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For almost seven years a group of people from throughout New Zealand has been working towards establishing a New Zealand Jazz Orchestra (NZJO).

A charitable trust has been established with 12 Trustees from the New Zealand jazz community chaired by Mr Ron Samson (Drummer/Auckland Jazz Programs) and Rodger Fox (Trombonist/New Zealand School of Music, Wellington). Patrons for this endeavour include iconic artists Mr Mike Nock and Sir Jon Trimmer. The Charitable Trust will be based in Wellington giving it good access to musicians and audiences in the North and South islands.

The proposed NZJO would provide a career pathway for young emerging jazz musicians as the NZ Symphony Orchestra does for classical musicians.

To become financially viable, the NZJO requires a funding commitment from Government to meet an annual operating budget of $1.8M for the first five years. Once established we believe this level of annual funding would ensure a high level of service, visibility and engagement. We will actively pursue commercial sponsorship, which if successful would reduce the reliance on government funding. As the orchestra becomes a proven professional entity it will provide attractive sponsorship opportunities for specific concerts, events or even seasons.

To put this in context the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) receives funding from government funding bodies such as Creative New Zealand, Culture and Heritage. It is a full-size, full-time professional orchestra, and has a full management team. Other regional classical orchestras in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin receive substantial annual funding.

We believe that the time has come for jazz to receive due recognition and be treated with the same courtesy as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, NZ Regional Orchestras, NZ Opera and Ballet. Establishing a NZJO would provide this recognition and realise substantial cultural and other benefits while requiring only modest Government support.

Now is the time to push things along

A major submission has been made to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the next stage of the funding process is to receive public feedback.

This is where we require your help

Please visit the Survey Monkey feedback link and support the cause.


A personal appeal - support the formation of the New Zealand Jazz Orchestra

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