The New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival 2015

Book cover of Jazz: A History of America's MusicThe Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival is coming to Christchurch from 7 to 12 April 2015. The festival has been providing Christchurch with great international and local performers since 1999. This year there are a variety of ways to get some jazz in your life, from lunchtime concerts in The Gym at the Arts Centre, to music matched with food and wine at The George with the Jazz Dine series.

James Morrison’s A to Z of Jazz looks to be one of the highlights of the festival. Accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne’s James Morrison presents a musical journey through the history of jazz showcasing his talents as a multi-instrumentalist. Many different styles and eras of jazz will be represented with music from jazz legends like Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. If you want to get a crash course in jazz or just want to experience some jazz classics played live, check it out on Saturday 11 April.

Cover of DukeYou can get a taste of James Morrison’s A to Z of Jazz through our Freegal eResource. To learn more about James Morrison, have a read of his biography from our Oxford Music Online eResource.

Another highlight of the festival is England’s Hank Marvin playing as part of the Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz quartet. He is a musical icon that has transcended genres, from his innovative slap-back guitar echo and early rock ‘n roll with The Shadows through to solo albums and folk-jazz. When playing music with the Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz he is accompanied by accordion, rhythm guitar and bass players which is an original folk-jazz sound. Have a listen live on Friday 10 April.

Have a look at items related to Hank Marvin in our library catalogue. You can also find him in our Freegal eResource. To find out more about Hank Marvin, have a read of his biography from our Oxford Music Online eResource.

Book cover of Bloody MaryOther performers this year include:

Listen online to some of our Jazz & Blues eResources:

  • Jazz Music Library includes works licensed from legendary record labels, including Audiophile, Concord Jazz, Jazzology, Milestone, Nessa Records, Original Jazz Classics, Pablo, and Prestige. Also included are Marian McPartland’s Peabody Award winning Piano Jazz Radio Broadcasts and never before released performances from the Monterey Jazz Festival and great jazz venues. Listen online to 1000s of great jazz tracks.
  • American Song provides online access to over 100,000 tracks from  every genre and music period of American history.
  • Freegal lets you download and keep free tracks from their huge database which includes Jazz, Big Band and Blues.

Read some of our previous jazz and blues blog posts, including posts about previous New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festivals.


Canterbury Japan Day 2015 posterカンタベリージャパンデイ は、カンタベリーにお住まいの皆さんに日本の文化を知ってもらえるよう、毎年カンタベリー日本人会が主催しているイベントです。



  • 舞台かぐや姫
  • ガーデンシティビッグバンド、日本太鼓グループ巧、カンタベリー日本人コーラスグループ、交友会による演奏
  • 帯舞
  • 茶道
  • 書道、盆栽、生け花等





Photo of Canterbury Japan Day 2012今年のカンタベリージャパンデイのテーマは秋です。日本の秋の風物詩である紅葉を表現する色とりどりの装飾が会場のファンクションセンターを飾ります。2013年度のテーマは春、そして2014年は夏でした。Photostream から写真をチェック!





このブログを英語で読む – Read this blog post in English.

Canterbury Japan Day 2015

Canterbury Japan Day 2015 posterCanterbury Japan Day is an event organised annually by The Japanese Society of Canterbury with the aim of sharing authentic Japanese culture with Cantabrians.

In 2015 it will take place from 10am to 5pm on Sunday 1 March at Riccarton Park Function Centre, Riccarton Racecourse.

Programme of events

Planned events include:

  • the major attraction “Theatre of Princess Kaguya”;
  • performances by the Garden City Big Band, the Japanese Drums group Takumi, the Canterbury Japanese Choir, and by Koyu-kai, a group who play traditional Japanese instruments like the koto and the sangen;
  • the Kitsuke Obimai – a demonstration of how to put on kimono and obi;
  • a traditional tea ceremony;
  • calligraphy, bonsai, ikebana and paintings.

There will also be some 50 stalls selling Japanese delicacies and craft objects.

