Make sure you’re in Christchurch from 3-7 April. You don’t want to miss our very own Jazz and Blues Festival.

This years festival programme is small but perfectly formed. Perennial favourite Mary Coughlan is back, as are local talents Jennine Bailey, Naomi Ferguson, Ariana Tikao, Rosa Shiels , Graham Wardrop and Harry Harrison. These guys are all  class acts and I’m especially looking forward to Mary Coughlan, Jennine Bailey and Naomi Ferguson in their Celebrating Women in Jazz session.

The star of the festival though, is Grammy Award winner Bonnie Raitt  who returns as part of a world tour to promote Slipstream, her nineteenth studio album. There’s no doubt she’ll be a sell out. She’s accompanied by other excellent overseas acts including Kiwi hero Nathan Haines (fresh from appearances at Ronnie Scotts) and a British rockabilly trio of talented multi-instrumentalists Kitty Daisy & Lewis whose latest track features in the film Gangsta Squad. Toni Randle, a Kiwi singer song-writer with a growing reputation and a fine voice, is also a guest star.

A delicious little extra this year is the chance to sample New Orleans style food at The George while you listen – giving those of us who will never make to the American South a chance experience just a touch of the real thing.

To get a good look at the  programme look for the paper copies at Christchurch City Libraries, or find it online .