Bor­rowed, blue, old and new – in­spi­ra­tion for jazz gala event

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE - CON­TACT: Rodger Fox (021-143-3526) Email: rd­fox@ihug.co.nz.

Big Band leader Rodger Fox is tak­ing English folk­lore and turn­ing it on its head in an ex­cit­ing jazz gala event at this year’s 2016 Manawatu In­ter­na­tional Jazz Festival.

With the help of four top pop/ rock/jazz and blues artists, Rodger has taken the an­cient cus­tom of ‘‘some­thing old, some­thing new, some­thing bor­rowed, some­thing blue’’ as the in­spi­ra­tion for a unique con­cert on June 4, where he reaches out to a wider au­di­ence with a pro­gramme that fuses jazz, blues and pop.

Rodger is re­de­vel­op­ing some clas­sic New Zealand pop songs into jazz stan­dards and has en­gaged Holly Smith, Mark Wil­liams, Deb­bie Har­wood and Erna Ferry to per­form the num­bers in a new id­iom.

Rodger re­cently tri­umphed with a clas­si­cal/jazz se­ries of con­certs fea­tur­ing vir­tu­oso New Zealand pi­anist Michael Hous­toun and now he’s ex­plor­ing the cross­over world of jazz and pop.

Holly Smith cut her teeth per­form­ing with iconic lo­cals Trin­ity Roots and Fat Freddy’s Drop but a call from cel­e­brated Kiwi song­writer Don McGlashan (The Mut­ton Birds) 10 years ago set her on the path to be­come New Zealand’s pre-emi­nent voice of soul.

Penned by Don and per­formed by Hol­lie, the sin­gle Bathe in the River topped the charts and now Rodger is giv­ing the iconic num­ber and her soul reper­toire the jazz treat­ment.

Mark Wil­liams is the leg­endary lead vo­cal­ist with the re­formed New Zealand/Aus­tralian band Dragon and Rodger is ar­rang­ing Marks’ sin­gle Yes­ter­day was Just the Be­gin­ning of my Life for big band treat­ment and also giv­ing a Latin Salsa treat­ment to April Sun in Cuba.

Deb­bie Har­wood cre­ated the Kiwi phe­nom­e­non When The Cat’s Away be­fore launch­ing her own dis­tinc­tive ca­reer. She grew up with her fa­ther’s col­lec­tion of Stan Ken­ton al­bums and also has fond mem­o­ries of sul­try June Christy stan­dards. Deb­bie will also cover one of her orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions.

While Erna Ferry is an iconic jazz and blues artist, she would love to sing her ver­sions of Sharon O’Neill’s Max­ine and Dave Dob­bin’s Slice of Heaven along with some clas­sic blues.

Rodger Fox be­lieves this show­case event will not just sat­isfy the hun­dreds of fans who are drawn to the Queen’s Birth­day festival, but will have spe­cial ap­peal to peo­ple who can re­live the decades when bands such as Hello Sailor, Spilt Enz, Dave Dob­bin, Quincy Con­serve and Dragon strut­ted their stuff.

The Jazz Gala in the Re­gent on Broad­way en­ti­tled Old, New, Bor­rowed, Blue will be the fea­ture con­cert of this year’s Manawatu In­ter­na­tional Jazz and Blues Festival over Queen’s Birth­day week­end.

As a spe­cial of­fer­ing the 2016 Jazz Gala Con­cert will also do­nate some of the pro­ceeds to the Manawatu Alzheimers So­ci­ety.

Tick­ets (adults) $38, (jazz club mem­bers) $32, (stu­dents) $20 for the June 4 event are avail­able from Tick­et­Di­rect.

Mark Wil­liams will be one of the per­form­ers at the 2016 Manawatu In­ter­na­tional Jazz Festival.

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