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Vaughn Roberts Big Band wins Jazz Tui

News release jazz – 1
November 2, 2006

Vaughn Roberts Big Band wins Jazz Tui

A band established primarily to rehearse, perform and record New Zealand jazz works is the winner of the Tui for Best Jazz Album of 2006.

The Vaughn Roberts Big Band from Wellington has won the award for its album ‘Grrreat Stuff’. The award was announced and the Tui presented at The Wellington International Jazz festival tonight (Nov. 2).

The venue was an appropriate setting for the presentation as all three finalists were from Wellington. The other two were Colin Hemmingsen for ‘The Rite of Spring’ and Paul Dyne for ‘Shelter of the Ti Tree’.

A chance encounter by Vaughn Roberts with fellow trumpeter and record label-owner Andrew Weir was the catalyst for forming The Vaughn Roberts Big Band.

The band provides a training ground for established musicians to create music of the highest calibre within the context of an 18 to 20-piece jazz band. Vaughn provides the musical direction, writes and or arranges all the material and performs as soloist on trumpet and flugelhorn.

New Zealand Music Awards spokesperson Campbell Smith says the Tui represents just reward for Vaughn’s dedication to the jazz genre.

“Vaughn has done the hard yards for jazz right back to his apprenticeships with both jazz and conventional orchestras,” Campbell says.

“His supreme professionalism combined with his support for New Zealand jazz and a really great jazz recording make him and his band ideal recipients of the Jazz Tui in 2006.”

From first beginnings as a performer with the NZ Youth Brass Band, the Wellington Youth Orchestra and the NZ National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Vaughn has moved on to become a successful freelancing musician, recording extensively for Radio New Zealand with the Terry Grey Big Band, Salsa Picante, Blue Flame Express, Soundtrax NZ and notable performances with Annie Crummer, Jackie Clarke and Darren Watson.

In the 1990s Vaughn lived and worked in the United States, initially on cruise liners and later teaching at the University of North Texas and as a musical director and arranger with Norwegian Cruise Line.

Returning to New Zealand in 2003 to start his own big band, Vaughn’s popularity as a freelance jazz musician was immediate, and has included performances with the Roger Fox Big Band, Wellington Sinfonia, Boptet and as guest soloist for a number of local jazz ensembles.

Vaughn holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies Performance and a Masters of Music in Classical Performance Trumpet from the University of North Texas USA. He also studied at Victoria University Wellington, and at the Conservatorium of Music, Wellington Polytechnic. Together with composing and arranging, running his Big Band, and work as a freelance trumpeter, Vaughn also lectures at the New Zealand School of Music.

Vaughn will be recognised at the annual New Zealand Music Awards ceremony in 2007.

About Rianz: The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand Inc (RIANZ) is a non-profit organisation representing major and independent record producers, distributors and recording artists throughout New Zealand. RIANZ works to protect the rights and promote the interests of creative people involved in the New Zealand recording industry.


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