Covid-19 Alert

NZ moves to the Traffic light system at 11:59pm on Thursday 2 December 2021 with Auckland at RED. The rest of New Zealand level is still to be decided.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Avantdale Bowling Club returns to Welly! TSB Area on Saturday 12 March 2022

After a sell-out show at the 2020 Wellington Jazz Festival, West Auckland rapper Tom Scott returns with his latest jazz-infused award-winning project to the TSB Area on Saturday 12 March.

"Avantdale Bowling Club has become one of my favorite bands in this country...It really packs a punch. It's quite raw and visceral in a way, but it does make you want to get up and move - you're just utterly transfixed." - Marnie Karmelita

Our camera crew sat down with our Director Marnie Karmelita to discuss Avantdale Bowling Club, listen to the full story here: Open the YouTube clip

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Meri kirihimete, Groovers from all of us here in the Lounge!


Meri kirihimete, Groovers from all of us here in the Lounge! 

It's been a weird year but somehow we all pulled through.  

Sure, Santa will need to be double vaxxed before he come down our chimney and Rudolph will need to master the QR scanner but it's not all bad.  

We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones will find time to really learn the magic of whanau and friendship this season.  Hopefully, you'll all get out and enjoy the semmer.  

And, if you are working, especially the core workers who are keeping us all safe, then please take care and stay safe.  And, thank you.  From the bottom of our hearts. 

Go well Groovers, get vaxed, wear a mask, carry your passports.  Mix up your favorite coattail, pull up the couch and head to the lounge this Season.  

And when you tune in, here's some jingle bell swing to get the party started...

Sunday, December 05, 2021

When the Cat's Away - Inducted into the NZ Music Hall Of Fame

We are very excited to announce that Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Dianne Swann, Margaret Urlich and Kim Willoughby are to be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa — individually and as members of When The Cat's Away. 

As a band, they broke records for their live shows in the late 1980s.  "The story of When The Cat’s Away is far more do-it-yourself than observers might imagine", write Murray Cammack on Audio Culture.

We recommend heading over to Audio Culture to read all about this amazing story of success. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021


The new Groove FM online audio stream currently being tested. Give it a try on right =>

Unfortunately our Streaming host appears to have shut down without warning and the stream is currently unavailable. We are considering our options for the future and working to get it restored.

While you're experiencing what it would be like to be with out Groove, please consider donating money now!

We urgently need to replace some equipment and find a new host to ensure this doesn't happen in the future.

At the moment we aren't running any commercials on-air and we like it that way but we can't maintain it let alone replace equipment unless more good people like you subscribe or donate. If you'd like to keep Groove on-air and commercial free, please use the buttons to the right :)
Stream sponsorship is available too.
Please let us know if you would like to sponsor the stream for a mere NZ$30 a week. Contact details bottom right of this page.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

100 Years of Radio in Aotearoa

The wireless has been a staple in our lives, entertaining and keeping the nation together in times of hardship, war, strife, elation, heartache and giving great happiness and even companionship to millions over the generations.

In Aotearoa, it all began in November 1921 when Professor Robert Jack (1877-1957), a physicist and university professor at Otago, and early pioneer of radio broadcasting, made a short broadcast. In the first minutes of his broadcast he played a gramophone record called 'Hello my Dearie' followed by a few words Jack.

Professor Robert Jack Photo: Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

From there the medium of radio grew and grew.  Over in the USA and in the UK the ABC, NBC and BBC became giants of the media world.  The NZBC and subsequent commercial radio was slow initially but started to gain traction by the 1930's. 

 There were many historical highlights broadcast over those years including 1937 fiery destruction of the Hindenburg in New Jersey.  A US Reporter Herbert Morrison in the middle of his recording when the airship burst into flames.  It knocked and his camera operator down. You can just hear him crying out calling for people to move out the way, while shouting "Oh the humanity".

 Back at home, in 1939, New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage took to the air to announce the outbreak of World War II.  "The war on which we are entering," his speech went, "may be a long one, demanding from us heavy and continuous sacrifice... It is essential we realise from the beginning, that our cause is worth the sacrifice." 

