Welcome to Torch Music

Torch Music is the website for Liam Ryan - New Zealand based keyboardist/producer, writer and arts educator.


Christchurch born, Liam Ryan, musician and arts educator, made his name as keyboardist and songwriter with Kiwi band The Narcs in the 1980s - (You Took Me) Heart and Soul, Diamonds On China). He has featured as a session player on many New Zealand recordings and has toured as a sideman with international artists including Charlie Musselwhite, Long John Baldry and Robben Ford and is a long-standing collaborator with many international musicians working remotely from his Anam Cara studio in Waihi.

Liam has released 3 solo albums on his IMNZ label: Torch Music: Mississippi To Mauao (2007), Pacific Riviera (2010) and Woven Not Stranded (2021). You will find links to his music here.

He currently performs with Spicer & Ryan, The Midge Marsden Band, The Flaming Mudcats  and numerous jazz line-ups including Lucky Strike, The Blue Riders and appearances with the Rodger Fox Funkbone Experience. In 2022 he composed and produced commissioned works for the Rodger Fox Hone Tuwhare Project and the Creative Waikato Creative Acts of Kindness Project. He also did a final tour with the Narcs and produced two collections of groove based pieces with Sarah Spicer - part of their ongoing series "The Affirmations".

Since 2002 Liam has been involved with the National Jazz Festival Tauranga as a Director, Artistic Director and now as Manager of the National Youth Jazz Competition. In August 2017 he was awarded Life Membership of the Tauranga Jazz Society.

He is a former member of the New Zealand Music Commission and the SAE NZ Academic Board. His Masters Degree researched The Rise of Rhythm and Blues in Christchurch 1960 -1970. He is a former columnist and reviewer for Fairfax Media and currently writes for various magazines about music and culture.  You will find articles he has written here.

About the WOVEN NOT STRANDED Album Project : 

"Woven Not Stranded is the third and final in the M2M album trilogy and a homage to my musical roots - from playing disco in Auckland clubs six nights a week, years of touring playing rhythm and blues and jazz and, before all of that my love of classical music and my early days playing violin in orchestras. It's eclectic; it's all here. The title, Woven Not Stranded, is a nod to my inspiring grandmother Elsie who was a weaver and poet. She practised her art in the middle of nowhere up the Awatere Valley in the South Island NZ. I often feel the same solitude working on my music in the provinces - especially so in The Time of Covid. And yet we all remain connected. By the strands of whanau and aroha that bind us. Woven Not Stranded."

Digital release December 2021       CD release July 2023

I am grateful for the generosity of spirit of the many musicians on this project. All phenomenal people, great players and exceptional ambassadors for music, every one. Thank you:
Guitar: Nick Granville, Dean Hetherington, Chet O'Connell, Regan Perry.
Bass: Peter Stroud, Liam Ryan
Saxophone: Alex Nyman, Hayden Baird
Horns: Rodger Fox, Jack Harre, Mike Booth
Drums: Steve Garden, Josh Sorenson
Hammond, pianos, synth and strings: Liam Ryan
Harp: Midge Marsden, Haggis Macguiness
Vocals: Sarah Spicer, Liam Ryan
Percussion and voice Artist: Amir Yussof
Flute: Greg Latham

Producer: Liam Ryan
Mastering: Mike Bloemendal
Photography: Harry Harrison
Artwork: Mike Dunn/Tribal Brands

You can find more information about Liam's music and purchase tracks from:




  • Hamin Derus & Bamboo (6-track EP mix)
  • Noel Coutts & Dean Hetherington - The Empire Sessions (12-track Album mix)
  • The Flaming Mudcats (11-track Album mix)
  • Amir Yussof (Singles - keyboards and production)
  • Sarah Spicer (6-track EP - The Affirmations)
  • Evan Silva  (Singles - co-writes, keyboards and arrangements)
  • Rodger Fox (Bird of Prayer - Big Band composition & arrangement)
  • Chet O' Connell  (Single - keyboards)



For up to the minute details on appearances and ticketing information please go to Liam's Torch Music NZ page on Face Book.