The history of Canterbury Japan Day

The inaugural Canterbury Japan Day was held on 11 March 2012 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Japanese Society of Canterbury and the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Japan. It also marked the anniversary of the 2011 East Japan earthquake and tsunami.

The Day proved very popular and has become an annual event, attracting about 20,000 visitors in 2014.


Photo of Canterbury Japan Day 2012The theme for this year’s Canterbury Japan Day is Autumn. Colourful leaves (koyo) will decorate the Function Centre, reflecting the fact that the viewing of Autumn leaves is a popular activity in Japan.

In 2014 the theme was Summer and in 2013 Spring.

Check out photos of previous Japan Days on our photostream.

Our online resources

  • Japanese organisations: listing of Japanese organisations, reflecting a range of cultural, arts and sporting associations. From CINCH, our Community Information Christchurch database.
  • Language courses providers: Japanese language course providers. From CINCH, our Community Information Christchurch database.
  • Mango Languages: Mango is an online language learning system that can help you learn a variety of languages, including Japanese. It also contains instructions on how to learn English for native Japanese speakers. Use at a library or enter your library card & password / PIN.
  • World Languages Collection: learn more about our collection of fiction and non-fiction in languages other than English.
  • New Settlers page: explore the range of resources and services Christchurch City Libraries offers to new residents.

Search our catalogue

Read this blog post in Japanese - このブログを日本語で読む

Freegal Friday: Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year bookmark

Yesterday was the first day of the Year of the Sheep, so this week’s Freegal Friday selection highlights music from some of the countries that celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year.

The albums have been chosen by library colleagues with Chinese, Korean, and Japanese heritage.

Cover of Winter Jasmine Cover of Lion Dance Cover of Jasmine Flower Cover of Korean Folk MusicCover of Secret Garden Drama Cover of Korean Drama Piano Collection 21 Cover of Japan PicturesCover of Eternal Japan

Yang’s Chinese choices

  • Winter Jasmine by Xia Fei-Yun: Yang’s favourite is the song Winter Jasmine, but he says: “Actually I’d recommend the whole album – authentic Spring Festival music played with traditional musical instruments”.
  • Lion Dance by Xia Fei-Yun: Yang highlights Bamboo-Flute Tune because the “bamboo-flute has a fresh and clear sound that makes people feel refreshed”.
  • Jasmine Flower by Guo Gan Trio: Yang’s picks include Mo Li Hua, which is the soundtrack from a famous Chinese song, and Chen Jiang Hua Yue Ye, a famous traditional piece of Chinese music.

Jo’s Korean picks

Tomo’s Japanese selections

How to use Freegal

Not sure how to go about using Freegal? The instructions are straightforward. The key thing to remember is that you can download (and keep for good) three free music MP3s (or one video and one MP3) every week. All you need is your library card and PIN.

More music stuff

크리이스트 쳐치 시립 도서관의 올 설날 행사

올해의 크라이스트 시립 도서관 설날 행사를 확인하세요

Chinese New Year postcard

Fendalton Library: 금요일, 3시 – 5시, 2월 20일 2015

민속 공연을 즐기실 수 있고 연등 만들기 와 여러분의 띠로 알아보는 올해의운세를 확인하세요.

Upper Riccarton Library: 토요일, 10시 45분 – 3시 30분, 2월 21일 2015

사자 탈춤의 시작과 함께 공식 행사가10시 45분 에서 11시에 시작되고 계속해서 민속 공연과 연등 만들기 그리고 여러분의 띠로 알아보는 올해의운세를 알아보세요. 만들기 시간과 다양한 행사에 가족과 함께 참여해보세요.

Central Library Peterborough: 일요일, 10시 30분 – 2시, 2월 22일 2015

민속 공연을 즐기시고 연등 만들기에도 참여하세요. 마오리 깃털 코트 만들기 시간도 마련했습니다.

Lunar New Year Celebrations at Christchurch City Libraries – 20 to 22 February 2015

The Year of the Sheep begins on Thursday 19 February 2015. Find out about the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations which are taking place at Christchurch City Libraries this year.

