Pianist Nock promises fun for festival
Legendary jazz pianist Mike Nock is bringing his brand of fun to the Queenstown Jazzfest.
The 74-year-old Sydney-based Kiwi will give his first performance in Queenstown with the Mike Nock trio during the Mirror- sponsored Labour Weekend festival.
‘‘I hope to have some music people will really like. Basically, I’m an entertainer . . . it’s important to me to be able to play in away that – without sacrificing artistic ideals – people will enjoy. It’s quality music for people.’’
He confirmed an observation that he looks like he’s having fun in all his photos. ‘‘That’s true. I do have fun. Why else would I do it? It certainly doesn’t pay a lot of money,’’ he laughs.
However, it has given him the opportunity to play with some of the greats during a 25-year career in the United States from the likes of Johnny O’Keefe to Dionne Warwick.
This year he was awarded the Don Banks Music Award, the most valuable individual music award in Australia. In 2009 he was inducted into the Bell Awards Australian Jazz Hall of Fame and in 2003 was presented with the New Zealand Order of Merit.
These days he remains busy composing music, teaching at the Sydney Conservatory, playing at jazz festivals around the world and this weekend he ireleases an album with his performing octet.
‘‘There’s not enough time to do all the things I want to do.’’
He is not the only big name to hit the area this month, with jazz and blues songstress Jennine Bailey scheduled to play in Queenstown and Wanaka, the Steve Barry Trio performing in Queenstown and Benny Lackner Trio in Wanaka.
JazzFest spokesman Luke Baldock said the ticketed performances would be complemented by 40 different music events featuring more than 80 national and international performers at various venues.
"We’ve got some exceptionally talented performers taking part in this year’s festival and musiclovers are truly in for a treat,’’ Baldock said.
The Mike Nock Trio: Mike Nock (centre) with Brett Hirst (left, double bass) and James Waples (drums).