Wellington is turning all sultry and subtle this weekend with the now annual jazz festival in town. Jazz greats are visiting and local jazz artists are strutting their stuff in full concerts and short recitals. We had third row seats to see Joshua Redman and his quartet but because there the only empty seat in the theatre was in front of us we were even closer to the maestro on stage.
We might on the edge of the world down but often benefit from international artists who make small detour to New Zealand when touring Australia and find deeply appreciative audiences. We certainly try to take advantage of local and visiting productions when they come to Wellington. Last year we saw Cassandra Wilson whose voice was as hypnotic as the saxophone playing of Joshua Redman this year. Now I come to think of it we’ve been lucky enough to see a few musicians as they cruise through Wellington in the last year, including Hugh Laurie, Ukelele Orchestra of GB, Madeleine Peyroux, Tallis Scholars and The Tokyo String Quartet who were on their farewell tour. In Melbourne, we enjoyed an outstanding concert by Nigel Kennedy who made a solo violin sound almost like a whole orchestra.
I rarely listen to music on my own instead preferring the company of the spoken word. But I love live music, whether it is at a concert, marching bands or a busker on the street. There is something wonderful about the rhythm of music that lifts the soul. Although I learned piano as a child I didn’t keep it up and now I regret that I never did. Talented musicians playing live really put the awe into awesome.