Author Archives: Jenine Abarbanel

George Jackson and Brad Kolodner: in concert at LEIGH HALL

Whangateau Hall is closed for refurbishment, but that doesn’t mean the music has to stop.  Leigh Hall Committee have graciously offered up their hall to our club until we are back up and running.

George and BradNew Zealand-born, Nashville-based fiddler George Jackson and Baltimore based American banjoist Brad Kolodner met years ago in a late-night jam session at the hallowed Appalachian String Band Music Festival in West Virginia and have since formed a musical bond that runs deep, across continents and through a number of recorded projects. From the moment the fiddle bow hits the strings and the fingers grasp the fretboard, George and Brad are locked in, weaving their way through ancient melodies made new again. From trance-inducing moody original tunes to classic barnburners, their show has something for serious or casual folk music fans alike. They play with a mischievous curiosity that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats wondering where they’ll go next.

This will absolutely be an incredible evening of outstanding Americana music and not to be missed!  Tickets are $20 and you can reserve your seat by emailing  Doors open at 7:00pm and the show starts at 7:30pm.

Leigh Hall is located at the corner of Seatoun Ave and Cumberland St. in Leigh, just 5km from Whangateau Hall.


Whangateau Hall Renewal Project

The Auckland Council is finally ready to begin major repairs and refurbishment on Whangateau Hall.  That is the good news.  The bad news is the hall will be closed from February 20th through May 31st of this year.

The Leigh Hall committee has graciously invited any Whangateau Hall users to make use of their hall while Whangateau is unavailable.  Folk Club will continue to meet, but at Leigh Hall.  Watch notices for more information.

Mark Mazengarb and Katie Martucci in Concert

Mark Mazengarb and Katie Martucci

Mark Mazengarb and Katie Martucci

12 February 2024

All the way from New York, don’t miss Katie Martucci on her tour of New Zealand! Joined by renowned NZ guitarist Mark Mazengarb, this will be a night of world class swing, old time and gypsy jazz music.

“I’m really excited to be able to bring Katie out to New Zealand – I first saw her perform at a festival in the USA and was blown away by her voice and guitar playing!” says Mark Mazengarb, who is organising the tour.

If you like Norah Jones, Django Reinhardt, Swing or Old Time music – you’ll love this show!

Hailing from the rich musical history of the Catskill Mountains in New York State, Katie Martucci grew up singing and playing fiddle and guitar. The daughter of a jazz pianist, she began performing with her father at a young age. By the first grade, she was writing her own songs and playing for tips.

Mark Mazengarb is a kiwi guitarist who recently spent 7 years touring the USA full-time with American guitarist and singer Loren Barrigar. Mark has performed with many other world class musicians, including Tommy Emmanuel and Frank Vignola.

Doors open at 7:00pm. Show starts at 7:30pm.
Tickets are $20. You can book by emailing

Club Night with the Alum Ridge Boys! 30 January 2024

Alum Ridge Boys and Ashlee

January Club Night: TUESDAY, 30 January 2024.

Club night this month is moved to a TUESDAY to make room for the Auckland Folk Festival.  We have a very special second half guest: The Alum Ridge Boys & Ashlee.  They will be fresh off their Auckland Folk Festival appearance, so should be super hot for us! Tickets are $20/each. Doors open at 6:45pm, first half starts at 7:00pm. Book now at

Mining the fertile common ground between bluegrass, early country music, and traditional mountain music, The Alum Ridge Boys & Ashlee are Virginia’s torchbearers of the old time sound. Their powerful harmony singing and energetic instrumentals have captivated audiences around the country and helped the band to win many awards including blue ribbons in the old time band contest at the 85th Annual Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Virginia and the bluegrass band contest at the 51st Mount Airy Fiddlers’ Convention in North Carolina. Band members have won a slew of individual awards as well, including first prize in the coveted MerleFest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Deep knowledge and appreciation for traditional music enables the band to craft tasteful original songs and instrumentals that blend seamlessly alongside the classics. The Alum Ridge Boys & Ashlee cut no corners when it comes to real, hard hitting, old time country music – an approach that is quickly gaining them loyal followers far beyond the reaches of their Virginia mountain home.

Learn more and hear some of their music at

Standard folk club format EXCEPT I will be limiting the first half to 7 floor singers to leave as much time as possible for our amazing special guests. If you wish to perform, you MUST email me ahead of time at to reserve your spot.