In 1953 there was a newsflash broadcast that New Zealander Edmund Hillary had conquered Mount Everest.  And then later that same year, the Tangiwai Disaster, when a train plunged into the flooded river, killing 151 passengers. "One reporter said: "Some bodies have been recovered 15 miles from the scene of the disaster.  I gravely fear there is little hope of further persons being found alive."

The Wahine sinking. Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library/35mm-01149-29-F

Radio was there when the Wāhine sunk in Wellington Harbour, on 10 April 1968. A reporter on the scene told of the ship swaying in the Wellington Harbour waters, before it became fully submerged, people leaping onto life rafts.

More disaster on the radio as the news from the devastating Mount Erebus disaster rolled in.  Coverage initially told of the aircraft was lost, with fuel reserves running out.  But the tone changed when wreckage was discovered, bodies seen from the search team's plane.  The clearly affected reporter said there would be no survivors and it would be unlikely all the bodies would be able to be retrieved as some were buried under the snow.

The 1981 Springbok Tour held a lot at airtime, with the country divided for 56 days.  At the Auckland game, a commentator watched protesters dropping flour and smoke bombs on the pitch, one even hitting an All Black.  It eventually stopped the game.

Protestors against the Springbok tour. Photo: Photosport

Then there was the Muldoon era and the infamous "schnapps election".  On the night of 14 June 1984, Muldoon, Prime Minister at the time, staggered drunkenly up to the podium to announce a snap election.  "It doesn't give you much time to run-up to an election, Prime Minister," he was asked. Muldoon replied, slightly wobbly, "It doesn't give my opponents much time to run-up to an election does it?"  National lost and the era of Rogernomics was ushered in.

1995 had a victory of a different kind, when we won the America's Cup - Peter Montgomery was widely air checked "The America's Cup his now New Zealand's cup".

Sirs Peter Blake and Russell Coutts has sailed Black Magic to a 5-0 sweep.  There were lucky red socks parades around the country.

On September 11, 2001 we heard the haunting audio of a mother leaving a voicemail to her family.  She explained she was a passenger on one of the hijacked planes, she could only hope she'd see their faces again.  That day and those events will be forever emblazoned on our minds - the day the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York were toppled by two planes.

In the early 2000's Aotearoa made its name in Hollywood - first Jane Campion and Emma Pacquin winning for 'The Piano' and then 'Lord of the Rings' taking a 'clean sweep’, also at the Oscars.  'Return of the King' (by Sir Peter Jackson) scooped 11 categories in 2004.

Only 6 years after Pike River Mine exploded - an ongoing story to this day.  And then the tragedy of a catastrophic earthquake in Christchurch in 2011.

The 1995 America's Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT
Christchurch was hit by a second tragedy in 2019, one of our darkest days, with the attack on two mosques.  "All of a sudden we just heard gunshots," said an eye witness on RNZ that day, " I left everything, my mum grabbed my hand and we just ran outside, everyone was in chaos, we were just running for our lives." 

And now the Covid 19 Pandemic with daily stand ups, lockdowns, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing the levels, the rise of respect for a common public servant - Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 

Jarek - at The Food Show Broadcasting Live
Groove, too has had many highlights.  We started in the bedroom of an Island Bay flat - the Brainchild of ex-Fish-erman (Taupo) radio owner Dean Conland.  Early days included live broadcasts of jazz at St Hilda's in Island Bay, parades and fairs around the ropu. A few years later the station moved to Trade's Hall, the infamous site of the Ernie Abbot bombing in the 1980's.  Groove has also run live crosses at the Newtown Festival, the Food Show, Jazz night at Haitatai's Realm Bar, The International Arts Festival, The Tuis and the AMA's plus many other high profile events.  We also have been longstanding supporter of WOMAD, in Taranaki, and to this day run interviews with local and international artists.  

CoffeeBar Kid with Masterchef winner Brent MacKenzie

Check out our back pages, we've interviewed and shared the mic with countless musicians and friends. We still run the Groove Book report, Facebook, and broad cast on this site via the internet, reaching an unlimited listening audience.

To all the wonderful people that have supported us over the years - ka pai - thank you.  

Please keep listening and celebrating music, books, food and the arts with us.  



