Fangirl Heads South

It was one of those moments when you hear your crazy calling and decide in a split second to just indulge it. Your favourite singer was performing 3 nights in a row on the same island as you … why not go to all three gigs?

Sure it meant driving more than the entire length of said island in less than 3 days, while going to three concerts, booking motels, concert tickets, taking a half day off work, but life is for living and following your passions, and everyone knows I’m passionate about the glorious Tami Neilson.

Tami NeilsonLuckily for me my husband is a fan boy of almost equal proportions (competitive moi?), so he was all up for the adventure.

The first night of the adventure was a Thursday night, and Tami was performing at Charles Luney Auditorium here in Christchurch. It was sold out and it was a very refined, well behaved audience… well except for the devotees like us, who of course know the words of her songs and cheer and whoop enthusiastically.

Cover of Martin & MahaliaThe show was part of the Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz and Blues Festival. It was an exploration of the road from gospel to rock and roll. Tami sang examples of early gospel and blues and talked about the influence of  various artists such as Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mavis Staples on artists such as Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and many others. The second half of the show was her own work. Her band, her ‘Red Hot Band of Rhythm’, are all top New Zealand musicians she has worked with often and they are obviously loving what they do.

Friday lunchtime, we leave work at 12, rush home, throw some clothes and snacks in the car and head nonstop for Dunedin. Another awesome concert – a different crowd and venue gives a different vibe, more intimate and grateful. You get the sense so many more people here actually know her music.

Tami wowing in Queenstown – photo: Purplerulz

Next morning, and we’re heading to Queenstown, through parts of the country we haven’t seen in decades, if ever.There’s a little snow around, hardly any traffic, and the rolling hills through the Rock and Pillar range are truly breathtaking. Road trips in New Zealand are just wondrous.

It’s a weird little crowd at this last gig. They’ve got a definite country pub thing going on, a lot of them have been drinking for quite a while, so are behaving rather boorishly and in the end, Tami, after trying her darnedest to engage with them, gives them what they want, music to dance to – she even sings Happy birthday.

We get back home that night wishing we didn’t have work in the morning, but the memories and the music are buzzing in our brains, and does so for days after.

If you have a passion for music, check out the wealth of music and learning to be had within Christchurch City Libraries’ databases, like  American Song which offers rich pickings in many genres, Gospel being among them.

So, moral of this long tale? Take a chance, if you say, “no, that’s crazy I shouldn’t” then I strongly recommend that you do. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Find out more

The Gig Guide: July 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Other

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: June 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Theatre

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: May 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Music

May presents many more opportunities to listen to music than usual in Christchurch with New Zealand Music Month performances at a library near you including Adam McGrath of The Eastern, as well as the Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival.

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival 2016

Jazz and blues FestivalThe Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival is coming to Christchurch from the 25 to 29 May 2016. Discover more about the Festival, and the jazz and blues resources in our collection.

2016 performers

Ramsey LewisMulti Grammy Award winning jazz pianist and composer, Ramsey Lewis will perform with The Ramsey Lewis Quartet at the Isaac Theatre Royal on Thursday 26 May.

25th Anniversary Gala Concert celebrates 25 years of the Jazz School in Christchurch and the concert will feature ‘everything’ Christchurch Jazz at the Isaac Theatre Royal, Wednesday 25 May.

Jazz Dine will take place at the George Hotel and Dormer Jazz and Blues Club at The Gym at The Arts Centre. The club will host a selection of festival shows.

The Jazz in the City series includes special performances by Tami Neilson, Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes, and the Hipstamatics.

Find Jazz and Blues Festival performers’ works in our collection

Hetty KateRangi RuruTami Neilson

Images supplied by the Cavell Leitch NZ Jazz and Blues Festival

Jazz and blues in our collection

Jazz and 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.

Cover of 'Jazz' Cover Cover

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.

Freegal Friday #11: Jazzed and blue

Christchurch music lovers – every week get your Freegal on and download your three free music MP3s.

