Jazzy weekend in Oamaru

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Oamaru will be celebrating the arts in various forms this weekend with the Harbour St Jazz and Blues Festival and the Outside Art 2015 festival.

The Harbour St Jazz & Blues Festival, which is in its third year, will be held at venues around the Victorian precinct from today to Sunday, and the inaugural Outside Art 2015 festival will be held around Oamaru from today to Monday.

Harbour St Jazz and Blues Festival co-ordinator Julie Barclay said this year’s festival will be far bigger than those of the last two years.

“It’s going to be an amazing weekend.

“I’m really, really excited about it.”

The calibre of the musicians was of a high standard and there would be some there who have been in the music industry for more than 50 years, she said.

Some highlights include performances by local and out-of-town artists, music workshops and busking around Oamaru.

Mrs Barclay said organisers had given some tickets to the workshops to the area’s high schools and intermediate schools in order to give those students who were interested the chance to learn from high-quality artists.

“We want the young ones to start coming.”

Another great thing happening this year would be a lunchtime concert at the Steampunk Playground on Sunday, she said.

There will be a stage with bands playing and people were encouraged to bring their picnic baskets and enjoy the music, Mrs Barclay said.

There will also be a sound system at the Oamaru Farmers’ Market so people can plug in devices or an amp to busk on Sunday.

The Outside Art 2015 festival, which will be held in conjunction with the Harbour St Jazz and Blues Festival, is being held for the first time as a celebration of visual arts in all its forms.

The programme features renowned New Zealand artist Michael Tuffery, the Waitaki Arts Trail and a photographic competition.

The arts trail will link festival projects with art galleries, existing public artworks, points of interest, and local artists by providing a pathway experience to the arts of the Waitaki district.

A wide range of workshops, open studios, demonstrations and exhibitions will feature the local arts community.

Visit www.outsideart.nz and www.harbourstreetjazz.com for more information on each festival.

By Ruby Harfield