Norman Meehan

New Zealand Jazz Life


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8 December 2016

Drawing on 39 interviews with leading New Zealand jazz musicians, New Zealand Jazz Life is a ground-breaking survey of the vibrant local scene. In best jazz style, eight solos – first-person portraits of major musicians – alternate with ensemble passages that enlarge on the key themes:

  • discovering jazz
  • learning to play
  • starting a career
  • living and working as a musician overseas
  • what it means to play black American music in New Zealand
  • the emergence of a New Zealand sound
  • the state of jazz in contemporary New Zealand
  • what jazz in New Zealand needs to go forward

New Zealand Jazz Life is essential and inspiring reading for musicians and fans, and a fascinating insight into the opportunities and predicaments encountered by practitioners of any art form in New Zealand.

Norman Meehan is a Wellington-based composer, pianist, writer and teacher. His many releases include five collaborations with the vocalist Hannah Griffin and Bill Manhire and other poets. He is the author of Time Will Tell: Conversations with Paul Bley and Serious Fun: The Life and Music of Mike Nock.

Tony Whincup (1944–2015) was a leading New Zealand photographer whose long-term relationship with Kiribati and its people led to several award-winning books.

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