LIVE GIGS  2023 & 2024

  • Sunday Jan 8th -Waihi Beach Hotel with The Flaming Mudcats and Elles Bailey (UK) and the NZ Blues All -Stars
  • Friday Jan 13th - The Monkey House Whitianga with The Flaming Mudcats
  • Sunday January 21st The Harlequin Point Chevaliar with Elles Bailey and The Flaming Mudcats
  • Wednesday January 25th - TJS Jazz Jam, Mount Social Club with Lucky Strike
  • Sunday March 5th - Rotorua jazz Club with Lucky Strike
  • Saturday March 11th - Anthems: Music in Parks with Midge Marsden Band
  • March 24th & 25th - Beach Hop, Whangamata - with The Flaming Mudcats.
  • March 26th - Paeroa Maritime Park with Sarah Spicer, Amir Yussof and Lucky Strike
  • April 8th - National Jazz Festival with The Torch Songs Band
  • April 9th - National Jazz Festival with Sarah Spicer and the Blue Riders
  • April 15th  11am - Paeroa Domain - with The Action
  • April 15 - Ponsonby Social Club Auckland - with The Flaming Mudcats
  • April 21 - Baycourt Theatre 40th Celebrations w Carol Storey
  • April 22 - The Monkey House, Whitianga with The Flaming Mudcats
  • April 29 - Tauranga ( private) with Lucky Strike
  • May 13 - The Barrel Room Tauranga with Lucky Strike
  • May 25-27 Recording with Dean Hetherington and Noel Couttes, Anam Cara Studio, Waihi
  • June 3rd - Waihi Beach Hotel
  • June 5th - Kings Birthday Weekend Totara Street Tauranga - with The Flaming Mudcats & Petra Rijnbeek
  • June 11th - Paeroa Theatre with Evan Silva and The Action
  • June 17th - New Plymouth - Four Walls - with The Flaming Mudcats
  • June 18th - Hamilton with The Flaming Mudcats
  • August 5th - Barrel Room, Tauranga with Lucky Strike
  • August 25-27 - Recording with Flaming Mudcats at Studio 11B Mauao
  • August 30th - TJS Jazz Jam, Mount Social Club
  • September 2nd - Barrel Room, Tauranga with Lucky Strike
  • September 8th  - Jazz@ The WELL, Tandoori Chamber, Waihi
  • September 23rd - Barrel Room, Tauranga with Lucky Strike
  • October 21st - The Black Barn with Hello Sailor
  • October 25th - TJS Jazz Jam, Mount Social Club
  • October 28th - Te Aroha with The Flaming Mudcats
  • November 11th - Dire Straits Tribute Show, Hamilton
  • November 24-26 BOP Blues & BBQ Festival - with Midge Marsden, The Flaming Mudcats and Petra Rijnbeek
  • December 2nd - ANZAC Bay Summer Kick Off Festival
  • December 10th - Waihi Xmas in The Park with Lucky Strike.
  • December 31st - ( NYE)  at The Barrel Room with The Flaming Mudcats


  • January 27th - Thames - Wheels & Wings - with The Action
  • February 2nd - Blockhouse Bay - with The Midge Marsden Band
  • February 3rd & 4th -Waiheke Island with The Flaming Mudcats
  • February 10th - Paeroa Highland Tattoo with Sarah Spicer and The Blue Riders
  • February 17th - The Monkey House, Whitianga with The Flaming Mudcats
  • February 23rd- Barrel Room with Lucky Strike
  • March 2nd - Nelson with The Flaming Mudcats
  • March 16th - The Barrelroom, Tauranga with Lucky Strike
  • March 22nd and 23rd Beach Hop, Whangamata with The Flaming Mudcats
  • March 23rd Katch Katikati with Lucky Strike
  • March 29th & 30th - Tauranga National Jazz Festival with The Flaming Mudcats
  • April 6th - Paeroa with The Action
  • April 27th - The Barrelroom with Lucky Strike
  • May 2nd - The Village Mt Eden with The Flaming Mudcats
  • May 25th - The Barrelroom with The Flaming Mudcats
  • May 31st - Palmerston North with The Midge Marsden Band
  • June 28th and 29th - New Plymouth with The Flaming Mudcats




June 2-5 – The Narcs National Tour with Jon Stevens Band
·      July 3 – Paeroa Community Theatre (with Evan Silva)
·      July 30 – Ponsonby Social Club (with The Flaming Mudcats)

