I am very proud to be presenting the following artists for the 2017 concert series.
Nanny Assis is a Brazilian, New York based vocalist, instrumentalist and songwriter. Nanny was recently awarded lifetime achievement award Ambassador in Brazilian Music in Tokyo and nominated for best show in New York also instrumentalist.
He will perform songs from his Double Rainbow album, with standards also. Nanny is an outstanding vocalist drummer/percussionist and a talented songwriter who has touched hearts and souls through his music.
Anybody that sees Nanny perform immediately feels his rhythms and notes often snatching audiences away, other times energising them enough to stand up and dance "and sweat until you cant sweat no more" to use Bob Marley's lyrics. Nanny Assis is quite simply a gifted artist.
Nanny has been collaborating with vocalist Maggie Gould in New York and Maggie has her inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald, Astrud Gilberto, Ivan Lins, Chet Baker and Elaine Elias. Her music is described as soft, sultry, vocals with space, her performances have taken her to festivals Tauranga Jazz, Samoa, Monterey, Rome, Venice to London clubs and New York city.
Joining them is Kevin Field pianist/composer, internationally experienced Kevin has collaborated with the industrys best form Nathan Haines to New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
He has released many albums and is a member of Dr Dog jazz ensemble winner of best jazz album 2015 NZ Music Awards.
Maggie Gould is a photojournalist and a musician. Her musical genre ranges from Jazz, Latin, through to Brazilian and Pop. Influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Stevie Wonder,Donny Hathaway and Bossa Nova style.
Maggie has performed at the Tauranga Jazz Festival, the Samoa Jazz and Blues Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival and has worked in Las Vegas and London. Most recently performed at BB Kings Club, Manhattan with the Nanny Assis Band. Maggie has performed at Zinc Jazz Club in New York, Smalls, Ronnies & Rome.
She has performed with Bruce Forman guitarist from California, and most recently Jonathan Crayford. Maggie Gould New York based, has performed internationally with John di Martino, Leo Traversa and Tommy Campbell.
Pianist and composer Kevin Field has collaborated with some of the top international names in jazz including guitarist Nir Felder, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Obed Calvaire, who all feature on his New York album The A List (Warner Music 2015). He has performed concerts in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand and features on over 30 albums by such artists as Nathan Haines, Whirimako Black, Caitlin Smith and The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Kevin has released several of his own albums including the celebrated Field of Vision, also on the Warner Music label.
At the age of 8, Kevin began his musical career with piano lessons introducing him to the world of classical music. After considerable success at competitions and examinations, he started playing in a jazz band at age 17 where he discovered a passion for jazz. Kevin’s distinctive approach to jazz harmony is probably the most recognizable element to his playing and compositions. “From a very young age, it was the harmony in music that moved me and the emotions that could be attached to chords or a chord sequence.”
Kevin is a dynamic and experienced live performer having lead a number of his own bands and is known for the respect and affinity he garners from his fellow musicians. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Jazz Studies at The University of Auckland.
Roy Phillips is the singer and keyboardist of 60's and 70's Britrock band The Peddlers. Discovered by Frank Sinatra, they broke through to the US charts selling 45 million records worldwide. This is the most sold by a NZ resident where he settled to Queenstown in 1989; Roy is now based in Christchurch.
Roy wrote the NZ Olympic Team Song "I Have A Dream" which Beatrice Faumuina reportedly found "extremely motivational". His latest album - Blue Groove - was featured on BBC2's Jools Holland Show recently.
These days Roy spends most of his time composing songs for other people and writing film soundtracks. He introduced his one man show at the Queenstown Jazz Festival in 2003 and has toured it around New Zealand ever since.
Roy admits that his current jazz fusion style is influenced by Donny Hathaway. Although he still enjoys "...a plonk on a Hammond", Roy's keyboard of choice these days is a Kurtzweil 2500x. As he says, "It's a damn site easier to lug around." Future commitments include an album of originals with friend and jazz diva, Hine Marchand
Nichaud & Mark are the children of well known Melbourne entertainer Graham “Smacka” Fitzgibbon, nephew to actress/singer Maggie Fitzgibbon and grandson to pianist/vaudevillian Min Fitzgibbon.