Chinese New Year postcard

Where and when


Performances will include (in no particular order):

  • Chinese Lion Dance (Qiao Yi Lion Dance Team Christchurch)
  • Japanese Drum (Canterbury Japanese Drum Group TAKUMI)
  • Chinese traditional instruments, dance and songs (Christchurch Fellowship of Song, Dance and Drama; Christchurch Zhong Hua Chinese Society; Elder Fitness Group)
  • Traditional instruments – Yaogu (percussion musical instrument), Erhu (two stringed fiddle), Guzheng (Chinese plucked zither), Hulusi (free reed wind instrument), Flute
  • Chinese Kung Fu sword
  • Mexican dance (Mexican community)
  • Blue and White Porcelain Dance (Christchurch Fellowship of Song, Dance and Drama)
  • New Year story telling
The Qiao Yi Lion Dance Team dragon
The Qiao Yi Lion Dance Team dragon at Upper Riccarton Library , January 2012,
Flickr, CCL-2012-01-23-UpperRiccartonLibrary

Family fun craft sessions and activities

  • Face painting
  • Māori feather cloak making using paper
  • Tea ceremony
  • Lantern making
  • Dough sculpture
  • Chinese zodiac animals

Learn more about Chinese New Year and our Chinese language resources.

Waitangi Day in Christchurch and Canterbury – Friday 6 February 2015

Find out about Christchurch and Canterbury Waitangi Day celebrations this year.
Rapaki Marae citizenship ceremony
6 February 2014. Rāpaki Marae citizenship ceremony. Flickr: 2014-02-06-Citizenship6Feb2014PR-0082. Photo supplied by Christchurch City Council.

Rāpaki Marae 37 Rapaki Drive, Lyttelton

A Waitangi Day community event providing a Māori cultural experience on the marae in conjunction with the Citizenship Ceremony.

10.00am Prepare visitors for an outside welcome ceremony
10.30am Powhiri – Welcome ceremony followed by light refreshments.
11.30am Citizenship Ceremony – Mayor Lianne Dalziel will confer citizenship on new citizens at Rāpaki Marae.
Items by members of Te Ahikaaroa Kapahaka group
1.00pm Hangi, whanau/family activities

Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum 1146 Main Road, Okains Bay

40th consecutive commemorations. The event includes a traditional welcome to the Marae for officials and guests followed by speeches. Local iwi will put down a hangi, re-enact the first landing in two of the Museum’s large Waka. There wil be displays and activities throughout the day, with some stalls, music and access to whole Museum precinct.

Waka launch, Waitangi Day, Okain’s Bay
Waka launch, Waitangi Day, Okain’s Bay, 6 February 1977 Flickr: HWC08-SO10

Rehua Marae 79 Springfield Road, St Albans

There is a Whanau Day at Rehua Marae from 10am to 2pm. Enjoy and participate in weaving, mirimiri, rongoa, tamariki activities, waiata, history of Rehua, and Treaty of Waitangi information.

One Love Waitangi Day Reggae Sound System Albion Square, Lyttelton

A day of celebration with the Kindred Soundsystem playing reggae music all afternoon in Albion Square.

I love New Brighton Thomson Park, Marine Parade, New Brighton

Sports clubs offering have-a-go sport tasters, New Brighton market, live music, food stalls, bouncy castles, free Hellers sausages and information about local community organisations and services.

Kaiapoi Waitangi Day Family Celebrations Troussellot Park, Kaiapoi

A family-friendly event with music, kids’ entertainment and activities, and games.

Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival

Every year Ngāi Tahu commemorates Waitangi Day at one of three locations where the iwi signed the Treaty – Awarua, Ōtākou and Ōnuku. In 2015, the Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival celebrating 175th Anniversary of Treaty is at Te Rau Aroha Marae, at Awarua / Bluff. Pōwhiri starts 11am.

More events on Waitangi Day

Find out more

Happy New Year!

Christchurch City Libraries wish you and yours all the best for 2015.

