This Friday music lovers will celebrate the return of a jazz club to Kerikeri for the first time in many years.
The free jazz club evenings will be held once a month in a transformed Theatre Bar at the Turner Centre on Cobham Rd, starting with the Dave Hallam Trio on December 2. The band's style is described as "cerebral, sensual and reflective".
Doors open at 5.30pm with music starting at 6.30pm and a second set from 8.30pm. Tapas will be available with seating indoors and outside on the terrace.
The trio consists of Dave Hallam on piano, Denis Winters on drums and John Drake on bass. All three have a wealth of experience with Mr Hallam's career including the South African Navy Band, top hotels in London, and pianist/percussionist/arranger for the Royal New Zealand Navy Band. He is now a music teacher in Kerikeri.
Mr Winters has toured internationally and played for New Zealand artists such as Billy T James, Ray Woolf and Gray Bartlett; while Mr Drake is a Northland music institution, playing with the Whangarei Basin City Big Band, Brian Henderson Trio, Mike Nettmann Trio, Thelonious Punk, Gracenote Jazz Quintet, the Windjammers and many others.
Jazz club evenings will be held monthly but the dates for 2017 have yet to be finalised. It is expected that Far North jazz ensembles will play most months but the organisers are open to bands from other parts of the country.
Santa comes to Paihia
Paihia's Christmas parade isn't the biggest in Northland but it almost certainly boasts the most extravagant and creative floats.
Competition is intense with some teams spending months working on their entries. Paihia School has won several years in a row but word on the street is that it will face a serious challenge to its supremacy this year from Opua School, Paihia-Waitangi Kindergarten and others. Winning floats in previous years have included a space ship and a life-size pirate galleon towing a castle.
The parade starts at 5.30pm on Friday at Kings Rd and makes its way along the waterfront before doubling back via Bayview Rd and finishing on Williams Rd. Prizes will be awarded for best community and business floats.
This year's theme is Under the Sea. For the first time parade-goers will be entertained by a young musician - 15-year-old local songstress Sophia Houben - while they wait for the results and Santa's lolly scramble. Anyone who has worked up an appetite can head to Paihia's weekly street food market at Alongside.
An interesting aside about Paihia's event is that it is probably the only Santa parade in the country to have sparked complaints about nudity and whipping before it had even taken place. While that year's parade did involve scantily clad men and lots of body paint, the rumours about whips and nudity proved unfounded.
Kerikeri parade winners
The winner of last Saturday's Kerikeri Christmas parade was Oakridge Villas, a retirement complex, whose highly entertaining float featured a group of hairy-legged Christmas fairies of advanced age. Second place went to Nurture by Nature early childhood learning centre and third to the Northland Stingrays inline hockey team.
Multicultural carols by candlelight
Bay of Islands residents will be able to experience a multicultural Christmas next week when Ngati Rahiri Maori Komiti hosts Carols by Candlelight at the Waitangi Marae campgrounds.
The event will be on Wednesday, December 7, starting with a hangi at 5pm. At 6pm under-15-year-olds will compete in Paihia-Waitangi's Got Talent with carol singing from 7-9.30pm.
Komiti secretary Hinewhare Harawira said she was encouraging people to bring things reflective of their own cultures, such as traditional dress, food or music. A group from Vanuatu was among those planning to attend. The MC will be "Miss Kihi" Ririnui of Maori Television fame.
Call or text Ms Harawira on 021 184 6701 to pre-order a hangi ($25 for a family pack). Bring your own candles and a picnic blanket or seating.
Art award winner
The inaugural Far North Art Award has been won jointly by Rhonda Halliday of Kerikeri for a ceramic work called Nga Maunga Tapu o Taiamai, and Joanne Barrett of Rawene for her painting called Of Ancient Existence.
The competition was set up by No 1 Parnell Gallery in Rawene to encourage, support and showcase the work of Far North artists, and drew more than 70 entries from across the district. They were whittled down to 26 finalists whose entries will be on show until December 17.
This year's theme was Turangawaewae: Sense of Place. The award was open to all media, including sculpture, painting, installation, weaving, film and ceramics.
Four other entrants won merit awards. They were R Anaru Kleskovich Anderson (for a work called Turangawaewae Kotahitanga: The Place We Stand Together), Jessi McVeagh (Gifts for our Mother), Awhina Murupaenga (Pou Whirinaki) and room 7 at Opononi Area School (Turangawaewae). All four merit winners were in mixed media.
Paihia civil defence
A public meeting is being held in Paihia next Monday to discuss the town's plans for dealing with natural disasters. The meeting is timely given the recent earthquake in North Canterbury and the poor response at a national level to the tsunami alert that followed the magnitude 7.8 quake.
The Paihia Civil Defence meeting will take place in the War Memorial Hall, Williams Rd, at 5.30pm on December 5. Contact Far North District Council civil defence and emergency management officer Ann-Marie Houng Lee on 0800 920 029 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
As a seaside settlement with a state highway next to the water Paihia is particularly vulnerable to tsunamis and storms, as seen when Cyclone Lusi battered the town in 2014.
Business for good
How can the Far North develop new businesses that are profitable but also benefit the community?
That's the subject of an event in Kaikohe Memorial Hall, on Memorial Ave, from 4.30-6.30pm tomorrow, December 1, organised by Far North Thrive.
Successful social entrepreneurs who are already tackling social and environmental problems through "business for good" - including the people behind Kaikohe-based design business Akau and the kaupapa Maori fitness programme Patu Aotearoa - will lead a panel discussion and answer questions from anyone interested in getting involved in social enterprise.
There will also be chances to network with like-minded people and learn about a tool for social enterprise development. Contact Jamie Emery on email@example.com for more information.
The brilliant colours of Kerikeri artist Mieke Apps' fibre and fabric art will be on show in the Theatre Bar at the Turner Centre from today, November 30, until mid-February. Free entry; open weekdays 9am-4pm. If you thought fabric art wasn't your thing this might change your mind.
Do you have news or an upcoming event you'd like to see in this column? Send it to us, including your full contact details, to firstname.lastname@example.org