Nichaud Fitzgibbon is recognised as Australia's premier jazz stylist her natural charisma and feisty elegance brings sophistication to performances offering a repertoire of popular jazz standards from the Great American Songbook. Her sound is sultry and warm and she always leaves you wanting more from her selection of swing and grooves to bossa and blues. She performs regularly with her band at various Melbourne venues and festivals around the country and is in demand for corporate events and major concerts she works with some of Melbourne's finest musicians in a variety of line-ups from duo to bigband.
Nichaud's latest career highlights include a stellar performance with her Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee for The Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2015 ,closing of the Stonnington Jazz Festival 2013 with her Tribute to Peggy Lee. She was also chosen to sing for the 70th Commemorative Gala Ball in Darwin in 2012.
Mark Fitzgibbon was born into a strong entertainment tradition. He is the son of well known Australian entertainer, jazzman and restaurateur Graham “Smacka” Fitzgibbon , nephew to actress singer Maggie Fitzgibbon and grandson to pianist vaudevillian Min Fitzgibbon, his sister Nichaud is a famed jazz vocalist and brother Andrew a notable drummer.
A piano student from an early age, he studied music under Fred Thomas, Graham Rule, Marie Driscoll and Trevor Barnard but mostly learnt from going on the road like everyone. Mark started with many leading Melbourne bands including Vince Jones and Wilbur Wildes “Blowout”. In the eighties move to London and performed throughout Europe for the next seven years. In London worked as a freelance pianist regularly performing at the 606 club, Pizza Express and Ronnie Scotts jazz clubs.
Mark returned to Australia in the 90's and won the Wangarratta jazz festival prize. Has worked and recorded with with many of Australias finest jazz performers including Dale Barlow, Bernie Mcgann, Christine Mcnulty, Fiona Burnett, Andrew Speight, Jamie Oehlers, Scott Tinkler, Ian Chaplin, Wilbur Wilde, Sabrina Montgomery, Cam Mcallister, David Rex, Willow Neilsen, Nichaud Fitzgibbon and his own trios and quartets.
A highly regarded pianist Mark has continued to be in demand within Australia as a solo artist, accompanist, composer and recording artist on stage, tv and radio. Mark has accompanied many international jazz stars such as Scott Hamilton, Lee Konitz, John Stubblefield, Curtis Lundy, Claire Martin, Mark Murphy and George Coleman jr on their tours in Oz. Mark is currently working in Melbourne with his jazz piano trio and quintet, Dale Barlow and George Coleman jr qt, Ruth Rogers Wrights Nina Simone show, Dave Graney's Lurid yellow mist, jazzreggae group Skankin', a tv jazzshow for Ch31 and a duo with the dynamic violinist Susannah Ng and some other weird and wonderful situations.
“Mark Fitzgibbon is one of the most under rated talents in the country. Always musically tasteful , a consistently sympathetic accompanist , a repository of a vast repertoire and an impeccable touch, he can produce blistering solos and lift the music to another level” -Adrian Jackson the AGE
Composer and pianist Norman Meehan and vocalist Hannah Griffin have been collaborating for more than 15 years, performing poetry as song. That collaboration has seen them work extensively with New Zealand’s inaugural Poet Laureate Bill Manhire, releasing six CDs of song-settings.
The pair are joined in concert by multi-instrumentalist and composer Blair Latham, to perform poems by a number of New Zealand’s many interesting writers: Hone Tuwhare, James K. Baxter, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, Eileen Duggan, David Mitchell and a few of Bill’s poems, too.
Hannah Griffin trained as a jazz vocalist in Christchurch and Wellington, where she now lives. She has performed extensively in many contexts, and recorded albums with composer and multi-instrumentalist Nick van Dijk, with Rosie Langabeer’s large ensemble Zirkus, as well as with this group. New Zealand Musician magazine said: “Hannah sings with such elegance and ease that you can’t help but listen to the often tender word. Her phrasing is superb and the balance between lyrics and performance is perfect.”
Norman Meehan trained as a jazz musician in Wellington, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco. He has released eight albums as leader, the most recent being Tell Me My Name (VUP, 2017) featuring riddles and charms written by poet Bill Manhire and set to music by Norman. An earlier album Small Holes in the Silence (Rattle, 2015) features song settings of poems by some of New Zealand’s finest poets, including Manhire, Hone Tuwhare and James K. Baxter. He is a full-time musician and write
Paul Dyne recently retired from the New Zealand School of Music where he was an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies, after over 35 years of involvement in Jazz Education. He has been and remains a prolific double bass player who is recognised internationally as one of New Zealand’s leading jazz musicians. He has performed with over 150 visiting international artists, including legends such as Sonny Stitt and Michael Brecker etc. and has played in numerous radio, television, recording and concert performances over many years.