We are closed on the 1st and 2nd of January. Check out our holiday opening hours for more details.

Greetings from NZEF in the Pacific postcard. File Reference: HWC09-CE-026
The illustration on this Christmas and New Year greeting postcard, 1943-1944, depicts a New Zealander in jungle uniform worn in the Pacific area. The postcard was issued by the National Patriotic Fund Board. Heritage Week 2009 Photo Hunt Entry. File Reference: HWC09-CE-026
Reverse of the postcard. File Reference: HWC09-CE-027
Reverse of the postcard above. Heritage Week 2009 Photo Hunt Entry.
File Reference: HWC09-CE-027

Find out more about New Year’s in New Zealand and around the world.

Our Digital Library is open 24/7 – why not take this chance to have a look around? Download songs from Freegal or eMagazines from Zinio and keep them forever, or explore our treasure trove of online, streaming and digitised resources.

Cover of Billie Holiday Cover of Pure... Voices Cover of Marie Claire Cover of Games master Cover of Homes & Gardens

When the Show comes to town…

Cover of When Country Comes to TownI’d better confess upfront: I have never been to the Show. This probably disqualifies me immediately as a true Cantabrian.

To make sure, I took Roberta’s Pineapple Lumps Kiwiana challenges. The result? Well, let’s just say that I won’t be too surprised if, in the next few days, a friendly immigration officer knocks on my door, demanding to inspect my New Zealand passport…

Since I haven’t been to the Show myself, it may seem a tad disingenuous of me to be recommending that you do head to Canterbury Agricultural Park tomorrow. In my defense, I have wanted to go many a time and would be first at the gate this year if walking wasn’t a bit of a mission for me.

So why should you go? Well, as the events schedule demonstrates, you’d be missing out on lots of fun if you didn’t.

With over 3000 animals competing for Best in Show, you can enjoy the company of horses, sheep, cattle, alpacas, llamas, pigs, goats, donkeys and poultry. The kids (and the kids at heart) can visit the petting area to interact with lambs, calves, puppies, ducklings, chickens and other adorable baby animals. There will be shearing and woodchopping demos, parades and races.

Photograph of Bull parade, Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Show, Christchurch (c.1950)
Bull parade, Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Show, Christchurch (c. 1950)
Christchurch City Libraries Archive collection CCL-Arch978-1-007

If animals are not enough of an attraction for you, keep in mind that the Show also features gourmet food and wine, cooking demonstrations, live music, comedians, a Ferris Wheel and a lolly scramble with a difference (spoiler alert: the lollies are shot from a cannon into the crowd).

And of course, by going to the Show you continue a proud history. The Show has been a Canterbury institution since 1862 and Christchurch Show Day is also a public holiday in Canterbury, celebrating our region’s official anniversary. Check out the following resources to see snapshots of the Show over the years:

So wear your Cantabrian badge with pride at the Show and pet a duckling and a lamb or two for me. And, if you do go, please do share your highlights in the comments section below so that I can enjoy the day vicariously!

Dia de los Muertos at Upper Riccarton Library

On the 1st of November the Mexican community came to Upper Riccarton Library to set up a Dia de los Muertos display. On this day throughout Mexico and, to a lesser extent, in other parts of Latin America, people celebrate Dia de los Muertos: Day of the Dead. That’s right, celebrate – as they understand death not as an ending, but as a pathway.

Dia de Muertos display at Upper Riccarton LibraryIn homes, people create altars to honour and remember their deceased loved ones, and families and friends gather to remember and reminisce by welcoming the opportunity to reflect upon their lives, their heritage and their ancestors. The day is all about love and happiness, not fear and sadness.

This year the display at Upper Riccarton Library was around Frida Kahlo as she is one of the best known Mexican people in the world.  It has been a total success, with heaps of people stopping to look at it and asking questions. We ended up learning that many countries in the world have similar celebrations… it is a small world after all!

Does your culture celebrate a festival similar to Dia de los Muertos?

Discover more:

Upper Riccarton Library