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Wellington Jazz Festival 2018

Indulge in a five-day, midwinter feast of sizzling jazz flavours.
By Josalin Saffer
May 24, 2018
By Josalin Saffer
May 24, 2018

Jazz junkies suffering from withdrawals will get their fix next month. From 6-10 June, New Zealand's hottest jazz festival returns to the coolest little capital for a stacked, five-day celebration of some of the genre's finest local and international artists.

From raw, classic jazz and funky afrobeat, to soulful hymns, swing and surf-infused grooves, the Wellington Jazz Festival has a breadth of styles and an overwhelming amount of talent, promising a taste for all palates.

During five days, you'll be spoilt for choice but forced to make some tough decisions — there are more than 100 ticketed and free gigs at local bars and venues around the city, plus a plethora of Jazz Bites, specially-curated dishes from the city's best eateries, to choose from.

At the Opera House, check out some of the headlining international artists including bass virtuoso Christian McBride's New Jawn, beat-heavy jams from Chris Dave & The Drumhedz, and the spirit of Thelonius Monk with John Beasley's MONK'estra. Or head to the jazz hot spots around Courtenay Place, the Cuba quarter, and the waterfront for a strong dose of head-bopping, soul-warming tunes.

Last year, more than 30,000 people joined the five-day jazz party and this year is set to be even bigger. Do your soul a favour and mark your diaries in advance.

The full Wellington Jazz Festival venue map and program are available at

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