World-class guitarist stops in for intimate gig

By James Fuller

One hundred concert-goers in Omokoroa last night enjoyed the soulful sound of solo guitarist Paul Ubana Jones.

Omokoroa Boat Club was the second date on the popular musician's 13-stop nationwide tour.

His Great Summer Tour will feature concerts in Whakatane on January 11 and Coromandel's Flaxmill Bay on January 12, as well as stops in Gisborne, Dunedin and Te Anau.

Phil Cox, commodore at the Omokoroa Boat Club, said it was a good crowd and the venue was becoming known for small, intimate concerts such as this.

"In the last year we've been hosting a few more of these international artists and that started with Big Daddy Wilson. We're getting a bit of a name as being a nice, friendly location for acts like Paul.

"We've tried some of the noisier rock groups but they didn't really fit and we can only cater for 200."

The concert was opened by local musician Chris Smart. Tickets cost $25 for non-members.

"That's pretty good for three hours live entertainment," said Mr Cox.

"What does it cost to go to the movies these days?"

Mr Jones was born in London, to a Yorkshire mother and a Nigerian father, and has enjoyed a career spanning more than three decades. In the late 1980s, he moved to New Zealand with his family and is well known to audiences on both islands.

The gravelly-voiced singer, who is known for his unfettered acoustic style, has recorded seven albums.

He is a regular at jazz, blues and folk festivals around the world and has opened concerts for the likes of Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. He has also played with popular artists including Crowded House and Norah Jones.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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