Things to do  |  19 Feb 2020

Christchurch’s longest running music festival is being reinvented as the Jazz & Cabaret Festival.

“Our first annual Jazz & Cabaret Festival features 30 shows with some amazing international performers alongside a fantastic line-up of New Zealand’s best. Christchurch audiences love jazz, cabaret and comedy,’’ says festival director Jodi Wright.

“Cover bands, tribute shows and original music are incredibly popular too. So we’re bringing them all together for six days of all-out entertainment.”

Ms Wright, who founded the New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival in 1995 and the World Buskers Festival in 1994, says the new Jazz & Cabaret Festival reflects the energy of Christchurch’s contemporary, boutique city.

“The time is right to contribute a new, exciting themed festival to Christchurch’s growing events calendar,” she says.
From 19 to 24 May, more than 100 artists including Australian cabaret and theatre stars Paul Capsis, Michael Griffiths and Tina Del Twist will perform alongside New Zealand musicians paying tribute to some of their favourite stars.
One of New Zealand’s most-loved singers and musicians Julia Deans channels the songs of Joni Mitchell in her highly-acclaimed show, ‘Both Sides Now’, at the James Hay Theatre on 20 May.
Ali Harper sings the Carole King songbook in her show ‘The Natural Woman’ along with Tom Rainey, Graham Wardrop and other talented New Zealand musicians at the James Hay Theatre on 23 May.
Paul Capsis, described as an Australian ‘living legend’ who channels the spirit of the divas that inspire him, including Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse and Nina Simone, will perform two shows at The Piano on 22 and 23 May.
Acclaimed Australian cabaret performer Michael Griffiths explores the colourful life and timeless songs of Cole Porter on 21 May at The Piano, and follows on Friday 22 and 23 May with a show of shared stories and songs from 20 years on stage with his live band, taking audience requests via social media.
Combining comedy and cabaret, Australia’s Tina Del Twist will bring three shows to the festival on 21, 22 and 23 May. This ‘gin-soaked, velvet-draped madame’ has featured on ABCTV's Comedy Up Late, and performed sell-out seasons with Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Darwin Festival and Perth FringeWORLD.

 The complete festival programme and booking details can be found on the Jazz & Cabaret Festival website.