Mu­si­cal pow­er­house in band

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS - By SAM DUFF

He’s served in the Is­raeli army and per­formed with Frank Si­na­tra – now mu­si­cian Ze’ev Dikvert is launch­ing a big swing band in Tawa.

Dikvert, 73, said he started play­ing the vi­o­lin when he was 5 and can now play more than 10 in­stru­ments.

‘‘ I had to play so many in­stru­ments be­cause some­body told me, ‘ If you wanted to lead a band you need to know the sounds each in­stru­ment makes’,’’ he said.

‘‘The truth is I didn’t want to start play­ing but my mum said I had to.’’

Be­ing Is­raeli meant Dikvert spent three years in the mil­i­tary as an air­craft en­gi­neer.

He said he avoided night-time guard duty by start­ing his own band to en­ter­tain his com­rades.

Af­ter leav­ing the army, he started to play in night­clubs and soon joined a South Amer­i­can band to tour Europe.

‘‘ I started to prac­tise six to seven hours a day, an­other in­stru­ment ev­ery day,’’ he said.

On re­turn­ing to Is­rael, Dikvert per­formed with some of mu­sic’s big­gest names.

‘‘I was told I had a re­hearsal with Sammy Davis Ju­nior and I started to shake with nerves,’’ he said.

‘‘Frank Si­na­tra was par­tic­u­larly good to per­form with.

‘‘I didn’t like his body­guards, but he was very nice.

‘‘He re­mem­bered ev­ery mem­ber of the band by name.’’

Now liv­ing in Para­pa­raumu, Dikvert and his wife moved to New Zealand 10 years ago to be closer to their chil­dren.

‘‘It was so weird for me to see green moun­tains be­cause in Is­rael ev­ery­thing is desert,’’ Dikvert said. ‘‘I fell in love with this coun­try.’’ Dikvert said he would never stop play­ing mu­sic be­cause he loved it so much.

‘‘Mu­sic is the thing that I know the best,’’ he said.

‘‘Real mu­si­cians die on stage with rhythm.’’

The new Tawa-based big swing band was started in Septem­ber and has 12 mem­bers.

Man­ager Ric Go­denho said the group came to­gether be­cause of their love of big swing mu­sic.

He said the band was in­spired by mu­si­cians such as Benny Good­man, who was known as ‘‘the King of Swing’’.

The band is seek­ing three trom­bon­ists and a trum­pet player.

Photo: SAM DUFF

Play­ing power: Mu­si­cian Ze’ev Dikvert has started up a big swing band in Tawa.

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