Friday, November 12, 2021



Grammy-nominated vocalist Roseanna Vitro releases “Sing a Song of Bird”

“A stunning, epic legacy recording that gives imaginative flight to the timeless magic Parker left us long ago.” - JW Vibe by Jonathan Widran

SING A SONG OF BIRD is a collaboration of four New York jazz vocalists who are passionate about Charlie Parker’s music and have rendered new lyrics to six of his compositions. This is the 15th recording for Grammy-nominated vocalist ROSEANNA VITRO, who conceived and guided this project but chose not to sing on every tune. Instead, she hands the microphone to her mentors, bebop jazz legends BOB DOROUGH, SHEILA JORDAN and MARION COWINGS, each of whom take solo turns with their own unique and soulful interpretations on several compositions by Bird.

This album is a celebration of Bird’s music, a special recording that goes beyond being a mere tribute album. Dorough was 94 and Jordan was 89 when they recorded the album. Their status as jazz legends is uncontested. Dorough is no longer with us, but Jordan is still going strong, with a busy schedule and performances all around the world. You can find Cowings performing around NYC as well. And, of course, we are very lucky to have Vitro still making music and dedicated to exploring new avenues of creativity, as she will for years to come.

It is her 15th release, and it showcases her passion for expanding the jazz repertoire with newly crafted lyrics and a cast of bebop masters - vocalists Sheila Jordan, Bob Dorough and Marion Cowings; along with alto saxophonists, Gary Bartz and Mark Gross.

This is a soulful flight from an artist whose recordings include The Music of Randy Newman, Catchin’ Some Rays (Ray Charles), Clarity (Clare Fischer), Tropical Postcards (Brazilian), Tell Me the Truth (Southern blues), Passion Dance (McCoy Tyner) and Live at the Kennedy Center (Kenny Werner), each featuring a cast of master instrumentalists.

Roseanna has toured on every continent except Antarctica, representing the USA as a Jazz Ambassador for The US State Department, The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center.

SING A SONG OF BIRD is a collaboration of four New York jazz vocalists who are passionate about Charlie Parker’s music and have rendered new lyrics to six of his compositions. This is the 15th recording for Grammy-nominated vocalist ROSEANNA VITRO, who conceived and guided this project but chose not to sing on every tune. Instead, she hands the microphone to her mentors, bebop jazz legends BOB DOROUGH, SHEILA JORDAN and MARION COWINGS, each of whom take solo turns with their own unique and soulful interpretations on several compositions by Bird.

This album is a celebration of Bird’s music, a special recording that goes beyond being a mere tribute album. Dorough was 94 and Jordan was 89 when they recorded the album. Their status as jazz legends is uncontested. Dorough is no longer with us, but Jordan is still going strong, with a busy schedule and performances all around the world. You can find Cowings performing around NYC as well. And, of course, we are very lucky to have Vitro still making music and dedicated to exploring new avenues of creativity, as she will for years to come.

It is her 15th release, and it showcases her passion for expanding the jazz repertoire with newly crafted lyrics and a cast of bebop masters - vocalists Sheila Jordan, Bob Dorough and Marion Cowings; along with alto saxophonists, Gary Bartz and Mark Gross.

This is a soulful flight from an artist whose recordings include The Music of Randy Newman, Catchin’ Some Rays (Ray Charles), Clarity (Clare Fischer), Tropical Postcards (Brazilian), Tell Me the Truth (Southern blues), Passion Dance (McCoy Tyner) and Live at the Kennedy Center (Kenny Werner), each featuring a cast of master instrumentalists.

Roseanna has toured on every continent except Antarctica, representing the USA as a Jazz Ambassador for The US State Department, The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Herb's Mobile Record Store hits the road


The former owner of Death Ray Records and Evil Genius, Wellington record shop owner Benjamin James is hitting the road to bring you crates of delicious vinyl to buy and groove to. 'Herb's Mobile Record store', his new venture, could be rolling up to a car park near you over summer. 

Look out for a bright blue van works parked up near bars and parks around the Capital.  In his first week he hit Parrotdog Brewery in Lyall Bay, and then the various Wellington suburbs of Newtown and Eastbourne.

