Showing posts with label jazz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jazz. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

City Choir Sings Jazz

After the hugely popular Jazz Café event in the Town Hall earlier in October, City Choir will again entertain the public with popular jazz songs.

DAVID BURCHELL, conductor and pianist
MARK ANDERSON, assistant conductor

Hear popular songs like I got rhythm, 'S Wonderful, Moonlight serenade, Tea for two, Smoke gets in your eyes and Let's do it. Also on the programme is three songs from Alexander L'Estrange's Song Cycle: A true love of mine, Buying a cycle and My wheel and I.

Time: Saturday 20 October, 2:45 to 3:30 pm
Venue: Josephine Foyer of the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum at 31 Queens Garden, Dunedin

Monday, October 8, 2018

Jazz Café lets locals show and flex talent

Jazz Café - Big choir! Big band! Big night out!
Saturday 6 October 2018, Dunedin Town Hall

Tables, candles, smoky downlights, a dance floor and streamers transformed the Dunedin Town Hall for City Choir Dunedin’s “Jazz Café”.

Close on the heels of the Dunedin Arts Festival, it represented a chance for something not too serious nor thought-provoking. 

It also gave a glorious opportunity for local jazz groups to flex their talents.

Most notable of these is Sophie Morris. Her relaxed professionalism and vocal control delivered some stunning numbers which wowed the audience.

Eva Cassidy’s Song bird, All that Jazz and Bonnie Raitt’s I can’t Make you Love Me gave a marvelous avenues for Morris’ dramatic drive and well rounded tone.

David Burchell’s direction of Alexander L’Estrange’s Song Cycle – vive la Vélorution! with Dunedin’s jazz quintet called succinctly enough Quintet, was innovative and fun. 

The City Choir Dunedin cyclists’ abilities to weave their way past music stands is highly commended and the choristers’ pantomimes were quite funny. L’Estrange’s piece also works the pun. The best of these songs was the first repeated at the close. The choir performed exceptionally well and clearly enjoyed keeping the beat throughout its cleverly revolving rhythmic patterns. 

The soaring Free wheelin’ and jaunty Cycle babble stood out as new and innovative while the other songs meandered off into historic kitsch.

Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra directed by Calder Prescott performed some jazz standards. Their rendition of Weather Report’s Birdland was riveting.

The innovative trio, Café Operana, comprising vocalist Lois Johnston, wonderfully talented harpist Helen Webby and Sophia Bidwell on accordion with guest Sean Manning with the Irish drum, the bodhran, were much appreciated by the audience.

Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra, the Dunedin Youth Choir and dancers Swing Riot established and maintained the mood during a long evening.

Though the audience numbers dwindled [after three hours] it left them In the Mood for another such enjoyable venture.

Reviewed by Marian Poole, Otago Daily Times, 8 October 2018.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Jazz Café

Jazz Café
Big choir! Big band! Big night out!

Saturday 6 October 7 for 7:30 pm
Dunedin Town Hall

City Choir Dunedin, conductor: David Burchell
Sophie Morris
Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra, conductor: Calder Prescott
Café Operana
Southern Youth Choir
Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra
Swing Riot Dunedin

Enjoy a relaxing evening of fabulously fizzy and swinging jazz at our café. Watch out for bicycles!

City Choir is letting its hair down with an evening of jazz! Experience the Town Hall decked out as a café with lots of atmosphere and cash bars for coffee, wine and snacks. There will even be room to dance for those who get so moved. You may sit or stand, chat to your neighbour, as you please. Come early to get a good seat and enjoy the pre-show entertainment, from 7 pm, by the Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra.

City Choir will perform a selection of jazz standards, as well as Alexander L’Estrange’s quirky Song Cycle: vive la Vélorution: songs on the subject of cycling and the great outdoors. It is an exuberant celebration in music of this most environmentally friendly mode of transport. L’Estrange has perfectly captured the euphoria of two-wheel travel for this joyous, uplifting song cycle which includes an amusing take on the invention of the bicycle, as well as stunning new settings of poetry and arrangements of much-loved songs.

City Choir will be accompanied by a jazz quintet and orchestra, while the Swing Riot Dunedin dance group will sizzle on the dance floor and invite you to swing along with them.

