The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY - – MAL­COLM HOPWOOD

Kar­rin is sup­ported by the TomWar­ring­ton Trio, in­com­pa­ra­ble artists in their own right.

One of the great Queen’s Birth­day mu­si­cal tra­di­tions is upon us. I’m sure Queen El­iz­a­beth, who’s just cel­e­brated her 90th birth­day, would be proud of the Manawatu International Jazz and Blues Fes­ti­val which opens with free cafe con­certs in Feilding this Fri­day.

The cen­tre­piece is the glit­ter­ing Jazz Gala where artis­tic di­rec­tor Rodger Fox has given a splen­did jazz treat­ment to clas­sic New Zealand pop songs. Hol­lie Smith, Mark Wil­liams, Deb­bie Har­wood and Erna Ferry, to­gether with the Rodger Fox Big Band, will per­form the num­bers at the Re­gent On Broad­way on Satur­day, June 4.

As well as the Jazz Gala there are other out­stand­ing artists from New Zealand and over­seas.

They in­clude vo­cal­ist/pi­anist Kar­rin Allyson, de­scribed as ‘‘a singer with im­pec­ca­ble in­to­na­tion.’’ Kar­rin is sup­ported by the Tom War­ring­ton Trio, in­com­pa­ra­ble artists in their own right.

Add Linn Lorkin and The Jews Broth­ers, Kevin Down­ing and his 101 Lab Band, the Manawatu Jazz Club Big Band and many oth­ers and this year’s fes­ti­val from May 27 to June 6 prom­ises to be the big­gest and best.

Te Manawa is mark­ing the ar­rival of Matariki, a tiny star clus­ter above the eastern hori­zon, sig­nalling the start of win­ter. Matariki will be cel­e­brated on June 2 with the light­ing of fires at dawn and then, in the evening, the open­ing of the Nga Kete Toi ex­hi­bi­tion which fea­tures carv­ing, weav­ing and vis­ual arts from stu­dents grad­u­at­ing from Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Across at Cen­tre­point an in­trigu­ing sea­son of Plays with a Pur­pose be­gins. Over a month three plays ad­dress po­lit­i­cal op­pres­sion, the is­sue of dis­placed refugees and our re­spon­si­bil­ity to care for them. It be­gins with the top se­cret White Rab­bit, Red Rab­bit on May 28 where the au­di­ence joins the per­former on a jour­ney into the unknown and ends with the world pre­miere of Angie Far­row’s play The Politi­cian’s Wife.

Down at the Au­di­to­rium in Cen­ten­nial Drive Abbey Mu­si­cal Theatre’s Hair is into its sec­ond week. AMT has cho­sen a show, con­tro­ver­sial in its day, but its themes of peace, an­ti­war, po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism and the sex­ual revo­lu­tion are age­less and as rel­e­vant in the 21st cen­tury.

There’s noth­ing like a great va­ri­ety con­cert and the Unity Singers are pro­vid­ing a treat in The Re­gent on Broad­way on Sun­day, June 12, at 1.30pm. The singers and guests are pre­sent­ing a free con­cert based on fan­tasy and Dis­ney clas­sics.

Vo­cal­ist/pi­anist Kar­rin Allyson.

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