Tauranga National Jazz Festival - Celebrating The Legacy, Embracing The Future

Published: Fri 22 Mar 2024 10:25 AM
The iconic Port of Tauranga 61st National Jazz Festival opens tomorrow; excitement builds not only for the established names of jazz but also for the emerging talents poised to make their mark.
Amidst the many events of the festival across Tauranga, the National Youth Jazz Competition is a standout, showing a pathway for aspiring musicians and embodying the spirit of creativity that defines the festival.
In its 46th edition, the National Youth Jazz Competition, hosted by Tauranga Jazz Society and held at Baycourt Community & Arts Centre, continues to serve as a vital platform for nurturing young jazz artists from across New Zealand.
The 2024 National Youth Jazz Competition will see 23 Big Bands and 48 Combos competing for 23 coveted trophies, which kicks off on Tuesday.
This cornerstone event of the festival has been instrumental in shaping the careers of numerous successful Kiwi musicians, including artists Hollie Smith and Nathan Haines, many of whom took their first steps at this event.
Tauranga City Council Venues & Events Manager, Nelita Byrne says "Our commitment to the Jazz Festival goes beyond funding; it's about creating a lasting legacy of musical excellence."
"By nurturing and empowering both seasoned performers and emerging talents, we enrich the tapestry of jazz in Aotearoa, ensuring its enduring presence in our cultural heritage,“ emphasises Nelita.
The merging of seasoned performers and budding talents at the Tauranga National Jazz Festival creates a dynamic atmosphere where creativity flourishes and musical boundaries are pushed.
From intimate club sessions to electrifying mainstage performances, attendees will be treated to a diverse spectrum of jazz expressions that captivate the senses and stir the soul.
The jazz festival spreads its magic citywide - from a Sunset Cruise to Mount Maunganui and the bustling city centre, the 2024 festival returns to its roots, with the Downtown Carnival this year hosted in bars with stages over Easter Weekend on Wharf Street, Red Square and a family fun zone on the waterfront.
As the curtain rises tomorrow on the 61st National Jazz Festival in Tauranga, anticipation builds for a range of events, including the National Youth Jazz Competition which serves as a testament to the festival’s legacy in fostering young musicians and influencing the cultural landscape of Tauranga and beyond.

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