Vincent Vega is a frequent guest at Hashigo Zake Fridays. Often it’s just three of them—Chris Armour on guitar, Nick Lissette on bass, and Richard TeOne on the drums—but this Friday the trio was enriched by a mesmerizing diva, Lisa Tomlins.

Her voice matched Chris’s guitar, singing in turns, and created a time machine that transported everyone from a bar in 2023 to a dance floor in 1975, all while Chris’s guitar enveloped us in soft, warm tones.

Accompanied by this amber magic, Lisa’s truly funky voice bent the fabric of time and projected that amazing era forward into 21st century New Zealand: the era of outstanding female statements, delivered by bright and gifted women—funk divas—showing everyone else what’s possible when you have power, freedom, and talent.

These funk gems were scattered among very familiar—almost cheesy— instrumentals. Everyone was happily dancing and singing along.

As usual, Nick was hitting the lamp with his head while entertaining us by hula dancing. Meanwhile, Richard kicked the energy into the air. During the break between the sets, I chatted with Lisa about music and life, and about the lack of female representation on the big stage. Hey, NZ big stage boss, don’t fall behind! It is time to be a modern country with equal rights, yes?

I also learned that although Lisa is an awesome funk singer and can easily perform as a superclass backing vocalist for any major band, she really loves jazz. Hopefully we will hear her soon on a New Zealand jazz stage.

By Charlie Queen