Downtown Carnival

Tauranga City comes alive with jazz!

Downtown Tauranga is the place to be this Easter with two days of music and entertainment that will keep you dancing all weekend!

With multiple stages along the Strand, extending through the new Wharf Street Precinct and Red Square, there is music for everyone to enjoy from jazz, swing, blues and funk.

Keep the kids happy at the Family Fun Zone, stroll around the city shops, then grab a seat at one of Downtown’s many fine bars and restaurants to enjoy a tantalising meal with your jazz!

Strolling musicians, arts and craft market, a Vintage Car Parade all add to the Downtown Carnival atmosphere.

Come and experience the best party in town!

Saturday 3 APRIL

  • Vintage Car Parade 11am Dress up and join the band! | Route: Starts at Cliff Rd, down Willow St, Spring Street, Durham Street to the Waterfront Carpark.
    Vintage cars will be on display until 1pm at Waterfront Carpark.
  • Music 12pm – 6pm | The Strand, Wharf St, Red Square
  • Family Fun Zone 11 – 6pm | Entertainment rides for the children. Waterfront Playground

Sunday 4 APRIL

  • The Little Big Markets: 10am – 2pm | Arts and crafts, food and gifts. Waterfront Carpark
  • Music 12pm – 6pm | The Strand, Wharf St, Red Square
  • Family Fun Zone 11 – 6pm | Entertainment rides for the children. Waterfront Playground


10:32 is the new project from London-based artist, Bridget Walsh performing here as an Aotearoa duo with Bridget on vocals, keys, synths and samples, and local artist, Jess Hix, on drums and percussion.

A groove heavy jazz-funk band from Tauranga. Formed in 2014, their vibe has transmuted over the years into a psychedelic jam monster dripping with cinematic flavour. Regulars on the festival scene and always keen to start a dance party. Ian Richards drums,  Nik Jenkins bass, Ben Smith guitar, Julian Perry keys, Fabiano Fava trumpet.

Saxophonist Alex Trask returns to his home town to present a selection of west coast jazz. Featuring musicians hailing from Tauranga and Wellington, the group play the music of west coast luminaries such as Art Pepper, Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck. Featuring Alex Trask, Akash Dutta, Thomas Moore, Paul Hoskin.

Alícía is a guitarist, singer-songwriter and double bassist from Tāmaki Makaurau, with an infectious blend of jazz with beat-driven RnB and spoken word. Bringing her quartet, together with an array of fresh instrumental and vocal compositions.

Audio Farm are a small band with a large sound. Laying down funky second line grooves that morph into a more drum and bass style of music with improvised lines over the top. Nothing is ever the same! Jess Hix, Andrew Hall and Oliver Furneaux.

Though international travel is not really an option these days, here’s an opportunity to reminisce on your travel memories with ‘The Bluelight Trio’. This musical journey around the world will take you from the Mediterranean to South America and beyond… You will likely recognise Tracey Collins (Accordion), Pascal Roggen (Violin) and Alan MacDonald (Percussion) as they are well known faces at the festival. This entertaining trio will delight your senses with an eclectic assortment of tunes from around the globe.


Caitríona Fallon is an accomplished performer with a “spine tingling voice” ( UNO Magazine) But more importantly she just loves singing with this band, and it shows! Originally from Ireland, Caitriona aka Cookie began her singing career in “Riverdance” performing lead vocals on the World Tour. Catriona performs with her fabulous band of Leon Gray- piano, Aaron Wright – guitar, Wayne Melville – bass, and Marc Anderson drums.

Acoustic Latin/Brazilian flavoured jazz featuring guitar, flute, horns and percussion from Geoff Culverwell – an International recording artist and soloist.

NZ Funk pioneers, Collision are back into the groove after over 40 years! This international band was formed in the early 1970s and their self-titled album Collision released in 1978, is a groove classic. The core of Collision, brothers Ali Morgan on guitar, Hira Morgan on sax/percussion have returned home with a 2nd and 3rd generation whanau musicians to celebrate their legacy as masters of the funk groove. Aotearoa’s Funk is back!

Hira Morgan, Ali Morgan, Reelman Monga, Hone Hughes, Mike Booth, Nathan Koretz, Colin Henry, Leyton Greening.

Heavy Lounge will be serving up a super smooth fusion of Latin jazz roots music.

Cameron Olsen – guitar, Freddy Limbert – drums, Ashley Knox – bass/guitar, Ben Wilcock – keys.

The Holy Pocket – musicians on a mission to generate movement of your hips and put a smile on your lips with spine tingling, soul saving music. Inspired by the fun-loving, free ‘n’ easy, deeply funky spirit of New Orleans.

Bruce Madden, Fiona Cosgrove, Tim Vaughan, Bill Newns, Ross Devereux, Steve Rooney

Ron Samsom, Cameron McArthur and Roger Manins have two important things in common: They love to run (not too fast or too far) and they love playing music together! Hot Foot joyously explores jazz standards in the saxophone trio format.

Clarinetist Ian Falconer plays old-time swing jazz and he follows artists like Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Pete Fountain, Sidney Bechet, Kenny Ball, and Dutch Swing College.  

Inspired by boogaloo artists and great partygoers of the last century, Instant Party Machine delivers a high octane jazz soul experience featuring pop hits to hard bop from Alex Trask, Akash Dutta, Teej Shirtcliffe, Abe Baille.

Based in the sunny Bay of Plenty, Kokomo is one of New Zealand’s leading blues ‘n’ roots bands, having established a unique and distinctive style and becoming renowned for dynamic live shows and highly-regarded songwriting. Featuring Derek Jacombs – acoustic guitar | vocals, Nigel Masters – bass, Grant Bullot – harmonica | percussion, Sonia Bullot – trumpet, Ian “Beano” Gilpin – drums with special guest: Santiago Rebagliati – guitar.

