Tauranga Musica 2024 Concert Series

“The true beauty of music is that it connects people” — Roy Ayers

Our aims

  • To share the joy, the delight, the wonder of music within our community of the Western Bay of Plenty.
  • To appreciate the talented musicians who bring their skill and commitment, extending our understanding and appreciation of a range of musical offerings from enduring classics to modern New Zealand compositions.
  • To support young local performers through the annual Chamber Music NZ competition and encourage youth engagement by subsidising attendance at live performances.

Membership Subscription

By paying an annual membership fee of $30 per person, you are entitled to:

  • Purchase tickets at a cost of $30 per ticket (an overall saving of $30 for the 2024 series).
  • Regular newsletters.
  • Membership prices for Putaruru and Whakatane Music Society concerts.

Tauranga Musica's next concert:

NZ Chamber Soloists
Sunday 10th November 2024, 4.00pm
X Space, Baycourt

Review of Ben Wilcock Quartet:

The Ben Wilcock Quartet performed for Tauranga Musica in association with CMNZ on Sunday 6 August 4.00pm at the Graham Young Youth Theatre, Tauranga Boys College. Ben presented a refreshingly original concert along with bandmates John Rae, Dan Yeabsley and Tristan Carter. Most of the material was from Ben's album The River Tethys, inspired by a series of science fiction books by Dan Simmons.

The concert opened with the lyrical Aenea and featured Ben on solo piano. He was joined one by one by Dan on upright bass, then John on drums. They were then joined by violinist Tristan as they segued into the romantic bolero La Rosita. The violin encapsulated the bolero beautifully. John used mallets and hands on the drum kit to underline the latin flavour as we were transported to Argentina.

T'ien Shan then followed with its oriental flavour enhanced by Tristans expressive violin and bells courtesy of John and Dan. This led to the gypsy swing The Secret Life of Music.

Next up was The Butterfly, a traditional Celtic waltz which Scotsman John Rae introduced to Ben some time ago.

The swing standard Star Eyes featured a bass solo from Dan. The band members then gathered around the piano for an intimate performance of the bluesy Goodnight TV with John playing brushes on a copy of the River Tethys album. We were then treated to the Cuban inspired Faded Revolution, a lively samba with a solo from John.

The Expanse was a gently swinging ballad preceding The Stinger, a spirited swing number which gave full flight to the band and in particular Bens piano.

This was to be the final number but the call for an encore saw them launch into the Latin standard Beseme Mucho. The end of a wonderful afternoon.

Much of what we heard was improvised which is very much the essence of jazz. It was fabulous to see the camaraderie, the joy and the trust between these exemplary musicians.

Ben's compositions are varied and full of humour with hints of Thelonious Monk and other great jazz pianists who inspired him. With an ear on the past and an eye to the future Ben deserves every success and we look forward to his return.

Jeff Baker