Ashton Sellars – Live at the Village Cafe

World Class Jazz Guitarist Ashton Sellars is returning to Martinborough for a show at The Village Cafe in December.

“Ashton is an outstanding talent,” says Jazz in Martinborough’s Music Director Lee Quayle. “He’s played at a couple of our festivals and at a solo gig previously and always draws a crowd. Those who’ve heard him before will want to see him again, and if you haven’t, you must!” added Lee. Ashton will be playing as a part of a guest quartet.

Jazz in Martinborough is supporting Ashton at this gig, as we did before he went to Amsterdam, with proceeds going to assist him further in his studies.

Ashton graduated with a high level masters in Jazz Guitar from the Conservatory Van Amsterdam in 2018 and is back in NZ to share what he’s learnt and how he’s developed. He is returning to New Zealand for the first time in almost 3 years.

“I would love to share with listeners what I have discovered, learnt and achieved during this time away from home,” says Ashton.

Ashton has played guitar along side musicians such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Peter Bernstein, Bruce Forman, Jesse van Ruler, Reinier Baas and many more. Currently he is apart of the Deva Mahal Group (daughter of the great Taj Mahal) and has been touring all over Europe playing stages, concert halls and festivals like North Sea Jazz, Nice Jazz Festival (France), Jazz A Setu (France), London Jazz Festival, to name a few.

Ashton is also a band leader in his own right, with a trio, a quartet and Hiphop Quintet which have played regularly around Europe during his time away from Aotearoa.

Ashton’s sound is greatly influenced by musicians such as Bill Evans, Kenny Barron, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gilad Hekselman and Jonathan Kreisberg.

Ashton will be playing on Friday 14 December 2018 at The Village Cafe, Kitchener Street, Martinborough. Tickets are available from the venue or at the door on the night.

Dinner will be available from 6pm (bookings essential) and the show will start at 7.30pm.

2018 JiM Festival

Jazz in Martinborough came to town over Father’s Day weekend last month and proved once again to be a huge hit with jazz and music lovers alike.

“We have celebrated our best ever festival,”says festival producer Ted Preston. “We sold out all three ticketed events, restaurants and cafes were busy, and every gig around town had happy crowds,” adds Ted.

Music Director Lee Quayle was excited about the atmosphere throughout the town.  “It was an absolute blast!” he says. “The feedback has been very positive.  We seem to have gotten the mix of popular jazz, trad jazz, Dixie jazz, gypsy jazz and entertainment just about right!”

Feature artists included festival patron and jazz legend Rodger Fox and his Funkbone Experience, featuring the super Erna Ferry on vocals, flautist and saxophonist Miho Wada and her jazz orchestra from Auckland, and the sultry, smooth Mary Watson and her band Noir.

Proceeds from the festival will go towards sponsoring up to five female college-age students to attend the New Zealand Jazz Workshops in January 2019.  These workshops bring together enthusiastic jazz students with top international guest artists and NZ’s leading jazz musicians and educators. Potential attendees have been identified with the assistance of Rodger Fox during Fresh Jam – College Jazz workshops and concert -held before the festival proper.

The festival had a huge range of help and support from throughout the community.  “We must say a huge thanks to all our supporters.  So many people gave support, as grants, in time, in effort or with goods,” adds Ted.  “As a group we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everybody who helped create a wonderful event for Martinborough; and special thanks to our major sponsors TrustHouse, Rotary and Lions.”

“We will be back next year,” says Ted.  “This time in the Town Hall at the Waihinga Centre!”

See our JiM 2018 review page for more.

2019 Festival Dates

Our tentative dates for next year’s Jazz in Martinborough festival are Thursday 29 August – 1 September 2019.

JIM Anthology

Check out our Anthology to  find out more about any Jazz in Martinborough event. Here you will find a complete list of every artist who we have had the pleasure to work with, plus links to photos, videos and reviews. If you don’t know what to expect at our annual jazz festival, start here!

If you have some of your own memories to share of a JIM event, please contact us at so we can add them to the Anthology.