Auckland Council’s free summer concert series Music in Parks brought jazz to life at Manurewa’s historic Nathan Homestead.
The free concert was supported by Manurewa Local Board, which is now the only board to fund a concert, and have its chair perform at it.
Several chairs give a speech thanking people for coming to the free concerts, but Manurewa’s Joseph Allan played saxophone and led the Manukau Youth Jazz Orchestra through the concert’s opening set.
While chairing the board, Joseph also devotes time every year to the Manukau Youth Orchestra Society, established in 1974 to provide affordable music tuition to the area’s young people.
That work includes the Manukau Youth Jazz Orchestra, a stage band that at times can boast up to five saxes, four trumpets, four trombones and a rhythm section, with musicians rehearsing on top of their work with the string orchestra playing works by Bach and Mozart.
“We only managed five rehearsals for this one because of the holiday break but I thought the young musicians did a great job.
“The crowd seemed to appreciate the mix of jazz classics with some more modern pieces and they were probably surprised at how skilful and good these young musicians are.”
The band performed a range of instrumental jazz standards before keyboard player Brooke Marino stepped out to take the microphone and perform vocal interpretations of modern jazz classics from greats such as Duke Ellington and Nina Simone.
“The board has always been supportive of the music programme and the band was delighted to be able to take the stage and show residents what they could do.”
Music in Parks continues its free summer concert series across the city until April, with Opera in the Park at St Heliers Glover Park from 5-8pm on Saturday 25 January.