·      October 14 – WELL, Waihi (with Lucky Strike)
·      October 22&23 – Butlers Reef (with The Flaming Mudcats)
·      October 29 – Waihi Drama Soc Theatre – Spicer & Ryan Concert
·      November 18 – Tauranga garden and Arts Festival (with Lucky Strike)
·      November 25&26 – Beach Hop, Whangamata ( with The Flaming Mudcats)
·      December 3 – Taranaki (Private) ( with The Flaming Mudcats)


·      February 7 – Rotorua Jazz Club (with The Torch Songs Band)
·      February 20 – The Barrel Room, Tauranga (with The Jeff baker Band)
·      March 19-21 – Island View Jazz Festival (with the Rodger Fox Funkbone Experience)
·      April 1- 4 – National Jazz Festival Tauranga  (with Rodger Fox, The Torch Songs Band and Collision)
·      April 17 – Mapua Wharf, Nelson ( with The Lizard Kings)
·      May 14 – Mount Maunganui (with the Mandy Meadows band)
·      June 2-5 – National Tour (With The Jon Stevens Band and The Narcs)
·      July 4 – Rotorua Jazz Club (with Rodger Fox and Erna Ferry)
·      July 23 – Waihi Beach Hotel (with Amir Yussof)
·      August 6  – Nelson Blues Festival (with The Boogie Train and The Flaming Mudcats)
·      August 13 – Bay of Islands Jazz Festival (with The Midge Marsden Band)
·      September/October/ – National Tour with the Narcs (cancelled due to Covid)
·      November 21 – Martinborough Wine Festival with The Midge Marsden Band ( cancelled due to Covid)


·      January 5 – Omokaroa Boat  Club (The Blue Riders)
·      January 9 - The Jam Factory Tauranga (The Narcs Unplugged)
·      January 10 - The Waihi Beach Hotel (The Narcs Unplugged)
·      January 11 - Two Mile Bay Taupo (The Narcs Unplugged)
·      January 12 - Nirvana Lounge Hamilton(The Narcs Unplugged)
·      January 29 - Mount Social Club (TJS jazz jam)
·      February 1 - Acid Daze Nelson (The Lizard Kings)
·      February 7 - Blockhouse Bay (The Midge Marsden band)
·      February 21 - Brisbane (The Narcs Unplugged)
·      February 26 - Mount Social Club ( TJS jazz jam)
·      March 14 - Auckland (The Narcs w Icehouse)
·      March 25 - Mount Social Club (TJS jazz jam)
·      April 11 & 12 - Tauranga National Jazz Festival
·      May 23 - Christchurch Jazz Festival (The Lizard Kings)
·      June 2 – Rotorua, BOP Blues Festival (with The Midge Marsden Band)
·      June 27 – Howick Club (with The Narcs Unplugged)
·      June 28 – Taupo, Two Mile Bay (with The Narcs Unplugged)
·      June 29 – Tauranga, Jam Factory (with The Narcs Unplugged)
·      June 30 – Thames, Lotus Realm (with The Narcs Unplugged)
·      August 28  - Mount Social Club (TJS jazz jam)
·      October 12 – Tauranga, The Jam Factory (with Sarah Spicer and The Blue Riders)
·      October 30 – Tauranga Arts Festival (with John Wright and The Sou’Westers)
·      October 31 – Auckland (with John Wright and The Sou’Westers)
·      November 1 – Rangiora Town Hall (with John Wright and The Sou’Westers)
·      November 2- Christchurch (with John Wright and The Sou’Westers)
·      November 17 – Taste Martinborough (with The Midge Marsden Band)
·      December 5 - 15  - South Island Tour (The Narcs)


·      November 27 - Mount Social Club (TJS jazz jam)
·      November 30 - Paeroa Refinery guest w The Remnants (Hello Sailor)
·      December 11 - Wanaka (The Narcs Unplugged)
·      December 12 – Invercargill (The Narcs Unplugged)
·      December 13 – Oamaru (The Narcs Unplugged)
·      December 12 – Lyttleton (The Narcs Unplugged)
·      December 17 – Waihi Beach Hotel Xmas Party (with Tim Armstrong)
·      December 18 –   Mount Social Club ( TJS Xmas Party/jam)
·      March 25 - Mount Social Club ( TJS jazz jam)
·      April 11 & 12 - Tauranga National Jazz Festival
·      May 23 - Christchurch (The Lizard Kings)


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