All That Jazz [Nov 2009]

Waitakere Hit The High Note With Jazz Mania Concert

From the opening number Sing Sing Sing, the ‘Trust’s Waitakere’s Jazz Mania hit the high note at their annual Jazz Mania concert in the Trusts Stadium on Sunday 22 November. Musical Director Steve Booth had the Band primed and ready to deliver, and deliver they did.

A privileged audience of 300 was treated to a wide mix of jazz styles from the twenties to modern day in what has become the Band’s opportunity to explore the less serious side of making music. In a showcase like this, it’s hard to play favourites. Was it the trombones of Stu Ritchie, Julie McKee and Kieth Stubley in Dem Bones? Wayne Kedzlie and Trevor Clark surely have a case with their very different but equally enjoyable euphonium solos in the Salute to Sinatra, in the second half with a bouncy duet in another of old blue eye’s standards, Fly Me to the Moon. Fraser Bremner’s Russky Percussky took an old banding standard and gave it a light-hearted makeover. Show stealers were everywhere. In Ain’t She Sweet it was one in all in as soprano Fendall Hill tried so hard to play a solo. Matt Booth, Jamie Mackay, Stu Ritchie and even second cornet Peter Whyte on the swannee whistle seemed to have other ideas.

The show stopper was the guest soloist, Edwina Thorne. Her Flugel spoke from all corners of the jazz globe, firstly with the fiery Children of Sanchez, then the gentle Misty. I’ve Got you Under My Skin and Georgia showed the bounce and sheer pleasure this New Zealand legend has shared in her many travels as well as with the students of Auckland for over 20 years. Waitakere were very fortunate to have her take part in their programme, a fact not lost on any of the band or the audience as their warm applause demonstrated.

“The great thing about this Band is their versatility and willingness to make a performance beyond the music,” Musical Director Steve Booth said proudly at the end of the night. His comments were backed up by many of the audience members, which included Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey and representatives of the The Trusts Charitable Foundation, the Band’s major sponsor. “They are an amazing Band of which Auckland should be very proud,” Band President, Ken Young said. Jazz Mania is firmly fixed in the calendar for many years to come. The Band’s attention now turns to the Christmas season, with carolling at Lynn Mall on Sundays and various venues in between. Saturday 19th December will be the Band’s final concert outing for 2009, when the Glen Eden Playhouse Theatre again hosts their annual Christmas offering.

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