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