Harbour Street Jazz and Blues Festival 2021

Otago Anniversary weekend in Oamaru saw the small seaside town overflow with soaring pipes, harmonica, and guitar. The Oamaru Licencing Trust Harbour Street Jazz and Blues Festival showcased the best jazz talent from Oamaru and beyond.

Jazz was lavished across cafes, hotels, restaurants and swung about in breweries, galleries, and on the fairy-lit streets. These eclectic and intimate settings allowed visitors to experience a more spontaneous show. If you’ve never paired your breakfast with the deep crooning and banter of Dr. Blue, you’re missing out. Luckily, there’s always next year.

Firing up the Victorian Precinct, the weekend jazz extravaganza featured so many acts it was physically impossible to see it all. We tried our best.

Among the highlights: The Ellesmere Big Band kicking things off at the Brydone Hotel with brassy panache, Fallout Girl, the aforementioned Dr. Blue who had folks lining up at Tees Street, The Saggy Britches Band, Karin Reid and Alex Wolken, Matt Joe Gow bathed in the honeyed glow of the Grainstore Gallery singing about old hotel rooms, and Dee May and the Saints who kept everyone on their feet long after their set at the Collective was due to finish. Cries of ‘one more song!’ grew louder and captured the cathartic feeling of the weekend.

We’re already counting down until next year.

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