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Rodger Fox invited to world's largest educational event

Rodger Fox invited to world's largest educational and performance event

New Zealand’s pre-eminent jazz musician Rodger Fox, jazz and blues singer, Erna Ferry and Rodger’s big band have been invited to the Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference in New Orleans in January, 2020, the world’s largest educational and performance event in the US. It celebrates community and endless learning. The Rodger Fox Big Band will present the best of NZ jazz music, attend workshops and masterclasses and then move on to New York to record a CD of the music they presented. The band has made submissions to individuals and organisations for funding but would welcome any further financial help.


The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to attend the world’s largest educational and performance event in the United States.

The invitation extended by the Jazz Education Network (JEN) to pre-eminent jazz musician, Rodger Fox, will enable the band to take part in a wide range of workshops, masterclasses and educational presentations.

During the conference, which runs from January 7-10, 2020, in New Orleans, the Rodger Fox Big Band will present an entire programme of works composed by New Zealanders.

The prestigious conference was established in the spirit of celebrating music, celebrating community and celebrating endless learning. “Jazz isn’t just about performing, it’s about making music together. We can only do this if we all join together in keeping the love and education of jazz alive,” JEN organisers say.

Of the 20 members of the Rodger Fox Big Band, 18 are involved in music education. “This invitation isn’t just a wonderful performance opportunity to present New Zealand music on the world stage, but also includes a great opportunity for professional development and engagement,” Rodger Fox says.

“All our musicians can attend the workshops, masterclasses and presentations during the four-day conference and bring back the knowledge gained and impart it to their students.”

Early next year Rodger Fox and his team will embark on an educational/performing tour through New Zealand entitled Changing Lives Through Music – Jazz On the Road. Rodger explains that much of what is learned in New Orleans will be instilled in the programme.

There is also an important educational component in every event and jazz gala tour, Rodger and his celebrity guests organise including a series of concerts planned for April and May/June next year.

After the JEN conference, the band will travel to New York to record a CD of the New Zealand compositions performed in New Orleans. The recording will take place at Bunker Studios in Brooklyn, heralded as one of the best studios for jazz in the city.

“Bunker Studios has world class credits. It’s the studio of choice for artists such as Esperanza Spalding, Jo Jo Mayer, Tom Harrell, Chad Smith, Brad Meldhau, Charlie Hunter to mastering engineer, Alex De Turk who’s worked with David Bowie and D’Angelo,” Rodger Fox comments.

The recording will be released in both CD and digital form. A video will also be made which can be used in social media promotional opportunities.

“We believe the project is an opportunity to celebrate the excellent work done by our local composers and the JEN performance and CD release have the potential to become a valuable resource for educators as well as an income for the composers and arrangers.

However Rodger Fox point out that such an opportunity requires funding. From now and, in the months ahead, Rodger and band members must raise $156,000 for fares, accommodation, recording and participation opportunities.

“We have made a number of submissions and applications to individuals and organisations but would welcome funding from anyone who’s captured our vision and see its benefit to New Zealand musicians and supporters,” Rodger says.


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