David Paquette to perform at Tairawhiti Museum

LONG RIVER GOLD: American-born jazz pianist, and now resident in Wairoa, David Paquette will bring his New Orleans-based sound to Gisborne on Sunday. Picture by Zach Stark

JAZZ piano royalty will make a special appearance in Gisborne this week when former Waiheke Jazz Festival organiser David Paquette performs at Tairawhiti Museum on Sunday.

Paquette was a Louisiana State University undergraduate and regular performer at Pat O’Brien’s bar in New Orleans’ French Quarter when he met blues musician Roosevelt “The Honeydripper” Sykes.

Sykes encouraged Paquette to become a professional musician. Paquette played in Colorado ski resorts then at San Francisco’s Boarding House where he opened for Dr John and Taj Mahal, as well as Bette Midler and the Pointer Sisters.

The jazz pianist has since recorded more than 45 albums, toured the European Jazz circuit, and was founder of the annual Waiheke Jazz Festival.

Now a Wairoa resident, Paquette was astonished to discover last year an 1893, model C locked in purpose-built cupboard in a community hall. He performed on the antique instrument in two shows he organised at Wairoa’s Gaiety Theatre: the Long River Swing concert, and Twistin’ the Swing.

“The word ‘jazz’ can scare people but my sound is a combination of New Orleans-based music and swing, with new flavours,” Paquette told the Guide last year.

“I always try to keep it fresh.”

Invited to Gisborne by Poverty Bay Blues Club and sponsored by BDO, Paquette is not able to bring the Steinway to Gisborne but will perform on a piano donated to Tairawhiti Museum by arts patron Jack Richards.

“To have him in our community is just a dream,” said Poverty Bay Blues Club vice president Darryn Clyne.

“The concert came about because we knew he was in Wairoa. Blues club regular Doug Snelling lives in Wairoa and meets him for coffee. We’ve been looking to bring people in people of this calibre.”

Clyne is keen to develop a regular jazz and blues concert series for next winter.

The Dome Room is the Poverty Bay Blues Club’s “spiritual home”, he said, but he is grateful director Eloise Wallace has agreed for Paquette to perform in one of the museum’s galleries.

“Eloise is so forward thinking we’re lucky to have her as well.”

JAZZ piano royalty will make a special appearance in Gisborne this week when former Waiheke Jazz Festival organiser David Paquette performs at Tairawhiti Museum on Sunday.

Paquette was a Louisiana State University undergraduate and regular performer at Pat O’Brien’s bar in New Orleans’ French Quarter when he met blues musician Roosevelt “The Honeydripper” Sykes.

Sykes encouraged Paquette to become a professional musician. Paquette played in Colorado ski resorts then at San Francisco’s Boarding House where he opened for Dr John and Taj Mahal, as well as Bette Midler and the Pointer Sisters.

The jazz pianist has since recorded more than 45 albums, toured the European Jazz circuit, and was founder of the annual Waiheke Jazz Festival.

Now a Wairoa resident, Paquette was astonished to discover last year an 1893, model C locked in purpose-built cupboard in a community hall. He performed on the antique instrument in two shows he organised at Wairoa’s Gaiety Theatre: the Long River Swing concert, and Twistin’ the Swing.

“The word ‘jazz’ can scare people but my sound is a combination of New Orleans-based music and swing, with new flavours,” Paquette told the Guide last year.

“I always try to keep it fresh.”

Invited to Gisborne by Poverty Bay Blues Club and sponsored by BDO, Paquette is not able to bring the Steinway to Gisborne but will perform on a piano donated to Tairawhiti Museum by arts patron Jack Richards.

“To have him in our community is just a dream,” said Poverty Bay Blues Club vice president Darryn Clyne.

“The concert came about because we knew he was in Wairoa. Blues club regular Doug Snelling lives in Wairoa and meets him for coffee. We’ve been looking to bring people in people of this calibre.”

Clyne is keen to develop a regular jazz and blues concert series for next winter.

The Dome Room is the Poverty Bay Blues Club’s “spiritual home”, he said, but he is grateful director Eloise Wallace has agreed for Paquette to perform in one of the museum’s galleries.

“Eloise is so forward thinking we’re lucky to have her as well.”

American-born jazz pianist David Paquette brings his New Orleans based sound to Tairawhiti Museum on Sunday at 2pm. $25.

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