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Jazz in Martinborough – From Fund-raising Idea to Annual Festival Celebrating Our10th Anniversary 2011-2021

August 24, 2021 August 2021 No Comments

“We never really had a plan for anything long term. We were just rushing to put together a Jazz Festival in 6 weeks,” says Jazz in Martinborough co-founder and long time organiser, Ted Preston.  “It was originally going to the called Jazz from the Gym or something like that because that’s where the late Ian Cresswell first mooted the idea with me,” adds Ted.  “Then Lee (Quayle) came on board and the three of us just got on with it.”

Long time Town Hall supporter and classical music devotee Ian Cresswell had been approached by Rod Andrew from the Adelaide-based Dixie Street Jazz Band to add Martinborough Town Hall to their Spring tour in 2011. Ian had just returned from visiting relatives in Christchurch immediately after the devastating earthquakes.  As Ian is quoted as saying at the time “I sensed a fund-raising opportunity and floated the idea of a small spring  jazz festival.”  And so Jazz in Martinborough was born.

Jazz in Martinborough (JiM) is a community-based enterprise that provides quality jazz music events promoting local jazz talent and incorporating jazz bands and artists from throughout New Zealand.  It aims to promote and benefit our local community, with the focus in recent years turning to the promotion of youth jazz and funding youth jazz scholarships.

“The original festival in 2011 featured many Christchurch musicians who had been unable to play in their own city as most jazz venues in the city were out of action due to the earthquakes there,” explains Ted.  “We also managed to raise $6,000 for the Jazz Schools Trust.”

Subsequent festivals have seen the fund-raising focus move from restoration of the Town Hall, to the provision of quality sound equipment for the new Waihinga Centre, to today’s goal of providing scholarships to the New Zealand Jazz Foundation’s annual Summer school for young and developing jazz musicians.  In 2016 JIM arranged a concert fundraiser for the Kaikoura Earthquake Mayor’s Fund – our community raised $10,000. 

JiM is now well established as an annual event on the Martinborough social calendar. “We have developed and changed over the years including becoming a charity and adding New Zealand’s Doctor of Jazz, Rodger Fox as our patron,” says Ted.

Support from the Martinborough community has been an integral part of the ongoing success of the festival. “All through this time we have had tremendous help from all sorts of groups and individuals from our town and surrounds,” says Ted.  “There is no way we could have provided the festival without the generous support of our venue partners, suppliers, promoters, advertisers, sponsors and local community and service groups, who have given their time, money, goods and services. Of course, we’re been well supported by our patrons, the public who have purchased tickets and attended gigs.  And we’ve attracted  some of the most talented jazz entertainers in the business.”

Since its first festival, JIM has showcased over 130 local artists in over 230 gigs at more than 20 local venues to over 15,000 people. JIM has raised thousands of dollars for charitable and community causes, including the Christchurch and Kaikoura Earthquake Relief Funds. It has also sponsored 15 young Wairarapa jazz musicians to attend the NZ Jazz Summer School.

Tickets for this year’s feature gigs, the Miho Wada Orchestra and Duncan Haynes, are available now from iTicket.

Thats jazz, folks!’

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