Peter Hale sis play­ing 50 fes­ti­val son

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

In the days when a pro­gramme cost 10 cents, a bot­tle of Lion beer was ‘‘the man’s brew’’ and you could buy your Lib­erty lin­gerie from Syming­tons where a fu­neral par­lour now sits, Peter Hales played in his first Manawatu Jazz Fes­ti­val.

Peter had re­cently ar­rived in Palmer­ston North and joined the Manawatu Big Band in 1967 as a trum­pet player.

Word soon spread that the Manawatu Mu­si­cians and En­ter­tain­ers Club, which be­came the Manawatu Jazz Club, was plan­ning their first na­tional jazz fes­ti­val the fol­low­ing year.

It was a great suc­cess, Peter re­calls. The Palmer­ston North Mu­si­cians Club Big Band, led by Wally Bar­ton, at­tracted groups from Whanganui, Tai­hape, Hawke’s Bay, Hamil­ton and Welling­ton.

‘‘We had a great line-up of mu­si­cians such as Peter and Sid Wood, Mo and Errol Chris­tiansen, Trevor Prout, Colin Eglin­ton and Ross McGavin,’’ Peter says.

‘‘I’m a fan of Glenn Miller and I re­mem­ber play­ing his mu­sic.’’

It came as no sur­prise that the jazz fes­ti­val be­came an an­nual af­fair.

‘‘We loved to recre­ate the Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey sound and there were peo­ple in Palmer­ston North who en­joyed trad, dixie and jazz.’’

How­ever, in the pres­i­dent’s mes­sage that year, Colin Brown warned that this ‘‘cul­tural art form is not en­tirely ac­cepted by the mid­dle of the road New Zealan­der’’ and so the fes­ti­val set out to make it more widely ap­pre­ci­ated.

Peter, as a gov­ern­ment ser­vant, had to move about to seek pro­mo­tion but wher­ever he went so did his trum­pet. He played in jazz and swing groups in Welling­ton, Christchurch, New Ply­mouth and Whangarei. He was a mem­ber of the ter­ri­to­rial air force band at Shel­ley Bay, Welling­ton, Wi­gram and Ohakea.

He re­turned to the re­gion in the mid 1970s and has played trum­pet and solo trum­pet in the Manawatu Big Band ever since.

Peter has a fond mem­ory of play­ing for the Queen and Duke in The Square dur­ing the 1977 Royal tour. Prince Philip was so im­pressed with the sound, he asked where the tape recorder was.

Fifty fes­ti­vals on Peter (76) is still on the top podium play­ing in the big band and will be in the line-up when the Manawatu Big Band presents their con­cert in The Globe on Sun­day, June 4.

Peter is now the band man­ager and likes the big band style, in par­tic­u­lar the swing ar­range­ments by leader Trevor Cas­tles.

‘‘Swing is dance mu­sic and I like old time danc­ing so swing with a jazz flavour is what I en­joy the most,’’ Peter says.

‘‘It’s been part of my life for 60 years.’’

As well as play­ing in the big band, Peter is a mem­ber of the Sav­age Club Orches­tra and Big Band and is an RSA mem­ber.

He ac­knowl­edges there are a few mu­si­cians still about who played in the first jazz fes­ti­val and he’s hop­ing to bring them to­gether for a cel­e­bra­tion dur­ing this year’s 50th an­niver­sary.

The Manawatu Jazz Club Big Band per­forms at the Globe on Sun­day, June 4, at 2pm. Book­ings at The Globe.

Peter Hales, pic­tured back row, far left, is seen per­form­ing at the first Manawatu Jazz Fes­ti­val with the Manawatu Big Band. Right: The hand-drawn pro­gram­me­for the first Manawatu Jazz Fes­ti­val.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.