This is a general admission, child-friendly, FREE concert in the Dunedin Town Hall. Suggested koha/donation $10 per person. Seating in the stalls is arranged café style at tables and the usual theatre seating in the gallery will be open.

Read more about the fabulous line-up of artists: 

City Choir Dunedin
City Choir Dunedin has been entertaining audiences for over 150 years. Critically acclaimed conductor David Burchell has been Musical Director since 2000 and under David’s baton and direction City Choir performs a wide range of genres, from classical to contemporary, to a very high standard. In 2010 City Choir presented a jazz performance: Zimbe! Come sing the songs of Africa! by Alexander L’Estrange. In the words of the reviewer: “This infectiously joyful and energetic show had the audience clapping along and won all performers a standing ovation.”

Sophie Morris
Sophie Morris is a Dunedin-based singer and actor who has trained in operatic, classical-crossover, musical theatre and contemporary singing at the University of Otago. Sophie has performed sell-out nights of her own concerts “Sophie Goes to Broadway” and “Sophie Morris on Stage” at Allen Hall and the Glenroy respectively. Her début album “Sophie Morris – Songs from the Stage” has been released. Sophie received accolades for her performance with The Ten Tenors on their New Zealand ‘Wish You Were Here’ tour in May and June this year.

Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra
The DCJO was founded in 1988 by Calder Prescott, the present Musical Director. The orchestra has performed in England, at the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Germany, The Netherlands, the West Coast USA, Sydney, Invercargill, Queenstown, Alexandra, Ranfurly, Oamaru, Christchurch and of course, Dunedin.  The DCJO’s specialty is the music of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the music of the Swing Era. Calder Prescott MNZM, is a well-known and respected Jazz performer, arranger, conductor and educator. He has led Big Bands in New Zealand continuously since 1956. The DCJO has been described as “one of Dunedin's great musical treasures”.

Café Operana
Featuring Helen Webby on pedal harp, Sophia Bidwell on accordion and Lois Johnston on vocals Café Operana re-create the heady atmosphere of a French Salon in the early 1900's. “These three top-flight artists are clearly serious about their music but combined at Whare Flat Festival to present a light-hearted and delightfully quirky show that skipped from heart-stopping Puccini arias to bravura Eastern European dances to tangos and treats of all descriptions. The audience absolutely loved it! And the dresses were great too...” – Máire Ní Chathasaigh.

Southern Youth Choir
The Southern Youth Choir, directed by Benjamin Madden, was formed in 1992. It is comprised of young singers between the ages of 16 and 25 years; some from secondary schools, most from the University of Otago and some continuing to be members after starting their working lives. The choir, an OUSA affiliated student club, aims to up-skill young singers in the Dunedin region to participate in four-part choral music. Of their “Home and Away” performance in May this year the reviewer, Elizabeth Bouman, said: “The choir achieved impressive blend and contrast of tone…”

Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra
Showcasing the best young improvising talent from across Dunedin, this jazz orchestra was formed in 2018 after the successful launch of the Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival in April. The DYJO is a community-based jazz ensemble that caters for school students and adults under the age of 25. Directed by local jazz pianist, Bill Martin, this ensemble performs a variety of jazz standards, as well as original compositions by its members. Having performed successful concerts at Hanover Hall and the Dunedin Public Library, the DYJO is now established as part of the Dunedin jazz scene and will thrill audiences with the energy of its rhythm section and creativity of its horn section.

Swing Riot Dunedin
Swing Riot Dunedin aims to increase the presence of swing dancing in local communities, running events throughout the year. Swing dance is more than just a dance – it’s an era. The term “swing dance” applies to the dances that came out of Harlem, New York in the 1920s with the dance that is now known as Lindy Hop. The dances were heavily influenced by big band jazz and improvisation; in a way, swing dance and jazz music “grew up” together.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Soweto String Quartet

Now here's a brilliant jazz-cum-classical-cum-very-African rhythmic sound. If you've never heard them you should open your ears. Do a You Tube search and turn up the volume. I defy you to keep sitting/standing still. OR listen to this clip

The group was formed by three brothers and a friend in Soweto Township in the mid 1980s. They are classically trained, and have managed to fuse contemporary jazz and their native African rhythms and intonations.

I'd love to see them live, wonder if they'll ever come to Dunedin?

I wonder how you could bottle their verve and energy? If I could, I'd give a large dose to everyone in the choir so we could do Zimbe justice.