Jazz is synonymous with Tauranga and Diane Hume-Green’s family is synonymous with Tauranga Jazz, its history and development. Diane writes about the annual Tauranga Big Band Picnic.
Kulim Park was the venue for another Tauranga Big Band Picnic. The January event has been held for over 23 years and I have probably been to 20 of them. My late father was a member of the band and my mother organised the band events for many years.
The large trees at Kulim Park provided much-needed shade protection for the crowds. Blankets, tables and chairs and some good-looking picnic food were set up. Others opted for the beach side trees while children played on the beach with the obligatory game of summer beach cricket, bucket and spade or just splashing about.
The band played a selection of tunes which provided much toe tapping by the crowd, often three generations of one family together for a day out. Three vocalists, Barry, Carol and Natalia, provided something different from the instrumental pieces.
Murray Mason has been the Musical Director for many years and always takes the opportunity to farewell younger members of the band who are leaving for their tertiary studies in February and to greet the long staying members of the band after their Christmas break from band practices.
See the Tauranga Big Band at the Easter Jazz Festival and at their regular monthly tea dances at the Mount RSA.
Diane, a totally Tauranga resident, is a regular ARTbop contributor through Scene Around Town. Diane has contributed numerous pieces on a wide variety of topics of Tauranga and other places and events of interest around New Zealand.