboration with international opera star and New Zealand native Simon O’Neill. Spend Sunday afternoon in the company of giants.
Sunday 9 June 3pm

 Wellington Jazz Festival

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