Pi­anist Nock prom­ises fun for fes­ti­val

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

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).

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