The suave tones of the jazz singer echo throughout the restaurant, loud and clear.
For some, turning 90 would be a good reason to chill out, but Marlborough singer and musician Coral Thiel celebrated by doing what she loves most: playing jazz.
For 40 years Coral and her husband Tony, from Blenheim, have been making music around the world.
So when it came time to choose how to celebrate her milestone birthday, she chose to mark the moment with three specials.
* Marlborough Jazz Festival thrills the crowd
* Young jazz musos set to impress at gala evening in Blenheim
* Jazz jammers swing in Blenheim
“My real birthday was Monday, but it’s not a good night to celebrate anything, so we celebrated ahead instead.
“I think it’s wonderful that people want to join us in celebrating.
“I’ve been told I don’t look like I’m 90 which is lovely and I put it all down to the music and Nivea cream, they both help me stay young.”
Multilingual singer Coral also plays percussion while Tony accompanies on keyboards. The couple have lived in Blenheim for 15 years, which is the longest they have been in one location.
“We love it here. The support for all art forms here is amazing,” she says.
People gathered in the Dodson Street restaurant to share the celebrations with Coral and Tony, who met in Christchurch, where Coral is from.
An Australian family also flew in to help commemorate the special occasion.
The popular duo held three two-hour performances, introducing the public to the 600 melodies.
Coral says whatever she performs, from Cole Porter and Gershwin to show tunes and continental European songs, she “enjoys every second.”
The self-taught musician and artist and her husband have spent 25 years performing in Europe and have no plans to slow down anytime soon.
She opened the evening’s performances with Cabaret, the title song of the 1966 musical of the same name.
“As the song says, ‘What’s the use of sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play.’
“It’s been a busy day but I go to bed early. It’s good to be busy and I absolutely believe it has helped me stay young.”