Cafe scene is vi­tal part of jazz fes­ti­val

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

While many of our top jazz mu­si­cians will en­ter­tain from the stage, about 100 oth­ers will bring jazz to the pub­lic while they’re en­joy­ing a trim flat white or English break­fast.

The cafe scene has be­come an in­te­gral part of the Manawatu Jazz Fes­ti­val and, for the 50th an­niver­sary event, a to­tal of 30 groups will per­form 37 gigs over two week­ends.

Re­sult­ing from Broad­way Ra­di­ol­ogy’s spon­sor­ship, the cafe scene has be­come a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for the pub­lic to ex­pe­ri­ence jazz while en­joy­ing break­fast or lunch at one of the city’s many cafes.

It also al­lows mu­si­cians to re­lax over a cof­fee or tea and listen to the tal­ent of other jazz per­form­ers.

Manawatu Jazz Club pres­i­dent David Edge says the cafe scene is a vi­tal in­gre­di­ent as it takes jazz out of the theatres and into the com­mu­nity where it first orig­i­nated.

‘‘It adds vi­brancy to Palmer­ston North and makes the city’s event unique in New Zealand,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s be­come such a sought af­ter part of the fes­ti­val that nearly half the mu­si­cians come here from the lower North Is­land to per­form and en­joy the vi­brancy of the city.

‘‘It demon­strates the pop­u­lar­ity of jazz in the New Zealand scene.’’

Artis­tic Di­rec­tor Rodger Fox says the 50th Manawatu Jazz Fes­ti­val has been or­gan­ised so the whole com­mu­nity can be in­volved in the jazz scene.

‘‘For the price of a cup of cof­fee, lo­cal peo­ple can ex­pe­ri­ence high­qual­ity jazz and blues,’’ he says.

‘‘We’re hop­ing this ap­pe­tiser will be the in­cen­tive to at­tend one or more of the ma­jor per­for­mances.’’

Al­ready mu­si­cians per­formed from 11am to 11pm over two days in Feild­ing last weekend and now the cafe scene moves to Palmer­ston North this weekend where jazz groups will play gigs through­out the city.

Broad­way Ra­di­ol­ogy was at­tracted to the cafe scene be­cause ‘‘the fes­ti­val is giv­ing some­thing back to the com­mu­nity.’’

‘‘We are lo­cally owned and op­er­ated and we wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to sup­port the fes­ti­val through our spon­sor­ship pro­gramme,’’ says Gen­eral Man­ager Duncan Scott.

‘‘Just as we’re com­mit­ted to ex­cel­lence, so too is the Jazz Fes­ti­val.’’

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