This week the theme is jazz and blues.

Cover of John Coltrane Cover of Charlie Musselwhite Cover of Alberta Hunter Cover of Blind Willie McTell Cover of B. B. King Cover of Billie Holiday

Here in Christchurch, the Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival runs from 22 April to 27 April 2014. This year’s festival will use a hotel ballroom, churches, restaurants and bars as venues. Performers at the Jazz and Blues Festival include:

Jazz and blues resources

Download with your library card and PIN. What have you downloaded this week? Do tell!

Music – When it Hits You, You Feel No Pain – Bob Marley

There are few people who don’t have some kind of relationship with music. I have always been quite passionate cover of The Man Called Cashabout all types of music. I’ll listen to pretty much anything, except for thrash metal, most hip hop (but some I like), trance and, as I am a heathen, most classical music. I’ll also sing like no-one’s listening. Sadly for some, they actually are.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life – Berhold Auerbach

My particular passions at present would have to be Appalachian music (part of the Bluegrass genre), Johnny Cash, those with interesting voices such as Iris Dement, Gillian Welch and Tom Waits and many New Zealand artists. I’m a sucker for a sad song or a good love song, and it has to take me on a journey, just like a good book.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent – Victor Hugo

Luckily for me, Christchurch City Libraries caters to just about musical taste and not just in the traditional CD format.

Cover of Clawing at the Limits of Cool

Online resources available to library members range from downloadable songs from the latest artists through to obscure academic tomes for the study of even more obscure genres and artists in Classical or Jazz.  Below is just a taste of what you can find online through our web site.

  • Freegal: lets you legally download and keep  MP3s from the Sony Music Catalogue. You can download up to three each week.
  • Naxos: The largest online streaming of classical music. Anything from libretti and synopses of over 700 operas to 164 full length videos.
  • Smithsonian Global Sound: A virtual encyclopedia of the world’s musical and aural tradition, including spoken word, natural and human made sounds. Here you’ll find anything from Calypso to the sound of a frog being eaten by a snake.
  • Fine Arts and Music Collection: Magazines, academic journal, audio, images and news for music as well as drama, art, history and film making.
  • Music Online: Contemporary World Music from every continent, you can find everything from Bollywood to Arab Swing and Gospel.
  • Oxford Music Online:  A gateway offering users the ability to access and cross-search multiple musical references.
  • American Song: A history database that allows people to hear an feel the music from America’s past

Add to these online resources our catalogue of CDs from Opera, through to Jazz and World music,  Pop, Blues, Musicals and Country. We have concerts, operas and classical music on DVD to watch as well.

There are musical scores, biographies about well known artists, and books on the history of music.

So come searching through our catalogues, or pop into your local library and find some treasures.

Who do you love to listen to? Which artists from which genres and time periods? How do you choose to listen to music?

Jazzing it up in Christchurch

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 .

Summertime, and the living is easy …

Hugh Campbell and Jon Hooker… or so it seemed for a lazy hour at South Library last Saturday. The sun streamed in through tall windows and it was easy to forget that winter is just around the corner as local duo Hugh Campbell and Jon Hooker treated book browsers and music lovers to the gentle sound of fingerpicking, slide and blues guitar.

It was great to see people hunting for books while tapping their feet to the rhythm of the blues. And one elderly couple was spotted jiving in a stately fashion as the Cannonball Rag twinkled over the non-fiction shelves.

I’d like to think that one or two young people were inspired to pick up a copy of Guitar for Beginners by Minna Lacey or to grab The Devil’s Music: A History of the Blues by Giles Oakley. I borrowed a CD called Ragtime Memories and I’m almost sure I saw that elderly couple leaving with a copy of Peggy Spencer’s The Joy Of Dancing tucked under an arm.

Hugh and Jon are playing at New Brighton Library at 2pm tomorrow and at Shirley Library at 2pm Wednesday, 25 May. Head on down, grab a sofa and enjoy a slice of summer.