Guitarist plucked off street for role
Musical director relieved to find final musician for show busking in town
Showbiz Queenstown musical director Emma Wilson was frustrated.
She had everyone she needed to make up the 10-piece band for the impending production of Saturday Night Fever except the crucial guitarist.
‘‘It’s very hard to find guitarists who read music and who aren’t gigging at night. We couldn’t find anyone and were right up to the deadline.’’
It was her wedding anniversary and she was out for lunch with her husband Mark when they spotted local busker Aki Shimizu playing at the waterfront.
‘‘I just said: ‘that’s the guy I need’.’’
She had seen Shimizu previously at a classical concert and was impressed.
‘‘He plays with feeling and understanding of the structure of the music and that’s what I was looking for.’’
For his part, Shimizu was surprised and flattered.
A veteran of 25 years in Queenstown, the Crowne Plaza receptionist mostly plays classical guitar but is trained also in acoustic and electric guitar.
This will be his first musical and includes disco music, jazz numbers and South American salsa dances.
‘‘It’s a challenge but I like a new challenge,’’ he said.
Wilson said there was a great team of musicians behind the production, all living locally except three from Wanaka.
The full band list for the production, which is the New Zealand premiere is: conductor, Emma Wilson; guitar, Aki Shimizu; alto sax, Angela MoteAndrews; bass, Dominic Stayne;
Fever. trumpet 1, Gen Numaguchi; keyboard 2, Graeme Perkins; tenor sax, Jared Anderson; trombone, Luke Petre; keyboard 1, Mark Wilson; percussion, Patrick Brooks; sax, Paul Frude.
SaturdayNightFever musical director EmmaWilson was struggling to find a guitarist for the latest Showbiz Queenstown production – until she spotted Aki Shimizu busking on the Lake Wakatipu waterfront. What: Showbiz Queenstown’s production of SaturdayNight Fever
When: May 13-23 Where: Queenstown Memorial Centre Tickets and more info: showbizqt.co.nz The Mirror has a double pass to giveaway to a lucky reader to the opening night of SaturdayNight
To go in the draw to win email us on email@example.com with Saturday Night Fever in the subject line by Friday lunchtime.