Another amazing set of shows in such a beautiful country! We performed five concerts on the North Island, each one different and wonderful.
Rehearsing at the KMC - Jan 17 & 18, 2014
The week before the first show, I met up with the North Island band to rehearse a couple times. The band included Cameron McArthur on bass, Connor McAneny on piano, Tristan Deck on drums and Asher Truppman Lattie on tenor sax. We rehearsed at the KMC building of the University of Auckland. Such a nice space! It has a beautiful piano and all the equipment we needed.
Auckland Jazz & Blues Club - Jan 21, 2014
The first show was at the Point Chevalier RSA for the Auckland Jazz and Blues Club. Over 100 people attended, including friends of friends and everyone seemed really into it. They too had a wonderful grand piano and excellent sound system - all this helps to make us sound great!
Waiheke Island Resort - Jan 24, 2014
Being treated as guests of honour at an upscale resort on an exclusive island next to Auckland was pretty amazing! We performed to a full restaurant for the "Dinner with Mike Field" event, made lots of friends, and sat up to the wee hours chatting to the resort owners about the music industry and the resort industry.
The Bay (Waiheke Island) - Jan 25, 2014
A stage in the middle of a field right next to the ferry terminal was a gorgeous setting for our outdoor concert. We played three sets that seemed to go by so quickly, and in between we got to watch restaurant patrons swing from the venue's rope!
Hamilton Jazz Society - Jan 26, 2014
We had been looking so forward to returning to the Hamilton Jazz Society after our concert in early 2013. And they didn't disappoint! It was great to see familiar faces and have people excited to pickup a copy of the new album. The opening band canceled at the last minute (their pianist's wife was having a baby!) so we started early and got to play a bit longer than planned. Connor fished out a piece of candy wrapper from inside the grand piano before the show, much to the delight of the society, who had noticed it the day before. Thanks, Connor!
Rehearsing with New Musicians - Jan 30 & 31, 2014
Cam and Asher sadly were unable to make our final show, so this gave us the opportunity to meet two new amazing Auckland musos: JY Lee (sax) and Eamon Edmundson-Wells (bass). I ran through the charts with them once each on the Thursday and Friday before our next concert, and they picked up the tunes really quickly. Just amazing!
Schnapps Bar (National Park) - Feb 1, 2014
Our final concert was at a small town pub next to Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park. I had been there four years before with the band Jay Spectre and remembered loud, boisterous crowds and the backpackers next door. So our jazz concert was a new treat for them! Those who came out seemed to enjoy the change of pace from the regular rock & blues feel, and Spud and the rest of the staff made us feel super welcome. An amazing way to end the tour!
Thanks so much to all the venues and especially to the musicians for helping make the New Zealand Rush Mode 2014 Tour so successful! I definitely hope to be back again next year.