Photographs will soon line The Strand as part of a photographic history of Tauranga's National Jazz Festival.

The exhibition will be one of the features of the Easter event from April 19 to 23 and will feature all who have contributed to the festival in the past from the beginning in 1963 to the one-day event at the now demolished Memorial Park Soundshell.

The display has been organised largely by Taonga Tauranga members Binnie Brown and Lee-Ann Taylor, who said they had to work hard to meet a tight deadline but believes that people will enjoy the historical record.

"The display, apart from providing viewing of some largely unseen photographs, also charts the history of the event and how it has moved around the city over the last 56 years," Taylor said.

Mike Foley and Patrons 1969. Photo / Supplied
Mike Foley and Patrons 1969. Photo / Supplied

The display shows the start of the festival in very humble circumstances at Memorial Park.

It then moved to the old town hall, on the corner of Willow and Wharf St, then to the Tauranga Racecourse and onwards to the Otumoetai Trust Hotel.

In 1990 the festival became a National event. Seven years later the festival moved to Baycourt and The Jazz Carnival venue along The Strand.

In the following years, the festival expanded to other venues and sites including Holy Trinity Church, the Historic Village and across the harbour in Mount Maunganui.

Jazz on a Summers night 1963. Photo / Supplied
Jazz on a Summers night 1963. Photo / Supplied

Taylor said her favourite images were those showing the Youth Band Competition.

"I think it's great to see kids involved in this genre of music and their participation will ensure that the long association of Jazz-Easter-Tauranga will continue."

Brown, who organises the Taonga Tauranga web site and social media, said the display was a good example of the material a museum in Tauranga could preserve and present at appropriate times.

She said it would effectively ensure "our" history was recorded and would become part of the heritage while making it accessible.


Taonga Tauranga was encouraged by the enthusiasm among local businesses and organisations, Brown said after putting the display together.

"I think it demonstrates that the idea of preserving and displaying our local history is something that a lot of people believe is well worth doing."