18 January 2024: South for Winter in Concert!

South for Winter - Live, Duo 2 (photographer Christian Murdock)

South for Winter’s Dani Cichon from Colorado Springs and Nick Stone perform Friday, May 28, 2021, during the first day of the MeadowGrass Music Festival at La Foret in Colorado Springs. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

With a blend of dreamy acoustic duets, foot-stomping Folk and bluesy murder ballads, trio South for Winter’s sound is as eclectic as their origins. Composed of New Zealander Nick Stone and Colorado Springs-born Dani Cichon (Stone), the two multi-instrumentalists and songwriters combine elements such as percussive guitar, mandolin, foot percussion, and effortless harmonies into a genre-bending sound. South for Winter has been nominated as a Semi-Finalist in the 2023 International Songwriting Competition, Finalist for “Best Group/Duo” in the 2023 International Acoustic Music Awards, Official Showcase Artist at SXSW 2023, Official Showcase Artist at Folk Alliance International in 2022 and 2024, and Most Wanted Emerging Artist at Falcon Ridge Festival in 2019. Their music has been praised by sites such as American Songwriter (“laden with delicate harmonies, intricate guitar-work, and earthy vocals… impeccable sound”), NoDepression (“must-see artist”), For the Love of Bands (“a wonderful mix of indie and folk rock”), Grateful Web (“eclectic in the best sense of the word”), and AmericanaUK (“An ethereal, dreamy, journey…a journey well-worth taking”). Between touring throughout the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Europe, South for Winter have just crowdfunded over 141% of their goal to independently release their sophomore album, Of Sea and Sky. The full album is due in May 2024.

South for Winter are ordinarily a trio, but unfortunately, Michigander Alex Stradal is unable to  travel to New Zealand at this time.  However, they are equally delightful as a duo and will put on a great show for us.

Tickets are $20 and available at the door (cash only) or you can prebook by emailing

Doors open at 7:00pm with a 7:30pm show start time.

17 December: Paul McLaney in Concert

Paul McLaney at Whangateau Hall

Paul McLaney in Concert

Sunday, December 17th

7:30pm, $20

Paul McLaney is a New Zealand-based pop music composer, singer and guitarist originally from Stockton-on-Tees, England.  In a career spanning over 20 years, Paul McLaney has released a remarkable body of work under various guises from acoustic finger-style guitar and lush string arrangements to ambient and experimental electronica. He has been a member of the collaborative music group Fly My Pretties, and produced the Te Reo song settings of Shakespeare for the Globe Theatre. He has a new album out and is currently touring in support of that.  He will be performing for us on Sunday the 17th of December at 7:30pm.  This promises to be a very unique and interesting evening of music, and I hope you will all join us for that.  Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door or by emailing

For more information about Paul McLaney and to hear some of his music:

November Club Night with David Shanhun!

Whangateau Folk Club Night: Monday, November 27th.  7:00pm start, $15. 

David Shanhun - November 17
Our special guest this month is David Shanhun.  ( David Shanhun has opened shows for Heart, Foreigner, and Three Dog Night, toured internationally, and had the #1 song on iTunes NZ with ‘Jessie’.  He has shared the stage with Grammy Award winner Bryan White, and been a nominee for the NZCMA Horizon award.  And on top of all of this, he is a truly wonderful human being who I rate very highly.  I am so pleased he has included us in his current tour of the North Island.  I know you are going to love him and his show.  Please do come along.

This is a standard club night with first half floor singers, so warm up those fingers and tune up your guitar!  You can email me at to sign up for a slot, or just sign up at the door on the day.

Richard Grainger Concert, Friday 17 November, 7:30pm

Richard Grainger

Richard Grainger is a ‘widely respected songwriter and guitarist with a clear and ‘captivating’ vocal style’. His songs are performed widely by performers at home in his native England and abroad. A prolific and diverse artist, Richard is a singer, songwriter and musician who has been performing on the British Folk Scene since the 1980’s.

I saw Richard at Wellington Folk Festival and his show was engaging and poignant and funny.  Since then he has been playing to packed houses all over New Zealand.  We are lucky to have him for his penultimate New Zealand performance on Friday, the 17th of November.  Tickets are $15 and available at the door or by emailing me at to reserve your seat for what will be a very special treat.

Doors open at 7:00pm for a 7:30pm show.

Himmerland in Concert!

Himmerland at Whangateau, 17 October 2023

About 300 years ago (relative time, things got confusing somewhere around 2020) this great multinational band came to play for us at Whangateau.  On October 17 they return for a full concert with a new line-up but the same outstanding performance.  Tickets are $20 and you can pre-purchase by emailing me at

Doors open at 7pm for a 7:30pm show.  Tickets are selling fast for this show, and pre-booking is very much recommended.


September Club Night CANCELLED and request for help

Club Night Cancelled

I am very sorry that we’re having to pull the plug on club night this month due to work commitments.  It’s a perfect storm of big projects all happening at the same time and even the backups for our backups are unavailable.  So we will reconvene in October for club night.

But before that …

Himmerland returns!

About 300 years ago (relative time, things got confusing somewhere around 2020) this great multinational band came to play for us at Whangateau.  On October 17 they return for a full concert with a new line-up but the same outstanding performance.  Tickets are $20 and you can pre-purchase by emailing me at
I could use a little help with this, too.  These lovely people need accommodation for the night of the concert.  If you or someone you know might be able to help by donating accommodation for 4 singles, I would be ever so grateful.  Please contact me by email or phone 021 428 568 if you can help.  Thank you!
Himmerland at Whangateau, 17 October 2023