• Derek Jacombs – vocals, acoustic guitar 
  • Grant Bullot - harmonica
  • Sonia Bullot - trumpet
  • Nigel Masters – bass
  • Santiago Rebagliati – electric guitar
  • Ian “Beano” Gilpin - drums

Hailing from the sunny Bay of Plenty, Kokomo (originally “Kokomo Blues”) has been together now since 1991, and has become renowned for dynamic live shows and smart distinctive song-writing, as well as the band’s unique harmonica-trumpet horn section. During this time the band has toured extensively throughout New Zealand, performing at the country’s major rock, blues, jazz and folk festivals.

Between touring the band has released twelve albums and a live concert DVD. The first two were collections of traditional blues, while subsequent albums feature the band’s own songs. 

Along the way Radio New Zealand has recorded five programmes focusing on Kokomo’s music, and they have appeared from time to time on various TV channels. Kokomo’s music has also been used as the soundtrack for projects as diverse as TV gardening shows and surfing videos. It has also featured on such popular programmes as Shortland Street.

They have also played with and supported a number of overseas blues and jazz acts, including Georgie Fame, Richard O'Brien, Doug McLeod, Keb Mo, Buddy Guy, Mississippi Willie Foster, The LeRoi Brothers, Hans Theessink, New Orleans singer Lillian Boutte, Hawaiian steel wizard Ken Emerson, and legendary guitarist Amos Garrett (ex-Butterfield Blues Band).

On the local front they have performed and toured with the likes of Roy Phillips (ex-Peddlers), Hammond Gamble, Dragon, Jan Preston, Midge Marsden, Shona Laing, Barry Saunders, Mike Cooper and many others.


The band was formed in 1991 after a chance performance at the National Jazz Festival. Derek Jacombs had been invited to present a set of solo blues and brought Grant Bullot to join him. The concert turned into a runaway success and they decided to form a full-time band to spread their love of acoustic blues.

Later that year the band set out on the road with a “we play anywhere” policy, which saw them playing around 200 shows a year, everywhere from Great Barrier Island and the smallest country towns to Auckland’s Aotea Centre. And they started recording. That set the scene for following years.

Skipping ahead...

The band celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016 with the release of three singles followed by the 2-CD collection Batten Down The Hatches, a 33 song selection drawn from two decades of music making. It was launched as the band headlined the opening concert at the National Jazz Festival in front of a sold-out 600 person audience.

Kokomo's latest album Sunset Claws was released on June 17th 2019, complete with several videos and a new tour. Already, between shows, the band are back in the studio preparing for another album in 2020.    

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