Two day carnival of jazz in downtown Tauranga

Thousands of people are enjoying the beautiful weather and jazz in downtown Tauranga this weekend. Photos/Video: Daniel Hines/SunLive

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The carnival atmosphere in central Tauranga has enveloped more streets than ever before, with the recently upgraded Wharf Street becoming a new and special staged area at this year’s 58th National Jazz Festival.

The festive sparkling street, festooned with Chinese lanterns, is a fine place to stroll around listening to jazz, swing, blues and funk while tasting tantalising dishes from many of the downtown bars and restaurants.

The two-day carnival began this morning with a vintage car parade from Cliff Rd, along Willow St and on to the waterfront car park.

From 12–6pm, the Strand, Wharf Street and Red Square are alive with music.

The bars and restaurants participating include CBK on the Red Square; and The Barrel Room, Ariranga Sushi, Hop House, Dry Dock, Sugo, Chook Nook, Pho Vina, and Thai Thani on Wharf Street. On The Strand are ZOZO Asian Food, La Mexica, The Cornerstone, Takara Japanese Restaurant, Crown and Badger, Norris and Bell, Volare, India Today, Miss Gees, The Phoenix, Macau, Brooklyn Patio and Eatery, Oscar and Otto, and Lone Star.

A family fun zone is also running from 11am–6pm, with entertainment rides for children at Masonic Park.

Today from 12pm to 6pm four bands on each of five stages will play for about 75 minutes each. Sabatar, New Bop Quintet, Mandy Meadows Band and The Gapara Project are playing on the Eves Realty Stage One. Over on Hotel Armitage Stage Two are Youth Bands, Caitriona Fallon, Hot Foot and Holy Pocket.  On Downtown Tauranga Stage Three are Bluelight Trio, Sam & Loris Duo with Mike Murane, Superhero Second Line and Spiral. On NZ Sound Stage Four are Sam & Loris Duo with Cam McArthur, Lewis McCallum, Chicama Wave Duo, and Bluelight Trio. On Carters Stage Five are The Whittakers, Alex Trask Quartet, Kokomo and Shaken Not Stirred.

Joining the festival tomorrow will be The Little Big Markets, with arts, crafts, food and gift stalls along the waterfront car park from 10am–2pm.

The stages along the streets will come alive with jazz again on Sunday from 12–6pm, with the family fun zone again open to children at Masonic Park.

Bands on Easter Sunday will again play from 12pm to 6pm with four bands on each of five stages playing for about 75 minutes each.

On the Eves Realty Stage One will be The Torch Songs Band, Audio Farm, Sabatar and The Holy Pocket.  On Hotel Armitage Stage Two will be Lewis McCallum, Hot Foot, Heavy Lounge and Spiral. On Downtown Tauranga Stage Three will be Mandy Meadows Band, Afrolites, 10:32, and Kylie Tood & The Funkalicious Bandits. On the NZ Sound Stage Four will be Sam & Loris Duo with Cam McArthure, Chicama Wave Duo, Kokomo and Collision. On Carters Stage Five will be Alicia, Bluelight Trio, Sam & Loris Duo with Mike Murane, and Instant Party Machine.

Leaving the waterfront in the late afternoon on Easter Saturday and Sunday is the historic solid kauri Kewpie, taking passengers back to yesteryear on a scenic jazz sunset cruise across Tauranga harbour.

The crew of the Kewpie will welcome aboard about 50 passengers on each of the Easter cruises for the unique, unforgettable sunset experience, where you can also enjoy a selection of drinks and snacks while being entertained by on-board jazz.

With music playing, the Kewpie will head down the harbour, going under the harbour bridge and past the marina and shipping channels, giving passengers the opportunity to take in the sights of the port. Gliding along to Pilot Bay, the classic cruise boat will sail past the statue at the harbour entrance and across to Matakana Island, before returning back to The Strand.

Admission to the carnival will be by gold coin entry. For children aged 14 and under, admission is free.

The Jazz Sunset Cruise will depart The Strand at 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, April 3 and 4. Licensed drinks and snacks are an additional charge. Bookings can be made at Baycourt, or via:

Saturday April 3:
Music 12pm – 6pm | The Strand, Wharf St, Red Square
Family Fun Zone 11 – 6pm | Entertainment rides for the children. Waterfront Playground
Sunday April 4:
The Little Big Markets: 10am – 2pm | Arts and crafts, food and gifts. Waterfront Carpark
Music 12pm – 6pm | The Strand, Wharf St, Red Square
Family Fun Zone 11 – 6pm | Entertainment rides for the children. Waterfront Playground
The full calendar of events can be found at:

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Posted on 03-04-2021 21:33 | By Bruja

by removing the Blues Genre. THEY are the BEST of this Festival and always will be. Hell I hope you Blues folks will NOT leave us next year. PLEASE.... a Blues Festival here. Thank you. xo