Patron saint of the blues

THE BLUES CONNECTION: Now resident in Wairoa, big river, jazz pianist David Paquette has taken on the role of patron for the Poverty Bay Blues Club. Picture supplied

New Orleans-schooled pianist and Waiheke Island jazz festival founder David Paquette is now patron “saint” of the Poverty Bay Blues Club (PBBC).

In the US patrons of the arts are usually funders, but because his role is as figurehead for the PBBC he is the club’s patron saint, jokes the Wairoa-based jazz musician.

“I did a couple of sold-out concerts at Tairawhiti Museum. They went really well and I got to know Darryn Clyne.”

Clyne is vice president of the PBBC.

“We went to the Dome and I said I’d play more at Poverty Bay Blues Club events if I could get the old banger of a piano there fixed.”

There are echoes here of the tuning and brightening of hammers Paquette had done on the 123-year-old, model C Steinway piano he found locked for decades in a cupboard in a community hall in Wairoa.

Clyne invited Paquette to be patron of the PBBC.

“I’m happy to do it,” says Paquette.

“It gives me an opportunity to go back to my promotional skills “

The jazz pianist developed those skills as a recording artist for more than 45 albums, establishing and directing for 17 years the Waiheke Island jazz festival; years as musical director for Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel and as musical director for Spike Milligan’s Australian tour in the 1980s.

“I can use my connections to bring acts in,” says Paquette.

“I’m itching to do something. The blues club has a solid audience, they get big turn-outs and play in a beautiful environment.

“This is big for both of us.”

New Orleans-schooled pianist and Waiheke Island jazz festival founder David Paquette is now patron “saint” of the Poverty Bay Blues Club (PBBC).

In the US patrons of the arts are usually funders, but because his role is as figurehead for the PBBC he is the club’s patron saint, jokes the Wairoa-based jazz musician.

“I did a couple of sold-out concerts at Tairawhiti Museum. They went really well and I got to know Darryn Clyne.”

Clyne is vice president of the PBBC.

“We went to the Dome and I said I’d play more at Poverty Bay Blues Club events if I could get the old banger of a piano there fixed.”

There are echoes here of the tuning and brightening of hammers Paquette had done on the 123-year-old, model C Steinway piano he found locked for decades in a cupboard in a community hall in Wairoa.

Clyne invited Paquette to be patron of the PBBC.

“I’m happy to do it,” says Paquette.

“It gives me an opportunity to go back to my promotional skills “

The jazz pianist developed those skills as a recording artist for more than 45 albums, establishing and directing for 17 years the Waiheke Island jazz festival; years as musical director for Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel and as musical director for Spike Milligan’s Australian tour in the 1980s.

“I can use my connections to bring acts in,” says Paquette.

“I’m itching to do something. The blues club has a solid audience, they get big turn-outs and play in a beautiful environment.

“This is big for both of us.”

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