Courtesy of the Illawarra Mercury;
Blue skies and a stellar line-up drew thousands of festival goers for Kiama’s three-day Jazz and Blues Festival at the weekend.
A crowd of 5000 filled parks, clubs and restaurants to hear boundary-blurring jazz and blues including burlesque, barrelhouse, swing, soul, fusion, funk and even a bit of Britney Spears.
Publicity co-ordinator Eevi Stein said the 25th anniversary festival was the most successful yet and attributed the huge crowd to the fantastic line-up and ‘‘the goddess of jazz and blues’’ for the beautiful weather.
One of the biggest musical drawcards was Christa Hughes and the Honky Tonk Shonks, who wowed the crowd at Kiama Leagues Club with a cheeky burlesque show.
The chanteuse sang traditional bluesy tunes but also managed to fit in songs by her former band, Machine Gun Fellatio, and her own version of Toxic by Britney Spears.
‘‘Christa was amazing – she is a little bit irreverent and pays out on everyone, she has a great sense of humour and just an amazing voice,’’ Ms Stein said.
She said other highlights included the Buddy Knox Blues Band and a gutsy performance by vocal powerhouse Fiona Boyes.
The festival finished yesterday with an all-day concert in Hindmarsh Park and sunset blues played by local outfit the Stringers at Kiama’s Grand Hotel.