Recent performances include a tour with international saxophone star, Hayden Chisholm, including recording and releasing a CD on Rattle Records, an eight day residency in Nelson for the Adam Chamber Music Festival with a jazz trio led by drummer Ed Ware from New York and Noel Clayton (the Boptet) on guitar and six concerts at the 2017 Wellington Jazz Festival.
Rodger Fox is New Zealand’s foremost Jazz Trombonist, Big Band Leader, Jazz Educator, Arranger, Producer and Senior Lecturer at The New Zealand School of Music.
In 2003 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Music and in 2005 honoured by Massey University with an Honorary Doctorate of Music.
The Rodger Fox Big Band has performed in concert with some of the biggest names in the business, from the jazz and entertainment world, including Michael Brecker, Bill Reichenbach, Bob Sheppard, Diane Schuur, Eric Marienthal, Steve Smith, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dick Oatts, Alan Broadbent, David Clayton-Thomas, Denise Perrier, John Fedchock, Louie Bellson, Clay Jenkins, Jon Papenbrook, Gary Grant, Alan Broadbent, Jim Pugh, Irv Wagner, The University of Oklahoma Trombone Ensemble, Tom Warrington, Joe LaBarbera, Larry Koonse, Chuck Findley, Charlie Musselwhite, Chris Cain, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Arturo Sandoval, Joe Williams, The Four Tops – Temptations, Gary Grant, Jon Papenbrook, Bill Cunliffe, Holly Hofmann, Kevin Mahogany to name but a few.
Rodger has promoted live concerts with his Big Band in the Global Festival arena, Montreux Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Wichita Jazz Festival, The International Association of Jazz Educators Concert 1997 & 1999, Los Angeles and Las Vegas – record at Capitol Recording Studio 2012 and concerts in London, Singapore, Australia, Poland and the USA.
Erna Ferry is a paramount jazz and blues singer, and comes with stellar experience in many styles of musical performance. Erna is a vivacious, fun, sparkling stage personality. She has the ability to grab the crowd and make them hers. Whether she is singing a slow sultry ballad or belting out a swinging blues, you are in no doubt that Erna is giving the song her utmost.
Erna has performed at all the leading jazz festivals throughout New Zealand, and her career highlights include winning the 1993 Wellington Jazz Quest, supporting American vocal star Al Jarreau as well as touring New Zealand with leading American Jazz performers Bruce Forman - Guitar, Bill Cunliffe- Piano, Holly Hofmann - Flute and Jon Papenbrook - Trumpet.
Erna has toured the USA with the Rodger Fox Big Band appearing at the Monterey Jazz Festival and performing in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In 2000 Erna also released her first CD “Devil May Care” which featured The Rodger Fox Big Band. Musical arrangements are by acclaimed American writers Gordon Brisker and Jeff Driskill with special appearances by star performers Bill Cunliffe and Jon Papenbrook. In 2015 Erna toured the Peggy Lee Story to much acclaim, while continuing to work with the Rodger Fox Big Band and the Wellington Jazz Orchestra. 2017 sees Erna continuing to work with Rodger – and also finding a way to get back into some blues with the initiative “Two Bluesy Blondes”
Geoff Culverwell is one of New Zealand's most prolific horn players, playing sessions from big band lead to pop and jazz recording.
He has toured with a host of international acts and headlined on his own behalf, gigging at prestigious overseas venues, from Ronnie Scott's in London, to Paris, Poland, Montreaux, Sydney, Melbourne, New York and Los Angeles.
Recent shows have included headlining at the Wellington & Queenstown international jazz festivals. In 2005 he presented his 'Chet Baker Tribute' Show at the Christchurch International Jazz Festival plus the Queenstown Winterfest jazz night.
His solo session work can be heard on the Roy Philips album and the award winning 'Rhombus' CD (2004), horn arrangements on Brannigan Ka's #1 Maori language CD plus movie & TV themes (currently playing 'Goodbye Pork Pie' etc.). He is also in demand as a jazz clinician and brass tutor.