Four Hands, Two Pianos & One Big Band concert tour coming soon
Rodger Fox Big Band (RFBB) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a unique concert tour, Four Hands, Two Pianos & One Big Band. This unprecedented tour features two acclaimed pianists, Michael Houstoun and Bill Cunliffe, playing two grand pianos with the RFBB.
The tour kicks off on 27 May at the Gallagher Theatre for the Performance Arts, Waikato University, Hamilton, and continues on to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Palmerston North. The other tour dates are 28 May at the Bruce Mason Theatre in Auckland, 31 May at Whirinaki Whare Taonga Expressions in Upper Hutt, 2 June at The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts in Christchurch, and 3 June at The Globe Theatre in Palmerston North.
A highlight of the tour is a reimagined version of George Gershwin's 1924 composition 'Rhapsody in Blue,' arranged for two pianos and a big band by Bill Cunliffe. Cunliffe has recast the classic piece, featuring Houstoun as the principal pianist, to bring out the Jazz and Latin aspects of the piece.
Rodger Fox, New Zealand’s foremost jazz trombonist and big-band leader, arranged for Houstoun and Cunliffe to join the RFBB for the tour. Fox has known both musicians for decades, and their friendship has made this unique concert possible.
Rodger Fox said, "Michael Houstoun is arguably the best-known and certainly one of the most admired artists in the world of classical music in New Zealand for the past 50 years. In recent years, Michael ventured into projects with RFBB as they have explored a blend of Classical/Jazz and contemporary compositions.
"Joining Michael at the other piano is Bill Cunliffe, whose career highlights include winning the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition in 1989, as pianist and arranger with the Buddy Rich Big Band, and working with Frank Sinatra."
The Four Hands, Two Pianos & One Big Band concert tour promises to be a musical event like no other. Don't miss this unique opportunity to experience the legendary Rodger Fox Big Band, Michael Houstoun, and Bill Cunliffe in concert.