Pic 2: BTG220221JP2 Caption: The setting could not have been more perfect.
Pic 3: BTG220221JP3 Caption: Two tiny fans Charlie Bell and Alex Buddle try out Steve Wallace's trumpet.
Pic 4: BTG220221JP4 Caption: These newly-weds Kenton and Angela Simpson came down for a waltz.
Pic 5: BTG220221JP5 Caption: This group from the camping ground grabbed the prime shady spot.
Pic 6: BTG220221JP6 Caption: Over 100 music lovers relaxed in the shade to the tune "Autumn Leaves".
By Dave Murdoch
The sun shone warmly and the sheltered lower domain in Dannevirke next to the aviary proved the perfect amphitheatre for the smooth jazz sound of Bandy McJazz Band on Sunday afternoon February 14.
Acoustics were perfect as the band played from its stage and the music just wafted into the surrounding trees which mercifully provided shade for most of the 100-strong group of music lovers.
The band featured very experienced musicians – David Selfe on keyboard, Ron Wallace on drums, Steve Wallace on trumpet, Sheila Leeper on violin, Brian Quick on jazz guitar and Rosemary Quick on flute.
What was very evident from the first item onwards is the band loves playing together and has a smooth jazz sound which in true jazz fashion allows each player to chime in and feature a variation seamlessly.
Built around David Selfe on keyboard who was also compere, items would take up to five minutes each to explore the theme and the first hour cruised by as numbers like Autumn Leaves, Watermelon Man, Fly Me To The Moon and Cute were played ending with I Love Paris.
The crowd just sat back and absorbed the entertainment applauding enthusiastically after each item and occasionally a solo riff.
A newly married couple, Angela and Kenton Simpson, popped in for a quick waltz and several two-year olds kept returning to jiggle to the sounds and take in the action.
The second half began with some bouncy numbers Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey and Bye Bye Blackbird continuing with more popular jazz standards Sweet Georgia Brown and When the Saints Go Marching In before slowing the tempo with Summertime, The Girl From Ipanema and Pink Cherry.
The final item C Jam Blues wound up a very enjoyable and relaxing afternoon. Campers from a full Dannevirke Motor Camp expressed great pleasure after the experience as they walked down to their campervans carrying their deck chairs. "So lovely, so convenient and free!" exclaimed one.
Local residents loved it too. Anne Holdaway expressed the opinion of the group with her post "Went to Domain this afternoon, one word - wonderful. Everyone old and young had such a good time. Big thanks to the Jazz group, very social at half time. Great music. Do hope the council will consider using this venue again. Big thanks."
Mayor Tracey Collis and husband Mike spent the whole afternoon there and Tracey said "it was wonderful and opens up the prospect of the use of such facilities throughout the Tararua for all sorts of cultural events."
Jazz in the Park was the initiative of David Selfe of the Old Dairy Factory supported by the Tararua District Council and Creative Communities. David has been playing in a similar jazz afternoon at Havelock North for up to a decade and approached the TDC to trial it in Tararua. They were happy to help back it.
Come along and support such a unique experience to show the council they were right.
Jazz in the Park played again on Sunday February 14 in Woodville's Fountaine Square, plays at the Pongoroa Hotel on Saturday March 20, Norsewood's Thor Street Green Saturday March 27, Eketahuna Camping Ground Sunday April 4 and Easter Monday April 5 at Pahiatua Bush Multisport Park.