Bay City Ramblers

Friday 21st July 7:30pm

It all started in 2015 when Mike Garner and Derek Jacombs (from Kokomo) got together. Two of New Zealand’s most-respected blues musicians and songwriters, they decided to join forces for an informal journey down the backroads of old blues, folk and country, exploring the sounds now called Americana.

That was the start. They soon decided to expand and brought on board the Bay of Plenty’s first-call upright bass player Nigel Masters and the extraordinary talents of multi-instrumentalist Robbie Laven, who added his love of early gypsy jazz to the music.

Now the band break out a host of acoustic instruments – resonator guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, washboard and more – for an eclectic musical trip that stretches from late nineteenth century America through the music of Elizabeth Cotton, Charlie Patton, Django Reinhardt and Woody Guthrie to Derek and Mike’s contemporary songs.

Mike, Derek and Nigel have featured together overseas at the New Caledonia Jazz & Blues Festival, and The Bay City Ramblers travelled to appear at the Norfolk Island Jazz festival.

Mike Garner is a well-known NZ blues singer and songwriter. He has a wealth of blues experience over nearly 40 years, having played in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Japan and Kathmandu in Nepal. He has made 6 CDs and won international awards for his songwriting. In November 2016 he toured Japan for the third time with harmonica player Neil Billington.

For the past two decades guitarist Derek Jacombs has been the singer and songwriter with blues and roots favourite, Kokomo. The band has released 10 studio albums and a live CD and DVD. He has also written music for theatre and television, served as director of the National Jazz Festival, and is one half of cult duo the Self-Righteous Brothers.

Since emerging from the Auckland folk scene, Robbie Laven has become one of New Zealand’s most respected musicians, playing a host of instruments in styles ranging from folk to rock, Latin to jazz.

Along with partner Marion Arts he spent a decade abroad, playing major festivals in Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Ireland. They currently lead Gypsy jazz ensemble Bonjour Swing.

Nigel Masters is the Bay of Plenty’s busiest bass player, both with his main band Kokomo and as a session musician. He also operates the Bay’s longest-running recording studio, The Boatshed, where he has recorded the likes of Jan Preston, Shona Laing, Mike King, Richard O'Brien, Grant Haua, Brilleaux and many more.

Specialising in 1920s and 1930s acoustic blues, Americana and jazz, the Bay City Ramblers all sing, and play a range of instruments (including some unusual ones) to capture the essence of American improvised music as it evolved from the Southern plantations to the New Orleans mix of ragtime, blues and carnival music, to the hot sophistication and excitement of Chicago.

Come along on July 21st for a good time… plus tea, coffee and biscuits at half time!



Katikati Bowling Club
8 Park Road



$15 members
$20 non-members
Children: free


You can download a limited-edition poster
to brighten up
your boring old fridge.

Instructions: affix to the outside of your refrigerator.

Tea and coffee are available at Katikati Folk Club
Katikati Folk Club programme banner