Jazz in Martinborough 2023

Martinborough Martinborough
Friday to:
01 Sep
02 Sep


Texas Street, Martinborough

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Running Time: 2 hours each night
Interval: 20 minutes


Texas Street, Martinborough

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Mystical and Lyrical, Bewitching and Astonishing

Jazz in Martinborough returns in 2023 with an old favourite, the Nairobi Trio, and the “mystical and lyrical” Lucien Johnson Quartet, ApraAmcos Jazz Composer of the year.

The festival will again consist of two Town Hall concerts, on the Friday and Saturday nights.  The festival is always on the first weekend of Spring, this year it’s the 1st and 2nd of September 2023. 

Friday Night - Nairobi Trio

Terrific! Nairobi Trio is returning to Martinborough. Our Friday night show features this world-renown, fabulous band of home-grown musicians and composers.  Thirty five years touring and performing across the globe in all manner of settings from village halls, theatres and festivals has honed their skills; they will deliver an entertaining, engaging live show. They bring a breadth of repertoire, dynamic delivery and professional approach to every performance.

Always playing to the crowd, the Nairobi Trio showcase skilfully crafted original material, reimagined standards and a smattering of popular repertoire, all delivered in their inimitable style. The band has recorded 10 albums to date.

Up until the pandemic struck, a typical touring calendar year involved concert tours of Northern Europe, appearances at the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival, New Zealand and Australian tours, events and Festivals, so it’s exciting to mark the resumption of their touring program in 2023. They’re looking forward to coming to Jazz in Martinborough2023.

Nairobi Trio are Richard Adams (Violin/ vocals), John Quigley (Guitar/ vocals) and Aaron Codell (Bass/ vocals).

Saturday Night - Lucien Johnson Quartet

Lucien Johnson’s latest album has been described as “mystical” . . .” lyrical” . . . “bewitching and astonishing”. His live performances are no less mesmerising and illuminating. A standout musical talent, ApraAmcos Jazz Composer of the year, and not to be missed – live, in Martinborough, at Jazz in Martinborough 2023.

Lucien Johnson has been described as “a saxophonist and composer of rare excellence and mettle.” One of New Zealand’s leading jazz musicians, his latest album “Wax//Wane” has met with rave reviews from the international press, with London Jazz News describing it as “Mystical, a touch retro and increasingly spellbinding” and France Musique calling it “bewitching and astonishing”.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Lucien Johnson lived in Paris throughout his 20s, forming a free jazz trio with Alan Silva and Makoto Sato ("Stinging Nettles", Improvised Beings CD). Returning to New Zealand in 2009, he has led several bands including Shogun Orchestra and performed around the world with acts such as Lord Echo and the Black Seeds. 

Johnson spent years living in Paris and New York as well as touring in music festivals and clubs around the world and his powerful and evocative music has been greatly infused by his global experience. Recently nominated for New Zealand Jazz Artist of the year, winner of the ApraAmcos Jazz Composer of the year, Arts Foundation award winner Lucien Johnson and his quartet of esteemed musicians Jonathan Crayford (piano), Tom Callwood (Double Bass)S and Cory Champion (Drums) will deliver what promises to be a sumptuous evening of mesmerizing music from some of Aotearoa’s finest musical luminaries.

Johnson’s saxophone, described by Jazz in Paris as “lyrical as Coltrane, as powerful as Rollins”, soars above the ensemble, bringing mystique and aura to these unique pieces, themselves a study in light and shade.

If you are looking for accommodation in the Wairarapa please contact the Martinborough i-SITE on 06 306 5010 or visit www.wairarapanz.com.

For more information about Jazz in Martinborough go to the website