Christchurch is a jazz talented city

Jazz AotearoaThe jazz scene in Christchurch has always harboured a wealth of talent, much of it sadly unheralded.

For many years Doug Caldwell, also known at the “Maestro”, was the leading light of our jazz musicians. He not only performed all over the world, but contributed so much locally that in 2006 he was awarded the MNZM for services to jazz in New Zealand. His Garden City Big Band also graced many a stage around the city.

Other talented musicians to forge international careers are Malcolm McNeill and Fiona Pears.

However, there is also a raft of professional musicians like Keith Petch, Bob Heinz, Tom Rainey, Janice Grey, Ian Edwards, Ted Meager, Stu BuchananHarry Harrison, Elizabeth Braggins and many others who laboured largely unsung in studios and on stage in shifting alliances, providing a rich and rewarding vein of talent for any who took the trouble to find it.

Much of this talent was fostered by groups such as the Musicians Club but the arrival of the CPIT Jazz School in 1991 bought a new focus in the musical life of the city. They produced a new generation of talent. Jennine Bailey for example, whose beguiling album “You go to my head” launched her career in 2003, is in our collection and also available for sale at the jazz school. The school even bought new talent into the city in the form of staff members like the multi talented Australian vocalist Susan de Jong.

Not that  CPIT have it all their own way Naomi Ferguson, a festival favourite who, according to one reviewer is “a superb musician with a gorgeous, golden voice”, is a graduate of CPIT, University of Canterbury AND Christchurch College of Education.

Who do you think is our best Jazz talent?

One thought on “Christchurch is a jazz talented city

  1. Elizabeth Braggins 4 April 2010 / 1:34 pm

    Thankyou for mentioning me in your article.I enjoy singing and playing very much and am always humbled by mentions of this type.Check out my new website if you like http://www.elizabethbraggins.co.nz

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