Just before Christmas, top Kiwi jazz man Nathan Haines made a call to Art Deco Trust events director Glen Pickering.

The acclaimed artist had been booked to play a concert as part of the 30th annual Tremains Art Deco Festival but as he told Mr Pickering, those plans would have to be abandoned due to illness.

He had been diagnosed with throat cancer and faced surgeries and a long road to recovery, which he has now begun.

Mr Haines was disappointed he was not able to hit the stage here during the festival with the one-off concert, but suggested his brother Joel could possibly step in to take his place.


Joel had been a regular part of his brother's live band for almost two decades and has written and performed on many of Nathan's award-winning albums.

He is also one of this country's most respected composers and musicians having put together soundtracks for a string of award-winning television series and films.

He's also lent his skills to many chart-topping artists such as Annie Crummer, Che Fu, Hinewehi Mohi and Cairo Knife Fight.

"He said Joel could take over and it started from there," Mr Pickering said.

He agreed Joel would turn on a great show and that it could boost both the Art Deco Festival and Nathan at the same time.

"We thought that rather than cancel we could do something to benefit him during his recovery."

So with the support of Joel and guest artist Tama Waipara and Esther Stephens, the Art Deco Trust has transformed the February 17 concert at Waiapu Cathedral into the Nathan Haines Benefit Concert.

"With profits going to help support Nathan's recovery."

Nathan said he had been humbled by the support from the entire music community.

"And all the fans during this challenging time for me and my family. I'm also very grateful to the Art Deco Trust for their generous support.

"Joel, his band, Tama and Esther are world-class musicians and wish I could be there to experience what I know will be an amazing concert."

Mr Pickering said all tickets issued to the Nathan Haines in Concert show will be valid for the Nathan Haines Benefit Concert.