The 1980s

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The 1980s.


Jocelyn Buchanan, former Tauranga Jazz Society president, put together a visual history of the festival which showcased at Creative Tauranga from March 30 over the Easter period. This poster represented the 1980s.



Sold out! The Tauranga racecourse proves to be a great venue with performances staged concurrently in the St. Leger Room and the Members Dining Room on Saturday night, Sunday afternoon and night. Youth Band Competitions keep the place buzzing during Saturday. Audience members wearing their ‘swingers’ were free to move from one venue to another.


Tauranga and the Festival share important milestones together. The city turns 100 and the Jazz festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Public concerts are held at the Town Hall on the Wednesday and Thursday preceding Easter before the Festival continues at the Racecourse. Dick Hopp and Malcolm McNeil are feature performers.


A new event ‘Jazz Goes Dancing’ gives festival goers Big Band music to dance to on Good Friday night. This incredibly popular evening played by one of the headline acts continues for the next 16 years.


Rodger Fox Big Band features as the headline act. Headline act performers are still unpaid but receive travel and accommodation expenses.


The Festival celebrates its 25th Anniversary and features Phil Broadhurst’s ‘Sustenance’ as a headline act. Other feature performers include NZ world class jazz musicians Jim Langabeer, George Chrisholm, Frank Gibson Jr and Rodger Fox. Air NZ flies in from Australia, George Golla and his family to take part in the festivities. The Youth Band Competition gains its first sponsor with Books a Plenty, and Northcote College wins the Best Big Band trophy.


The Festival continues to nurture new talent with Youth Band individual winners. Grant Winterburn (piano), Damian Forlong (trombone) and Nathan Haines (saxophone) going on to become professional musicians.

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The 1980s

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