The vitality and amazing talent of youth will take centre stage at the Rotorua Jazz Club this weekend when North & South and the Western Height Big Band perform.

North & South is a four-piece combo, based in Wellington and Christchurch, made up of outstanding young musicians: Sam MacKenzie of Rotorua on drums, Louisa Williamson from Taupo on tenor saxophone, Leonardo Coghini from Wellington on keyboard, and Hamish Smith from Christchurch on bass guitar.

The Rotorua Jazz Club is looking forward to having them perform in the city again " the last time they performed here the audience were amazed by their maturity and exceptional talent, said Dave Cown, Rotorua Jazz Club band organiser.

"They are spectacularly good. Individually they have all won musical prizes, and they only come together rarely. They just blew us away the last time they played here," he said.


Mr Cown said it was fantastic to see young people performing jazz.

"Fifty years ago, it was common to hear jazz being played and so people gravitated towards it, but now the popularity of the genre has dropped off and young people are not listening to it or playing it."

To encourage young people to play the genre, the Rotorua Jazz Club has a brief of fostering young jazz talent as well as providing a stage on which to perform.

The Western Heights Big Band will also perform on Sunday. Doors open at 4pm, as does the cash bar.


* What: North & South

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* Where: Arawa Park Racecourse

* When: Sunday 4.30pm-8pm