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Jazz on

Bill Hall reports from Marlborough Jazz Festival
Given the lousy weather and the generally gloomy outlook, the arrival of Marlborough's annual Jazz Fest hardly seemed the joyous musical moment in time that it can be most summers.
And yet Friday's opening night produced at least a handful of memorable happenings, led by the brilliantly professional Echoes of Ellington band, playing the world premiere of the Duke's Queen's Suite.
Apparently the legendary big band leader met Her Majesty in 1958, and was so impressed he wrote the suite, recorded it and sent her the only copy.
But Pete Long, musical director of Ronne Scott's orchestras got the score transcribed and the Marlborough audience lapped up both its majestic and swinging qualities.
Pianist Colin Good played a stand out part in a performance which gave a new and more dignified meaning to the phrase "tribute band"
There was fun and delight to from the Joanna Eden Quartet, the singer/composer pianist showing why her standing has grown over recent years. On a more cerebral note and international note,Azerbaijani Aminja Figarova played an intriguing set with a group including a German, Luxembourger, and a Belgian.
The festival was opened by Keith Chegwin, to the music of the St.John's School Band and the Marlborough Youth Orchestra under Mick Allport, in the presence of Mayor Edwina Fogg and her civic entourage, on a night which saw at least 15 different attractions performing all over the town

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