The Wellington Jazz Festival
This year we are bringing you ten gigs over the five days of the festival.
Starting at 7.30 on 19th October with The Julie Lamb Outfit, through to the Steeley DNA at 7.30 on 23rd.
We have a mix of swing, bebop jazz, funk, and blues. Guitars, horns, saxes, vocals, keyboards, and more.
To find out more about each artist and the performance times, click on the Events page.
We look forward to seeing you at the festival.
23rd – Steely DNA – 7.00 – $20
Steely DNA is a nine-piece from Wellington, New Zealand, performing the eclectic music of the American rock / jazz / R’n’B band, Steely Dan, founded in 1971 in New York by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.
These world-class musicians combine the jazz, Chicago blues and soul that have made the music of Steely Dan a sensation.
Featuring Brannigan Kaa (lead vocals), Andrea Sanders (vocals, percussion), Gary Taylor (vocals, keyboards), John McDonald (vocals, keyboards), DeVante Nepia (vocals), David Henry (guitars), Chris Peirce (saxophone), Callum Hazlitt-Black (bass), Andrew Richardson (drums).
23rd – GOVERNOR JEFF – 5pm – $15
GOVERNOR JEFF is the horror-themed dream project started by guitarist Jamin Forlong, incorporating elements of horrorcore, psych-rock, jazz, hip-hop and RnB, they aim to blend genres as well as maintaining the free aspect of jazz we all know and love.
Jeff is backed by Jamin Forlong (electric guitar), Rory Johns (keyboard), Ryder Smith (drums), Davin Ojala (bass) and a special appearance by Shenazzar Sta. Lucia (vocals).
23rd Alex Trask Quartet – 2.30pm – $10
A second set from local saxophonist Alex Trask, presenting two sets of swing featuring new original music mixed in with tunes by pianist Freddie Redd. Featuring Lockie Bennett (guitar), Elijah Mulheron (bass), and Abe Baillie (drums). The quartet has been together since the start of 2022, performing up north and down south, but not east or west or in any districts that prefer sport instead of the saxophone. They released a live album earlier this year. Tune in for an afternoon of fresh tunes ranging from the sophisticated to the raucous.
23rd Alex Trask Quartet – 12pm – $10
Local saxophonist Alex Trask presents two sets of swing featuring new original music mixed in with tunes by pianist Freddie Redd. Featuring Lockie Bennett (guitar), Elijah Mulheron (bass), and Abe Baillie (drums). The quartet has been together since the start of 2022, performing up north and down south, but not east or west or in any districts that prefer sport instead of the saxophone. They released a live album earlier this year. Tune in for an afternoon of fresh tunes ranging from the sophisticated to the raucous.
22nd – Pete’s NolaCoaster – 10pm – FREE
Emerging artist series at Capital Blues Inc.
Formed from fresh talent from Wellington’s own New Zealand School of Music who still be diggin’ on James Brown, Pete’s NolaCoaster strives to find out what is hip? Featuring true uncut funk from all your favourite soulicious artists from the likes of Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire, The Commodores, and many more. Now’s the time to leave your brick house ensuring you bring your soul vaccination pass and your best attitude dance, as we are not liable for any illness or injury (please file complaints with the boogie). Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times because the NolaCoaster is leaving the station.
Featuring Pete Nola (trombone), Cameron Robertson (trumpet), Alex Trask (alto sax), Aiden McCulloch (tenor sax), Elisa Bird (baritone sax), Hanna Flacks (vocals), Gus Reece (guitar), Rory Johns (keys), Davin Ojala (bass) and Rafe Swan (drums).
22nd – Mel Stevenson – 7.30 – FREE
Mel Stevenson is an award-winning teenage horn-driven, long-haired, funk band from Wellington. Their ages range from 14 to 17 years old. They have a growing reputation in the Wellington music scene and are Cuba street regulars where they draw huge crowds of 120+ busking every Friday.
Playing a mixture of originals and re-made covers, they have won best band and best instrumentalist prizes at competitions across the country and have played shows at the Tauranga National Jazz Festival and Gardens Magic.
Get ready to dance!
22nd The Wellington City Shake-Em-On-Downers – 12pm – $20, $10 Capital Blues Inc members
The Wellington City Shake-Em-On-Downers are, quite bafflingly, New Zealand’s most popular swing septet, with a cult following of thrilled audiences and startled wildlife from Waiheke to Milford Sound and a variety of desolate spaces in between. Clean your bathroom because we suggest you brew up some bathtub gin and get togged to the bricks!
The Shake-Ems possess arcade knowledge of iconoclastic interpretations of vintage hot jazz classics that take you back to scintillating nights at the speakeasy. As well as standards from the New Orleans and swing songbook, they also perform raging new compositions inspired by the era. Described as ‘hot Dadaist swing’ with ‘refreshingly surreal larrikin behaviour’, The Wellington City Shake-Em-On-Downers never fail to serve up a spicy melange of musical treats!
21st – The Bullfrog Rata Express 10pm – FREE
Bullfrog Rata’s musical journey has been wide and varied. From busking on the streets in towns like Wairoa and Waipukerau to flying on jets to play for US billionaires.
He as been lucky enough to open for and share the stage with many of his idols including Midge Marsden and The Chills, and with international blues acts like Taj Mahal, Ch and Watermelon Slim as well as mega stars Tina Turner, Charlie Pride, and Jethro Tull.
He’s roped in a few friends and local luminaries to help him entertain the fervent blues and roots lovers at Capital Blues Club Night, your blues stop at the 2022 Wellington Jazz Festival.
21st The Skeletons – 7.30pm – FREE
The Skeletons are a boogie and blues trio, formed as an alter ego to local Wellington rock and roll band Sea Mouse. The trio performs a collection of haunting blues classics with Seamus Johnson on guitar and vocals, Scott Maynard on bass guitar, Thomas Friggens on drums, and are joined by special guest Dayle Jellyman on organ.