Thousands turn out for JazzFest

Singer Melita Gizilis and the Queenstown Jazz Orchestra perform Georgia on my Mind at Queenstown...
Singer Melita Gizilis and the Queenstown Jazz Orchestra perform Georgia on my Mind at Queenstown Gardens on Saturday as part of Queenstown JazzFest and the gardens' 150th anniversary. Photo: Paul Taylor
Organisers of the 40th Queenstown JazzFest say the festive atmosphere attracted audiences in the thousands over Labour Weekend.

But, they are already looking ahead to next year, promising a “broader developed and re-invented” 41st festival.

Festival organiser Luke Baldock says the festival was very well received

“Well, I think over the four days of festival the community engaged with the majority of the concerts that were both presented outdoors and also through the pubs venues and pubs around town," he said.

"And I think the atmosphere around town was fantastic.”

He says a changes are expected for the 41st JazzFest, but he is not giving details yet.

“As a milestone it’s an opportunity to celebrate the past and provides an opportunity for us to reinvent and create something that has significance and relevance for the next 40 years.”

Mr Baldock says the focus for next year will be on quality rather than quantity.

“I think that’s one of the points of difference to the festival, we bring musicians from around the country.

"From throughout the lower South Island, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland and they are all leading musicians in their chosen field of music.”

More than 100 musicians descended on Queenstown for the annual Labour Weekend festival.

The line-up included world renowned percussionist vocalist and songwriter Nanny Assis who performed on Friday night at the memorial town centre hall.

Other artists included Rhombus, SoccerPractise and P Digsss, who stole the show on Saturday night. Meanwhile a swinging guitar/bass/drums trio, headed by New York bassist Nathan Brown, jazzed audience at the Sofitel Hotel’s Wine and Jazz Lounge.

For that last bit of jazz on Monday afternoon, dynamic duo Geoff Culverwell and Nick Van Dijk were there to jazz up crowds at the Gibbston valley Winery.

Details of the 2018 jazz festival will be released in a few months.

- By Meena Amso

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