Giants of Jazz to Perform at NCMA


Jazz lovers with withdrawal symptoms from yet another successful Nelson Jazz Festival earlier this year are in for a treat with two amazing jazz concerts coming up at NCMA over the next few months.

At the end of this month audiences will experience authentic New York jazz with two well-known and respected jazz musicians from the US followed by two Kiwi greats, concert pianist Michael Houstoun and Big Band jazz legend Rodger Fox who will perform together in April.

Grammy Award winner Charlie Porter is an internationally renowned trumpeter and composer who first cut his teeth on the New York jazz scene, while simultaneously studying classical trumpet performance at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of famed trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis.

He has toured the world as a side-man and band-leader in jazz and also as a classical soloist and chamber musician.

Performing with Charlie is Grammy nominated drummer and percussionist David Rozenblatt who has worked with a huge number of music legends including Paul Simon, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Usher and The Killers, New Zealand born, New York based bassist, Grammy winner and 4 time nominee Mat Fieldes and New Zealand guitarist Nick Granville. Mat has collaborated with well-known artists including Ornette Coleman, Joe Zawinul, Jay Z and Gorillaz and Nick has worked with an equally diverse range of musicians such as Dave Mathews, Chris de Burgh, Ronan Keating and Delta Goodrem.

With a sweeping collection of new music from his latest album Immigration Nation, Charlie has gathered this dynamic group of forward-looking musicians to celebrate America’s rich immigrant history. In a time when immigration policy has become a heart-wrenching, polarising topic, Porter felt compelled to reclaim the uniting power of the word ‘immigrant’ through art, knowing its healing capacity can be great when crafted with intention. The ensemble burns and soars while embracing many global influences that have found their way into the music, including elements from Porter’s Lebanese/Greek/Italian heritage, all while fully living in the essence and language of jazz.

Next up brings a very unlikely jazz collaboration between Rodger Fox and Michael Houstoun who will perform together with the Rodger Fox Big Band and guest vocalist Erna Ferry in April.

A chance meeting in Christchurch in 2014 ultimately led to the superb combination of two of New Zealand’s pre-eminent musicians – outstanding classical pianist, Michael Houstoun and foremost jazz trombonist, big band leader, jazz educator, arranger and producer, Rodger Fox.

Together the duo blend the best of classical with the best of jazz. They are also united in their passion for supporting New Zealand musicians including new generations of talent.

Since that original meeting, the duo have released a CD entitled “Concerti” and performed concerts from Kerikeri to Wanaka. Everywhere this show was presented received rave reviews.

For their 2020 concert series their programme will include two new arrangements from internationally acclaimed composer and arranger Bill Cunliffe, piano and jazz big band material written by one of Michael Houstoun’s favourite artists, the great Gino Vannelli, “Brother to Brother” and “Storm at Sunup” and “Mountain Dance”, written for piano and big band by Grammy award winning composer and arranger David Grusin.

The Big Band will also present material from its forthcoming recording of New Zealand original compositions by composers Anita Schwabe (winner of the APRA 2018 Jazz composition of the year), Daniel Hayles, Lauren Ellis, Ben Hunt, Chris Selley, Bryn Van Vliet, Brian Smith and Rodger Fox.

Tickets for both concerts are on sale now and can be purchased at, Ticket Rocket outlets and Nelson Centre of Musical Arts.

Charlie Porter Quartet

Date: Thursday 27th February

Time: 7:00pm

Tickets: $30 (+ service fee)

Michael Houstoun and Rodger Fox in Concert

Date: Sunday 19th April

Time: 4:00pm

Tickets: $55 (+ service fee)

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