Russell / Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival

Sometimes serendipity intervenes.    As we were finishing up our week in Kohukohu, we found out that our friends Claude and MeeLee Hay were going to be in Russell – across the bay from Paihia.   Claude was there to perform in the Bay of Islands Blues Festival and it was the perfect opportunity to head back through and catch up.  He’s touring now in support of his new record Roller Coaster which might just be his best record yet!   Check it out on his website here.

We stuck around to hear the wildly talented and impressively tight Chihiro Yamazaki + ROUTE 14 Band.    If you ever get a chance to see them, do.   I have dreams of playing with musicians of this quality.   (they usually end with me getting fired… :P)

We also had a chance to hike out to Captain Cook’s cove and see a bit of Russell which, despite being directly across the bay, has a completely different vibe than Paihia did.    Here are some of my favorite shots.