Kylie Todd is a soulful singer influenced by the likes of Gretchen Parlato, Alicia Keys, Tierney Sutton, and Ledisi. Together with her funkalicious band she will bring a spicy flavour to some of her favourite Jazz standards and classic tunes. She will be joined by Sam Swindells- Guitar, Nick Taylor – Bass, Stallone D’Souza – Keys and Dean Rodrigues -Drums.

Be warned, you may find yourself dancing in the street!

Lewis McCallum is one of New Zealand’s most exciting and innovative musicians. Lewis brings his deep knowledge of jazz and fuses it with modern forms of dance and beats culture to present a truly unique sound.

Lewis was awarded Best Saxophonist in 1996 and Best Young Jazz Musician in 1997 at the National Youth Jazz Competition and performs with some big names in music including Opensouls, Manhattan Transfer, and the APO. 

Plus that’s him on the cover of the 2021 National Jazz Festival programme. 

Jazz singer Mandy Meadows, now residing in Tauranga, has returned from 5 years in London performing in luxury hotels and at Ronnie Scott’s. Mandy is delighted to have returned home, collaborating with excellent local talent to bring the joy of jazz to The Bay of Plenty. Alana Milson – keys, Mandy Meadows – vocals, Trevor Braunias- guitar, Leith Milson – bass, Steve Mills – drums, Bill Forrest – sax, Grant Mason-trumpet.

Auckland based NewBop Quintet shines a fresh light on the key aspects of Hard Bop – a close link with the blues, a strong rhythmical presence, and strong melody lines.  Hard Bop connects with New Bop through a smattering of original tunes and a familiar yet fresh take on standards like So What and Straight No Chaser.  Great music and a great band!

Mike Booth on Trumpet – with credits from a wide musical spectrum, Pete France on Sax – don’t let the Scottish accent fool you, his sax translates easily, Frank Gibson Jr on Drums is an icon of the NZ music scene, Kevin Field on piano is currently arguably NZ’s finest,  and Cam McArthur who is Auckland’s most in demand bassist. 

Sabatar is a local quintet featuring Rod Laurenson on sax, Trevor Braunias on guitar, Jeff Baker on drums, Darren Smith on keys and Chris McMahon on bass. Playing swinging standards, soulful solos, kicking sambas and a few vocals.

Jazz duo Sam & Loris join with Cam McArthur as a jazz trio to perform original arrangements of songs from the Great American Songbook.

Sam Swindells – guitar, Loris Zigon – keys, Cam McArthur – bass

Mike Murane is a stunning jazz vocalist who sings and swings with great enthusiasm and talent and has an infectious style that is reminiscent of the great Frank Sinatra. They will be presenting an exciting and eclectic mixture of songs from the Great American Songbook, jazz/latin standards as well as a jazzified popular cover or two.

Funky Jazz, swingin Jazz, old Jazz, bent Jazz and stinky Jazz. 

Shaken not Stirred feature the horn section of Chris Peirce and Damian Forlong, the vocals and bass playing of Geoff Hern with Deane Hunter on guitar and Andrew Richardson on drums. 

Spiral play groove tunes, drawing from funk, latin, rock, reggae and jazz, served with a good phat dollop of stanky vibe. Hailing from Auckland, Spiral is a collective of 7 in-demand jazz musicians: Steve Harvie, Andrew Hall, Joel Vinsen, Anthony Hunt, David Hodgkinson, Mike Booth, Oliver Furneaux.

Superhero Second Line are a New Orleans Second Line style band who play popular traditional tunes and modern covers with a few of their own originals thrown in. Drawing heavy influences from Rebirth Brass Band, Soul Rebels, Kermit Ruffins and Louis Armstrong this high energy band is a mixing pot of culture and identity not to be missed!

Jess Hix-snare drum, Jono Tan-trombone, Oliver Furneaux-trumpet/vocals, Andrew Hall-sax/vocals, Mike Booth-trumpet, Jake Krishnamurti-trumpet, Dean Rodrigues-bass drum Joel Griffin-sax

The Gapara Project play Afro-Funk original music and a mix of exciting arrangements of Southern African classics. Led by Zimbabwean born saxophonist Thabani, expect a sonic experience of the musical magic of sub Saharan Africa played by a funky and high energy band. Thabani Gapara – sax, Isaac Etimani – bass, Stallone D’Souza – keys, Nathan James – guitar, Elijah White – drums, Forrest Thorpe – trumpet

The Torch Songs Band is a long standing premium 6-piece jazz and blues fusion concert band based in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. Carol Story -vocals, Liam Ryan – keys, Wayne Melville – bass, Neil Reynolds – drums, Dave Maybee – guitar, Grant Mason – trumpet.

The Whittakers are a richly-experienced quintet from Tauranga who play a tantalising mixture of music in a Celtic style with dashes of nouveau retro country and jazzy New Orleans street rhythms. Richard Grautstück Vocals/ Guitar, Robbie Laven Fiddle/Guitar/Whistle/Banjo, Mitz Amores Vocals/Mandolin, Dave Williams Bass/’Vocals, Harvey Win Drums.

When & Where


Book At

Physical locations
0800 842 538
* Service fees apply


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COVID-19 Update

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Saturday afternoon tighter border controls, with everyone arriving in New Zealand having to isolate themselves for 14 days. There will be an official government directive on mass gatherings announced early next week.

We are awaiting details of the official requirements from government and local authorities and will update you as soon as possible if this could have any impact on this year’s National Jazz Festival and National Youth Jazz Competition.

Many thanks for your interest and support.

Tauranga Jazz Society