2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Nathan Haines debut album Shift Left, the first New Zealand jazz album I ever bought- on cassette tape no less (teenage me couldn’t afford the CD). When I thought about doing a series of deep dives into New Zealand jazz albums for NZ Music Month, this was the one that […]
Singer, dancer and all-round entertainer Pat McMinn died last weekend aged 91. She was one of the last musical connections to the Swing Era and to some of our most iconic (and ear-wormy) novelty songs. McMinn was also one of the last old-school multitalented vaudeville entertainers. Born in 1926 ‘Pretty Pattie (or Paddie’) McMinn was […]
A couple of weeks ago I was in Wellington doing some research, and while I was there I was interviewed by Zoe George of Radio NZ Concert’s Upbeat programme about the Charleston and all things 1920s New Zealand. It aired last Friday, but if you didn’t catch it you can listen to/read it and learn […]
The title sounds like start of a good mystery novel, and it certainly is a mystery of sorts. One of the things I discovered in my Lilburn research last year was that women were a far greater part of the music scene in the 1920s that I knew (and I already thought that they were […]
2017 was an amazing year for me. Getting my first really big fellowship (thanks to the Douglas Lilburn Trust) that allowed me to spend the entire year focusing on a research project…and get paid for it. That project was investigating the Jazz Age in New Zealand: how and when jazz got here (pretty early on […]
This month saw the 100 birthday of legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, and there have been a lot of fascinating stories written about him all around the internet. I’ve been mulling over whether to share this story of him for a couple of months now, in part because I cannot confirm if one part of […]
I’m giving a talk at Auckland City Library on October 24 in conjunction with the Let’s Dance Exhibition. The talk features interesting findings, stories, scandals, and images discovered during my tenure as the Sir George Grey Researcher in Residence. (Details below) If you’re in Auckland please come along and say hello!