They’re back. City Jazz and Orient Express returned to Ōtaki for another of the jazzy afternoon concerts at Hadfield Hall.
After an absence of a couple of years, the two Wellington bands had the audience a tappin’ and a clappin’ as they brought a mix of Chinese and American jazz to life.
Orient Express played the first half, with some “old Shanghai” jazz and some from the 1920’s and 30’s Shanghai, with many of the tunes familiar to all. Included was a musical interlude to the music of Bonnie and Clyde with the separate instruments taking a verse and other songs with the band accompanying — love songs, one about the emperors life, finishing up with Jamba Bayou and inviting people to dance along.
City Jazz’s repertoire includes Dixieland and swing music with a some rock’n’roll and ballroom as well. They played many of the old favourites Roses of Picardy and Muskrat Tango, Elton John’s Daniel and Louis Armstrong’s Route 66 among them, with the two bands joining for the finale, a rousing rendition of When the Saints.
These concerts have been a popular event on the Anglican Church calendar for over 20 years, since concert organiser, Michael Bain, first brought jazz concerts to Ōtaki.
Proceeds for the concert will go towards the Hadfield Hall renovations.