One of the great things about community libraries is the way we can source local expertise and NZMM was a perfect excuse for us to throw out our nets and land some sparkling talent for all to enjoy at Parklands Library.
We opened with singer/songwriter Bryony Matthews. Just returned from a year’s stint in Europe enjoying the live music scene, including the Iceland Airwaves Festival, Bryony captivated us with a soulful presentation of original songs about her emotional and physical journeying. This gig led to live slots for Bryony on The Breeze Radio and Plains FM, a happy outcome to playing in the local library!
Bright, smooth jazz was up next, brought to us by Matt Howes, a poised and accomplished young guitarist and member of the NZ Jazz Orchestra, who took us through relaxing and rocking pieces from names including John Scofield and Miles Davis. With great aplomb Matt turned technical difficulties with loop pedals into an opportunity to interact with his attentive and appreciative audience, letting us into some secrets of interpretation, counter melodies, and techniques of “swinging” a melody. We wish him all the best for his season with the Jazz Orchestra.
Our next “audience” was in the business of making music. Ten young people turned up to Tuesday Tunes to explore GarageBand with our own Betty Situe. Ipads were the instrument of choice and basic principles were quite quickly mastered, resulting in some interesting original pieces, which were burned to a disc to be taken home. A very successful event and hopefully to be repeated.
People came from across town to hear Parklands based James Daniels of The Breeze radio station, joined by fellow musicians, Tony Clark and Malcolm Harris to wow us with “songs world famous in NZ”, the ones we’ve sung around the barbie. Old favourites from Kris Kristoffersen and John Rowles, “How Bizarre,” the theme to “Princess Bride” all created a fun, happy whānau atmosphere of joining in and clapping along to first rate singing and guitar playing. A great day out!
Music Month would not be complete without performances from our children and the Queenspark Primary School Choir was first to entertain family and friends with their enthusiastic singing of a variety of engaging songs, some featuring wonderfully energetic actions.
Parkview School Choir gave us a happy programme including "Haere Mai Everything is Ka Pai", "Just One Earth", "I got the Sun in the Morning", and a swinging version of "Yes Sir That’s my Baby" obviously enjoyed by the singers and certainly by their audience. All in all sweetly satisfying.
On the last Saturday of May we brought Music Month to an end with a bang and our biggest audience yet. Friends, family and customers watched and listened and, in the case of one little girl who almost stole the show, danced to Better Than Bacon, a talented up-and-coming young rock band. Kayne Child on lead guitar, Josh McCaffery on bass, Joel Coleman on drums and Keira Jonkers, singer/songwriter and instrumentalist, had feet tapping and hands clapping with songs like “Joker and the thief” “I love Rock n Roll” and “Can to Can’t”. A highlight was Keira’s superb original song “No Noise Pollution”. With each musician gifted and committed, this band is one to watch for.
Why limit ourselves to the month of May? We hope to continue listening to local musicians throughout the year. Watch this space!
For more photos of performances at Parklands and our other libraries check out our NZ Music Month Flickr 2015 set.