Christchurch’s River City Jazzmen’s culture can be summed up in one word: ‘authentic’. The focus of the band never wavers far from the classic Dixieland vibe.
The repertoire is faithful to the ‘genre’ and the dedication of the six musicians is the same. The line-up, now in its tenth year, follows the New Orleans’ model with skilled and inventive soloists. From ‘ Bourbon Street Parade’ to ‘ The World is Waiting for the Sunrise ’, the RCJ repertoire boasts in excess of a hundred numbers dating from 1917 up to the best of the 50’s & 60’s trad.
Since its inception arising from, & the name says it all –‘Avon River of Christchurch’ – surviving the traumatic earthquakes of over a decade ago, the band has been extremely busy & successful with gigs such as “ Fat Eddies ‘New Orleans’ Dixieland Band competition” - winners over 16 competing bands / the Art Deco Festival in Napier/ The Taranaki Jazz Club ( twice) / the Wellington Jazz Club ( twice ) / the Whanganui Jazz Club / the Christchurch International Jazz & Blues Festival / The inaugural Taupo Jazz Festival / Central Otago in 2019, and 2020 recent rousing performances in Fairlie, Tekapo& Geraldine (3x), along with many other social & concert gigs throughout N.Z.
Michael Bain ( President of the Wellington Jazz Club ) says “..the River City Jazzmen played an outstanding performance....the band was bright, with nice tight ensemble playing and superb improvisations.....arrangements were innovative and very entertaining.... great to hear the old standards played with such gusto.”
Geoff Atkinson , Chairman of the Taranaki Jazz Club, said “ ... they are not the first Dixieland band that we’ve hosted in recent years but by far the best. There was nothing old hat, tired or jaded about these ‘Jazz Gentlemen’. .... their close harmonies, riffs and interpretation of traditional jazz standards combined with a great sense of showmanship was exceptional.”