Warm Sunday sun shines into the cosy room through the wooden blinds, reflecting off the books, rugs, and lamp shades.
A trio of musicians stand on a stage in the middle of the room paying tribute to yet another great persona in the history of jazz. The seats are so tightly packed together that the listeners and the performers meld seamlessly. The connection, both aural and visual, is immediate. If you are keen and capable, then you can join the band on stage yourself.
These afternoon jam sessions, organised by Wellington Jazz Cooperative, are open and inclusive to everyone. According to Mark, “every cat in town once played here”. People step on and off the stage, mixing and matching instruments around the “house band”.
This fine afternoon, the show was presented by Seth Boy on double bass, Aleister Campbell on guitar, and Mark Lockett on drums. The great persona in the history of jazz? The “prolific jazz composer/pianist” Irving Berlin.
The “jam” format is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. And that’s the beauty of an adventure that you create for yourself. Start with a coffee at Customs Coffee House, maybe visit Te Papa, then have lunch somewhere around Courtney place, next to the Library for a digestif and “jazz chocolate” at 2:30, on to the Rogue & Vagabond Sunday Jazz at 5 accompanied by wood-fired pizza or burger, and if you haven’t yet run out of steam, there is the movie night at 7 at Hashigo Zake. What better way to spend a Sunday?

By Charlie Queen