Paul Ubana Jones marks 40 years as a professional performer
in Dunedin this week. Photo by Logan McMillan.
Paul Ubana Jones is leaning on the rail of the Cook
Strait ferry after the first half of his New Zealand tour.
''It's been a great tour and I'm really looking forward to
the South Island now and, especially, playing in Dunedin and
Oamaru,'' he says.
''I always love playing in Dunedin. It's got a really
eclectic individualism and vibe.''
The veteran singer-songwriter turned 60 last year, but is
showing no signs of slowing down.
In fact, quite the contrary. Ubana Jones is in demand around
the world. He has played support for Bob Dylan, Patti Smith
and Norah Jones, and most recently opened for blues legend BB
King in Florence, Italy.
He emigrated to New Zealand in 1987 after 15 years performing
in Europe, Africa and North America and will release his
eighth album later this year.
''It's untitled, at the moment. I might have to pull it [the
title] out of one of the songs,'' he muses, as though it is
the first time he has thought about a title for the album.
''It's quite a wide selection of material, a bit like all the
gigs in this tour. It's a nice refreshed overview of Paul
Ubana Jones,'' he says.
''I always have a lot of freedom when I play. Even if I
played the same stuff every night, it would not sound the
Paul Ubana Jones plays at Taste Merchants at 8 tonight and
the Penguin Club, in Oamaru, at 8pm tomorrow.