Upcoming Events

  • Friday 19th July – Society Night – Derek Kirkland
  • Saturday 20th July – Concert – Kim Bonnington and the Brooklyn Boys
  • Sunday 11th August – Bluegrass Music jam session (free)
  • Sunday 11th August – Bluegrass banjo workshop ($30 – bookings essential)
  • Sunday 8th September – Old Time Music jam session (free)
  • Sunday 8th September – Clawhammer banjo workshop ($30 – bookings essential)

see below for the details

Note  there will also be a seating allocation system for those wanting specific seats allocated prior to concerts.  Allocated seats should be requested well prior to the concert.  Click on following picture for further information on this option.
allocated seating (600 wide) (175x97)

Friday 19th July – Society Night – Derek Kirkland

“Derek was born in 1939 to non musical parents. Most of his life he has lived on the small farmlet on a hill overlooking Plimmerton. Derek has never joined the drift to the city, instead the city has drifted towards him, as all the empty farmland surrounding him has been filled with suburban sprawl. He never married and has spent his life shearing in the Wellington region, in recent years tending the sheep on Plimmerton and Pauatahanui lifestyle blocks.

“In the 1960s he joined the Wellington Country and Western Club and began writing songs. He also learnt guitar, fiddle, autoharp, mandolin, mouth harp and double bass. He later joined the Plimmertion Bush Band and the Celtic Cowboys, performing at barn dances and ceilidhs. He has also been in country singing duos for many years.

“He has written over 100 songs. His songwriting closely observes the daily rural life about him, with clever rhyming and quiet humour. Ragwort and pet lambs, council roadmen, mice in the mash tin, pony clubs and daggy bum ewes are all part of his songscape.

“His ballads, like those about his Uncle Mervyn and Winks Jones, paint vivid pictures of farming life around Wellington in days past and he also has the knack of quickly getting a topical song to air using a parody of an old but instantly recognisable song.

“Paddy the Wanderer” was one of his compositions with his friend Ed Budding of Tawa, recorded in 2018. This was about an Airedale terrier who roamed the streets of Wellington during the depression years. Paddy was a friend of cabbies, workers and seamen alike, who took turns at paying his annual dog licence. Paddy was known for greeting sailors in Wellington harbour and accompanying them as a stowaway on their coastal steamers.

“Derek has no intentions of changing his lifestyle in any way. He is happy with his life and spends his non working time pottering in the garden and glasshouses and tending his horse. He has a 1965 Ford Galaxy convertible, but mostly uses one of his 1979 minis for daily transport. He has a collection of three to choose from.”

– extracts reprinted with courtesy from the Whitby Newsbrief  – photo of Derek (excluding artwork) courtesy of Julian Ward

Society Night – Derek Kirkland
Friday 19th July 8:00pm
Wellington Bluegrass Society, 54 Richmond Street, Petone
$10 – tea and coffee included
Door sales from 7:30pm

Floorspots to follow the main act then a jam session after that –
Bring your instruments and join in

Saturday 20th July – Concert – Kim Bonnington and the Brooklyn Boys

“Kim is steeped in the deep tradition of country and bluegrass, you can hear the years of singing honky tonk music every time she opens her mouth. I love this woman!”
– Tami Neilson

Kim Bonnington has firmly established herself in the Wellington folk and country music scenes as the girl with the golden country voice. She is celebrated as a solo artist but also for her harmonies, where she has worked with artists including Bill Hickman, Anxiety Club, Tami Neilson, Rob Joass, Mel Parsons, The Frank Burkitt Band and with Cameron ‘Dusty’ Burnell as Kim and Dusty.

In her early years, Saturday nights began with a quick nap on a beanbag while her parents played gigs in the small country halls around Nelson. When awoken to join the post gig jam sessions, it was here that Kim learnt her craft and established the substantial repertoire that she draws upon today. Reared on a solid diet of Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard and Gram Parsons, Kim’s roots are firmly planted in traditional country music, country rock of the 1970s and the neo-traditional 1980s. Through her childhood and teens she was a regular contestant in New Zealand country music awards before moving to Wellington to pursue a career in education. In 2014 as Kim and Dusty they released Live at the Bluegrass Society and in 2016 she released and toured her self-titled debut EP.

“The songs sound like ones that we’ve heard before, or definitely should have, a testament to Kim’s work with numerous bands and her ability to craft songs that sound like classics”
– Second Hand News

Kim Bonnington and The Brooklyn Boys celebrate the traditional country music that Kim grew up with and they are a vehicle to sing the songs she has known for years but never performed. Featuring dynamic acoustic instrumentation, the band have a repertoire that celebrates the best of Kim’s voice and the talents of Laurence Frangos-Rhodes (guitar), Sam Frangos-Rhodes (mandolin and fiddle) and Tommy Joass (bass). Expect to hear the best of a brotherly blend in harmonies as Kim Bonnington and the Brooklyn Boys celebrate the traditional sound heard in the early days when the Grand Ole Opry was held in the Ryman Auditorium.

“Kim’s voice seems to have the history of classic folk and country embedded within it, something most singers could only dream of. Soulful songs stacked with integrity; meaningful and uplifting”
– Barnaby Weir

photo courtesy of Ebony Lamb


Concert – Kim Bonnington and the Brooklyn Boys
Saturday 20th July 8:00pm
Wellington Bluegrass Society, 54 Richmond Street, Petone
$20/$15 members or children – tea and coffee included

Bookings accepted before the day – by email to bluegrass(at)xtra.co.nz or phone (04)477 0069

Doors open at 7:20pm for those who have booked
Otherwise door sales on the day from 7:50pm

and much more to come !

Second Sunday each month – Jam Session and banjo workshop – Old Time Music or Bluegrass

Old-time Music or Bluegrass jam session and banjo workshop
second Sunday of the  month
Old-Time Music on ‘odd’ months – Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sept, Nov
Bluegrass Music on ‘even’ months – Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec
Petone Community House
6 Britannia Street, Petone
2:00 – 4:00pm

Free entry to the jam sessions – all welcome
$30 per person for the banjo workshop – bookings required
Please email bluegrass(at)xtra.co.nz  to register your interest in this workshop

This is a new venture for the WBS, having come together after years in the making. Over the years the WBS has organised Old-time banjo camps, then Old-time music camps and many Old-time instrument and workshops as well as various Bluegrass sessions. There has been a calling for an Old-time and Bluegrass jam sessions

I hope you all will embrace this opportunity so the jam sessions can flourish.


A new venture! in conjunction with the jam session:
banjo workshop, for absolute beginners!

In response to requests from some of you, there will be a banjo workshop, for absolute beginners. Running in parallel to the jam session, at the same venue, this will cater for anyone who has either just picked up a banjo, through to getting you up to jamming with others.

banjo workshop for absolute beginners
2:00 – 4:00pm
Petone Community House
6 Britannia Street, Petone
$30 per person

Wellington Bluegrass Society, Petone New Zealand for good fun and fine music !

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