Jazz man comes in from the cold

For­mer Levin mu­sic teacher Dan Bolton has made a meal of the Big Ap­ple

The Tribune (NZ) - - THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT -

Many happy re­turns are in store for Aussie-born jazz muso, Dan Bolton. The New York-based Cairns na­tive used to teach mu­sic at Levin’s Horowhenua and Waiopehu Col­leges dur­ing a two-year stint in Levin when he was 23.

That was a cou­ple of decades or so ago. The mu­si­cian and record­ing artist, who used to gig with Palmer­ston North mu­si­cians Bull­frog Rata and Erna Ferry, is in­clud­ing the city and Kapiti Coast on his cur­rent Aus­tralia and New Zealand tour.

Af­ter leav­ing New Zealand, the jazzbo cut his per­for­mance teeth play­ing aboard cruise ships and in ho­tels in Asia and the Middle East.

Last here a decade or so ago, and de­spite now mak­ing a name for him­self in the Big Ap­ple with his re­cently re­leased third al­bum, Dan still keeps this re­gion in his heart.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to com­ing back and it is also a good way to es­cape the ridicu­lously cold New York win­ter. I still have friends [here] that I haven’t seen in years.’’

The singer/song­writer/ pi­anist has de­vel­oped a unique sound with his orig­i­nal songs that in­cor­po­rate el­e­ments of jazz, pop and Latin Amer­i­can styles, and have been de­scribed as 21st cen­tury stan­dards.

Th­ese mu­si­cal in­flu­ences and in­no­va­tion are also ap­par­ent in his unique ar­range­ments of songs from the Great Amer­i­can Song­book.

Dan moved to New York in 2012 where he works as a mu­si­cal di­rec­tor for Broad­way and cabaret star, Nathan Lee Gra­ham, and with Laura Hart, who is the vo­cal­ist with the Glenn Miller Or­ches­tra. His time there has seen him con­trib­ute to the score and or­ches­tra­tions for Vi­sion­ary Man, a stage cel­e­bra­tion of il­lit­er­ate enig­matic ec­cen­tric JB Mur­ray, who at age 70 found him­self called to cre­ate vivid ab­stract artis­tic mas­ter­pieces in­spired by the Holy Spirit.

The mu­si­cal premiered in Los An­ge­les in 2014.

‘‘I have found my place in New York. I like the en­ergy there a lot. Mu­sic is hap­pen­ing ev­ery­where there seven nights a week. It is tough be­cause there are a lot of great mu­si­cians there. But I have found that be­ing around those sorts of peo­ple el­e­vates what you do.’’

Re­leas­ing his first two al­bums in 2013 and 2014, The New York Ses­sions Vol­umes 1 and 2, this tour, which also takes in the Auck­land Jazz And Blues Club, and Kapiti Coast where he also taught in the 1990s, serves as the dow­nun­der launch of the three-vol­ume set.

Dan de­scribes his mu­sic as ‘‘jazz with a pop­u­lar edge to it’’, com­par­ing it to the likes of Harry Con­nick Jr, Jamie Cul­lum and Ge­orgie Fame.

‘‘My shows also al­ways have quite a bit of di­a­logue. I

‘‘ I have found my place in New York. Mu­sic is hap­pen­ing ev­ery­where there seven nights a week. It is tough be­cause there are a lot of great mu­si­cians there. But I have found that be­ing around those sorts of peo­ple el­e­vates what you do.’’

like to get the au­di­ence en­gaged with me and my mu­sic.’’

His back­ing quar­tet in­cludes New York City-based Kiwi drum­mer, Mark Lock­ett with bassist Johnny Lawrence and Richard Thai on sax­o­phone.

Dan Bolton per­forms in Globe 2 on Satur­day Jan­uary 23 at 8pm with book­ings at the Globe box of­fice and on­line glo­bethe­atre.co.nz

New York based jazz mu­si­cian Dan Bolton is trad­ing the US win­ter for a New Zealand al­bum re­lease tour, and plays the Globe Theatre next week.

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