Jazz Inspired at the Whangamata Jazz Festival

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Guest Posts

Here’s a post from one of our trumpeting friends up North – Mr Derek Hopper who plays trumpet in the Jazz Inspired combo group:

We met Sarah Bradley (TV One’s Good Morning Show) at her rural accommodation outside of town and rehearsed with her on the hotel door step for several hours.

Sarah is a jazz singer as well as a TV presenter and she sang a number of show tunes such as “I got rhythm” and “Anything Goes” and a range of jazz standards. 

Our first set was on an outdoor stage in a fairly strong breeze and we were miked up like a rock band.

Always take pegs!

I had my music pegged and the wind still threatened to blow the music stand over. Depending who we talked to in the audience afterward we sounded bad or wonderful, possibly depending on whether the audience member was a fan of Sarah Bradley or not.

Things could only get better and they did. We played to a packed house at the Corvette Cafe and Bar for 3 hours on Saturday night. Folk were cramming the sidewalk to hear us and we were pressed for an encore at the end. Nice to have our music appreciated!

On Sunday we played from 10 am onward at the same restaurant to a fairly steady crowd until numb lips and fingers forced us to stop around 2pm.

A highlight was meeting a French speaking guy who used to be a sort of personal assistant to Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and many other jazz greats when they toured in Europe. He had several photo albums full of snaps of him hanging out with them.

I also enjoyed hearing Mike Booth playing flugel and trumpet with his combo he is a pretty fluent improvisor with a good sound.

Although I did not get to hear them, the Queen City Big Band were appreciated by many people we spoke to.

Other bands/artists at the festival were: Miles Ahead, Indigo Blue, Riverhead Slide, Good Oil, Brilleaux and Mike Cassidy .

The organizer, John Norris, was pleased with the success of the event and is already making plans for next years festival.

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