James chooses his locations based on Social Media demand and heads to locations with the highest votes.  He has all sorts of old stuff like Bill Sevesi and the Islanders, Spinning Spinning Spinning by The Simple Image, a Wellington band, quite a rare one these days. And other weird ones like Plantasia and Mantis.  His most expensive is potentially the rarest, a New Zealand pressing of Aphrodite's Child, which is currently priced at $375 (generally it goes goes for about $600). Demis Roussos is lead singer.

Herb's also has cassettes, CDs for summer road-tripping, a few classic Nintendo games, and even an especially designed unisex perfume (which can be described as a 'dank forest in the morning'.)

Radio New Zealand did a recent video, which you can get a real feel for his gig.  Check him out on facebook: 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

WOMAD '22 Second Lineup Announcement

 WOMAD 2022 has just announced their second drop for March next year, including the original Queens of Aotearoa's Country music and comedy the Topp Twins; recently reunited Dub Masters Salmonella Dub (including Tiki Taane and RnB Cultural Warrior, Ria Hall. 

The 2022 programme was launched at an event on Wednesday night at New Plymouth’s TSB Showplace.  Event Director & NZ Programme Manager Emere Wana, said that it was a privilege to launch in “our home time”.  It’s usually hosted at Parliament in Wellington. 

At the launch Suzanne Porter CEO of the Taranaki Arts Festival (organisers of WOMAD) said in a press release that despite a lack of international acts the festival would still be full of worldly flavour.  People would still get their Global Music fix without leaving the country.

Also on this all-Kiwi bill is Neo Soul Wahine Hollie Smith, who’s new album ‘Coming In From The Dark’ has just seen the light this October.  And, speaking of return acts, the incredible juggernaut of musical bliss that is ‘Fly My Pretties’ will also be back.

The World may not be able to make it this time but that doesn’t mean this festival will miss ou completely on the global experience.  There are plenty of World Class acts already here in Aotearoa.  And keeping the delight of WOMAD's discovery element alive, the festival’s organisers have added the Bulgarian vocalists Acopollinations, World Music DJ Bobby Brazuka, the very talented and cinematic Jazz-funk-folk outfit Carnivorous Plant Society, the IPU Kodama Japanese Drum Team, Latinaotearoa (Latin soul-funk masters), an encore performance from former Black Seed Mike Fabulous aka Lord Echo, Balkan Street Gypsy crew Niko Ne Zna, SWÂMP THÏNG (Americana blues & roots), Weird Together (World fusion beats) and Afrofunksters Yaw Asumadu & Ozi Ozaa.

In addition to all of that Insta-TV-Comedian, Tom Sainsbury will be presiding over the The World of Words Stage.  There’s also Indian Dance courtesy of the Mudra Dance Company.  Under the leadership of Kinra, has developed into a vibrant dance company featuring graduates trained at his dance Academy in Wellington.

Also presenting will be legendary Pop Artist Dick Frizzell and one of the Motu’s most respected Scientists Dr Siouxie Wiles.

The new line up joining those great acts already announced, including jazz-hip-hop mastermind Tom Scott aka Avantdale Bowling Club, modern R&B extraordinaire, Deva Mahal, and another returning festival favourite, Fat Freddy's Drop alongside the stunning collaboration of New Zealand and Indian musicians, Shades of Shakti.

Next year’s WOMAD will be a unique celebration of Aotearoa’s diverse and talented artist.  The world may be delayed this year but that just gives us more time to explore our own. 

The WOMAD 2022 team are not only assuring a 100 per cent New Zealand-based line-up but that all performers, workers, volunteers and attendees will be vaccinated – essential for any festival next year.

Last year Covid-19 forced WOMAD to cancel, so it’s inspiring that the event has managed to come back and Taranaki is ready to party.  WOMAD will run from March 18-20 at New Plymouth’s Brooklands Park.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

REVIEW: ‘Pansousiance’ – Rob Sinclair and Bevan Revell (Rattle Records)

For the music community the hardest thing about last year’s pandemic had to be the enforcement of performance shut down.  Due to social distancing and restricted congregation rules many creatives were forced into their home studios and practice spaces to reinvent themselves as bloggers and podcasters – or they tried out digital colabs across the internet, or , as in the case of Fat Freddy’s Drop, performed in empty concert halls to record the event for home audiences. It was either that or wither away. 

