The Festival

The Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival is one of the longest- running music festivals in the country.

The Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival is one of the longest-running music festivals in the country. For the past twenty-one years, we’ve provided the region with an international standard event that features some of the world’s best Jazz and Blues artists, while supporting the New Zealand music industry in the best way possible, by producing creative and live performance opportunities for hundreds of local and nationally based musicians and artists each year.

Our 22nd festival, from 24th – 28th of May, is an outstanding programme of international and national performances, and a few once-in-a-lifetime shows.

Headlining this years’ festival is American jazz great Kenny Barron with his trio. Honoured by The National Endowment for the Arts as a 2010 Jazz Master, and nominated nine times for a Grammy award, Kenny Barron has an unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms. The Los Angeles Times named him “one of the top jazz pianists in the world” and Jazz Weekly calls him “the most lyrical piano player of our time.”

We’re also excited to welcome Irish blues and jazz guitarist Jimmy Smyth to our line-up. Jimmy will be joining a festival favourite Mary Coughlan, as well as perform a solo show. The amazing singer/ songwriter Anna Coddington is here with the big and bold Oval Office; powerhouse Tami Neilson and her band join us for one night in the Charles Luney Auditorium, while The Waiheke International Soul Orchestra perform in the festival’s Blue Smoke series. This festival will also feature more than a few Christchurch musicians performing their best work. Don’t miss a thing.

A huge thanks to our sponsors: Cavell Leitch Law, Publica, Christchurch City Council, Rata Foundation, the Embassy of the United States of America, Pernod Ricard, Ara, The Press, iSite, The George Hotel, Hotel Montreal, The Classic Villa, Creative Communities, The Southern Trust, Lion Foundation, Pub Charity, Four Winds Foundation and Aoraki Trust. These loyal and generous supporters of the Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival make it possible for us to continue to stage one of the best live music events in the country.

See you there!
Jodi Wright - Director

Festival Trust

Austin Forbes QC


Tom Rainey


Neill Pickard


Hall Cannon


Tim Trollope



Jodi Wright


Lindsay Mayor Brady

Production Coordinator

Marianne Hargreaves

Marketing Coordinator

Gwen Macready

Production Coordinator

Trish Rainey

Jazz for Lunch Coordinator

Produced by

Christchurch International Jazz Festival Trust

PO Box 1089, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand



Past Seasons

2015 Season

2014 Season

2013 Season