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Michael Houstoun & Rodger Fox Big Band to tour South Island in October

Leading New Zealand musicians, classical pianist Michael Houstoun, jazz trombonist and bandleader Rodger Fox and their special guest, acclaimed blues vocalist Erna Ferry, are touring the South Island and performing in five centres this October.

Houstoun and Fox were the headline act at the recent Wellington Jazz Festival and are long-standing friends. A chance meeting in Christchurch in 2014 led to an unlikely but superb combination of two of New Zealand’s pre-eminent musicians.

This tour provides South Island music lovers to experience the very best of jazz from the recent Wellington Jazz Festival.

Music critic Simon Sweetman, who reviewed the Houstoun-Fox gig at this year’s Wellington Jazz Festival, said, “Such a great band, an immaculate set of tunes – brave and bold and big but never too much, always familiar enough. A good time too, never a long time. This was the perfect Saturday afternoon concert. Such a good vibe.”

The South Island tour takes in Queenstown, Invercargill, Oamaru, Christchurch and Ashburton:

7.30 pm Wednesday, 20 October
The Memorial Centre

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5.00 pm Thursday, 21 October
Civic Theatre

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8.00 pm Friday, 22 October
Opera House
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8.00 pm, Saturday, 23 October
The Piano
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2.30 pm Sunday, 24 October
The Trust Event Centre
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Jazz adaptations of classical music by Gino Vannelli, arranged by acclaimed composer Bill Cunliffe, will be performed at each event.

Michael Houstoun says, “Bill’s arrangements are pure pleasure. He is a jazz genius. He’s created something new with his arrangements without any betrayal of the original Vannelli inspiration.”

The concerts will feature Warriors, a Bill Cunliffe original. Houstoun will play Warriors and feature on the piano in a rhythm/vocal version of Charles Trenet’s I Wish You Love sung by Erna Ferry.

Erna Ferry will also present The Rolling Stones Classic Honky Tonk Women, a version of George Gershwin’s Summertime and the Peggy Lee classic I Love Being here With You.

The Big Band’s contribution is material from the American modern big band library. Houstoun said he admired Fox as a “fabulous musician and a wildman on the trombone.”

Rodger Fox says, “We look forward to seeing our old South Island friends and to making many new ones, but tickets are selling fast. If you want to hear Michael Houstoun, Erna Ferry, and the Big Band on tour, secure your tickets now.”


Michael Houstoun & Rodger Fox Big Band to tour South Island in October

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