Plenty found ways to respond, to express their feelings and experiences of the lockdowns.  And this is exactly what we have here.  Just released on Steve Garden’s fabulously independent Rattle Records, ‘Pansousiance’ is a collection of awkward, insecure, unpredictable and challenging modern blues classics that speak to the new normal.  It’s an album of introspective tones and instrumentals (all recorded during the first New Zealand lockdown in 2020) evoking all the imagery that is now familiar in our post-pandemic world, particularly the many challenges artists face as they are forced to negotiate our increasingly uncertain world.

Created by multi-instrumentalists Rob Sinclair (Schtung, Big Sideways, 3 Voices) and Bevan Revell (who was recently working as a session musician in Europe) they have intentionally constructed a number of pieces that feel familiar and disorientating all at the same time.   It has been said that Sonic Youth are capable of writing sweet, commercially comfortable pop songs but they choose to ruin them intentionally in the name of art.  Well, this is what happens here, too.  

The album’s cover is a clue.  Sinclair’s photo of a startled horse in full flee-flight.  A nod to last century’s flu epidemic, when horse and cart was still prominent on the streets, bodies taken away on their backs or in the drays they solemnly pulled through the streets.  Or is it a reference to freedom, speed, power? The photo is blurred, creating an unsettling, out of focus picture of an indeterminate event.  A lack of clarity creates insecurity.  Inside the CD version, there are more blurred images – several taken ‘somewhere in Asia’ – possibly China (a reference to Wuhan, perhaps); a dove in a cage (peace or avian flu?); shaving in a mirror, with a mask close to hand.  These are from trips Sinclair has made, perhaps in better times, observations of a culture that we all are now quick to judge.  

The music is created with all the standard stuff, guitars, drums, piano, an Indian shenai and a bass clarinet (provided by Chrs Watt), but it’s the addition of extra ‘tools’ like pot lids and various handmade instruments that gives an unsettling flavour.  Add to that vocals that are layered in an off-kilter fashion, odd percussion timings and bizarre noodling guitars that remind you of a drunken JJ Cale this is a disturbing listen.  Sonically, this is like Tom Waits, Budgie from the Banshees, NZSO percussionist, the late, great Gary Brain and Blixa Bargeld all got drunk together, had an argument and then had make up sex – all in the same night.  It’s a disturbing listen, for sure!

‘Pansousiance’ is possibly a made-up word.  My dictionary came back with a ‘does not compute!’.  But then everything about this Pandemic is new and odd, so there you are.  The best we can offer is that the word is some form of neologism, a reference to indifference or nonchalance.  A reaction in the face of adversity, perhaps?  A shrug of the shoulders, a new normal is here – get used to it.

Slurry speak on the album’s opening track, ‘From Whence She Came?’, reminds me of the endless parade of experts who speculatively droned on about Covid’s potential impacts in the early days of the event.  These early alarmist headlines appear a misquotes from an inebriated barfly, grasping to find blame: “Lax procedure in a P4 lab, Wuhan university”, “South China live food market/ cages stacked ten by ten high” “He cleared his nose/From where she came/The one who sneezed”.  Shudder indeed!  The opening scenes of the movie ’12 Monkeys’.  

The slow, sludgy and often eerie ‘Lockdown’ features some creepy multi-tracked vocals.  They play slightly out of synch, with an addition of a guest singer Louise McDonald. “Put a mask on, go outside/ Don’t breath too heavy / keep your distance now / and don’t go too far”.   There is a disturbing observation.  I think back to watching America in the Trump era denying what he called ‘China flu’.  This lone voice can’t believe was they are seeing: “Trumpets blowing in the U.S.A / Who’s blaming who? Big apples falling down / Got the Wuhan flu?” There’s no escaping: “The fever’s getting high / And I / I’m in Lockdown/ Out of sight.” 

