New York based banjo and fiddle duo

The dynamic team at the Jam Factory set a high bar in 2019 with over 100 musical events to dive into.

There was everything from funk to classical music, Australian blues to French Gypsy Swing, Rockabilly Brawls to Sounds of India. Pop, soul, electronic fusion, folk - it’s not just the quantity and diversity, but they’ve successfully landed Tauranga as a top destination on the international and national music touring map attracting bands, duos and solo acts from around NZ, USA and Australia.

Groups and solo acts are loving the intimate space complete with kauri floor, a high ceiling, rugs, lamps and seating for about 50-60 people. Previously Otumoetai Primary School’s old music room, the 100-year-old building is now dedicated to gigs and connecting the local music community.

The Jam Factory’s 2020 calendar is already looking full for the next month with over 15 live shows pencilled in, including Paul Ubana Jones, Askya, Kingsley Spargo, and the Alex Ventling Trio. At regular lunchtimes there’s opportunities to bring your sandwiches along and be entertained by local performers at the Jam Sandwich Sessions, and once a month the Improv Comedy Jam group ‘Honest Liars’ will be ‘in the house’.

In early February, New York based banjo and fiddle Americana duo ‘Richie and Rosie’ will be touring the country, with eight NZ concerts from Rawhiti in the north down to Wellington, and, thanks to The Jam Factory, they’ll be descending on Tauranga.

Performing music rooted in the Americana tradition, this promises to be a treat. Richie Stearns’ family founded the iconic GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance, which he is now president of, and by her junior year of high school, Rosie Newton was playing fiddle and touring with folk rock band The Mammal. Together they will bring their original songs, blending traditional and contemporary sounds, punk banjo, and evocative fiddle with sweet vocal harmonies.

“One of the greatest experiences of our lives has been being invited to New Zealand - on our last trip - and Rosie and I are so excited to return.

“We fell in love with your amazing country and its beautiful inhabitants! We are so proud of the way your nation presents itself in the world, truly inspiring, and our country could learn so much from paying attention. It is fairly possible we won’t want to go home! Looking forward to sharing our heartfelt music with you’all. Please come up and  say hello!”

Richie, whose career has spanned decades, is an innovator of 5-string banjo much loved for his “mantra-groove spooky-banjo style” and has performed internationally with legends like Bela Fleck, Pete Seeger, David Byrne, Billy Bragg & Wilco, and Joan Baez. Rosie’s fiddle playing has been called ferocious, spanning many musical styles. Together they push the boundaries with their instrumental arrangements and harmonies.

For this dynamic junction of American, old-time and folk, come along and hear them perform at The Jam Factory in 17th Ave on February 7 at 7pm. Tickets are $20.

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