The River City Jazzmen

Saturday, January 23

Recognised as one of the very best toe-tapping Dixieland bands in the country!
Christchurch’s River City Jazzmen can be summed up in one word: ‘authentic’. The repertoire is faithful to classic Dixieland. The line-up, now in its tenth year, follows the New Orleans’ model, with six skilled and inventive soloists.

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From Bourbon Street Parade’ to The World is Waiting for the Sunrise, the RCJ repertoire boasts in excess of a hundred numbers dating from 1917 up to the best of the 50’s & 60’s trad.

Since its inception and while surviving the traumatic earthquakes of over a decade ago, the band has been extremely busy and successful.  The band won Fat Freddies New Orleans Dixieland Band competition with 16 competing groups.  It featured at the Art Deco festival in Napier and the Taranaki, Wellington and Wanganui Jazz Clubs.  Other festivals include the Christchurch International Jazz and Blues Festival and the inaugural Taupo Jazz Festival.

... the River City Jazzmen played an outstanding performance ... the band was bright, with nice tight ensemble playing and superb improvisations … arrangements were innovative and very entertaining ... great to hear the old standards played with such gusto.  Michael Bain (President, Wellington Jazz Club).

... they are not the first Dixieland band that we’ve hosted in recent years but by far the best. There was nothing old hat, tired or jaded about these ‘Jazz Gentlemen’ … their close harmonies, riffs and interpretation of traditional jazz standards combined with a great sense of showmanship was exceptional. Geoff Atkinson, Chairman, Taranaki Jazz Club.

The River City Jazzmen’s concert will include new arrangements as well as the authentic Dixieland favourites.

When did you last hear The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me - played and sung?  Have you been Undecided in 2020?  The Royal Garden Blues is topical!

  • Neill Pickard (QSM) – Banjo / Guitar / Vocals - founder of the Christchurch Jazz School. Neill is regarded as one of New Zealand’s finest banjo players.
  • Michael Fairhurst - Trumpet / Flugel Horn / Vocals – hails from Dunedin with enormous brass playing talent – virtuoso on the Trumpet in the jazz idiom, with superb ‘lip trill’ skills!
  • Tony Lewis, MNZM - Trombone - has included music, particularly trombone playing of the highest order throughout his busy commercial career. A fine ‘ear’ and enthusiastic improviser.
  • Allan Hawes – Clarinet – has lived in many parts of New Zealand playing clarinet and saxophone.  Has toured overseas with a number of bands.
  • David Pitt  – Acoustic Bass  A very accomplished jazz bass player with exceptional flair. The ‘rock’ of the group. Hear him solo in Big Noise from Winnetka!
  • Lou Moverley – Drums – ex NZ Army Band and NZ Navy Band. A recent addition to the RCJ brings a huge depth of ability and innovation with his ‘driving force’ and complete rhythmical skills. Watch him with Dave Pitt in The Big Noise.

This toe-tapping band from Christchurch is recognised as the best authentic Dixieland band in the country.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear something special.


Physical Address

89 Ardmore Street, Wanaka, Wanaka, Queenstown Lakes 9305, New Zealand



Book Gifted Design, 19 Helwick Street, Wanaka. Also -
plus $3.88 booking fee.

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