Throughout the entire record there is a constant sense of dislocation and isolation.  Those disorientating vocals are like ghosts or head voices, challenging you.  They are often incomprehensible – and that is also unsettling.  The odd and constantly changing time signatures create and the instrumentation create this “selection of snapshots of a world askew”.

There are several instrumental pieces – The oddball ‘Selling Mustard Seed’”, the freakish Sci-fi  number ‘They're Everywhere’; and more weirdness on ‘Nagoya Gogo’ and ‘Washable Pok Dum Blean’ which sounds like Tom Waits has snuck into the gamelan storage room and had a jam after drinking too much malt liquor. That last one features a ‘milk-carton’ shamisen (a type of kabuki guitar) and a potnan (a sort of bell, like a gamelan), both common Chinese street musician’s instruments.

There are references to wet markets, political wastelands and rigged elections, ‘Panspeciel Transmission’ (that’s what scientists do with DNA to manipulate the species) and grandiose philosophies from the ancient world.  That occurs on ‘Grandees Ball’ which talks of a decay of a civilisation and our dead being transported across the Styx river, that boundary that lies between all of us here on Earth and the Underworld.  Clearly a reference to the unnecessary deaths caused by those leaders around the world who spread ‘fake news’ or denied the real impacts of Covid.   

There are also a couple of more ‘typical’ songs here – ‘Poison Pigeons’ and ‘On the Shelf’ – which are almost love songs to the Covid affected.  And there’s a cover.  Made famous by the Seekers, ‘Isa Lei’ is a traditional Fijian Farewell song.  This version is not the light and breezy send-off that tourists to the Islands may have encountered.  It also has a double layered meaning, with Fiji’s infection rates now being so high.  It’s a song with a different departure in mind. 

‘Pansousiance’ is an hour of difficult listening, an artistic response to soundbites from last year’s One O’Clock stand ups.  Listening during a second major pandemic is even more challenging.  It’s a very clever audio document of our unpredictable times.  Proceed with caution. 

Friday, October 08, 2021


CALLING ALL KIWIS… The Aotearoa live music, entertainment and concert sector needs your help! With the current COVID-19 Delta outbreak, our much-loved traditional summer of music, entertainment and festivals is in danger, and we are urging music fans and those who love going to any form of gigs to go get vaccinated now, so we can all enjoy some awesome live tunes together again asap! Aotearoa has been lucky in the fight against COVID-19 to say the least. 
The first half of 2021 has brought us many small and large-scale events in a time when the rest of the world was still in restriction. Because of our nations hard and fast approach to lockdowns we have been rewarded with the freedoms to socialise and enjoy live music and entertainment together. 

We want that to continue and there is only one way for that to happen... Earlier this week, the New Zealand Government announced the roll-out of vaccination certificates in New Zealand, with a plan to launch in November this year. Commonly used overseas, the certificates would provide proof that individuals have been fully vaccinated, and the Government is likely to make the use of these certificates mandatory for large-scale events.

“Crowded House were truly blessed to play shows in Aotearoa NZ in March. Live concerts bring joy and freedom that lift the spirits of audience and artists alike. This summer NZ will be open again for concerts but you will need to be vaccinated against Covid. Come on everyone, we’ve had the vaccine, it's safe and it's keeping the ones we love safe” Neil Finn CROWDED HOUSE

“For me getting the vaccine is all about protection - protecting the people who I love who cannot get vaccinated because they’re immunocompromised. Or because they’re ineligible, like my daughter who’s just about to turn 4. And after almost two years of not being able to tour internationally the vaccine gives me the best protection to be able to do the job that I love. I cannot wait to be on stage playing music again here in Aotearoa, and the best way for us to get to that summer of gigs and dancing is to be vaccinated. For our whanau, for our communities, and for ourselves.” LADYHAWKE

Kiwis know that nothing beats live music… except, maybe, COVID. Get vaccinated for gigs now so we can have an epic summer in the sun with some of the best live music and entertainment that Aotearoa has to offer. So, c’mon Aotearoa Vax Together, Stay Together #vaxforlive LET’S GET BACK TO LIVE!!!

Be part of the crowd and book now at to help us unite against COVID-19 and bring back live entertainment!

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 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 
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

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 | 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.

    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