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Feast for Wellington Jazz fans

Feast for Wellington Jazz fans

Wellington audiences will be treated to a feast of international jazz talent on Friday when the New Zealand School of Music present a Gala Jazz Concert in the Wellington Town Hall.

Alex Sipiagin (trumpet), Steve Houghton (drums) and Bob Sheppard (saxophone) will join the legendary Rodger Fox (trombone and big band leader) in a concert on Friday 19 August, backed by the award-winning NZSM Big Band and Wellington Jazz Orchestra.

“All three artists are vastly experienced musicians with an extensive performance and recording pedigree,” says NZSM Director Professor Elizabeth Hudson. “Between them, they have collaborated with such renowned artists as Randy and Michael Brecker, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Gary Burton and Toots Thielemans.”

Alex Sipiagin began learning trumpet in Russia and aged 16 entered the Moscow Music Institute combining his classical studies with explorations into jazz. Following a 1990 visit to the United States performing with a Russian student jazz band, he decided to take his jazz studies to the next level and moved to New York City. He became a member of the Mingus Big Band in 1995 and in 2003 he recorded with Michael Brecker’s Quindectet.

Now with more than 11 recordings to his credit, Sipiagin tours extensively throughout Europe, Japan and Russia.

Both Steve Houghton and Bob Sheppard have impressed New Zealand audiences with their virtuosity, technical fluency and outstanding musicianship. “They are also excellent communicators and teachers,” says Professor Hudson.

“The concert is the highlight of our inaugural NZSM Jazz Festival, and these three stars are here not only as performers but also tutors, giving clinics, workshops and constructive feedback to the big bands and combos taking part in the festival and competition over the weekend.”

Professor Hudson says that, after Sonny Rollins, this concert will be the major jazz event in Wellington for 2011.

“Rodger Fox is well known to Wellington audiences and the award-winning NZSM Big Band and Wellington Jazz Orchestra will provide top level backing for our American guests. It will be a fantastic concert that jazz fans will not want to miss.”

The NZSM Gala Jazz Concert: 7.30pm Friday 19 August in the Wellington Town Hall. Bookings through Ticketek ( or 0800 842 538). Adults $39, Students/Seniors $20

NZSM Jazz Festival: 9am–5pm 19-20 August in the Wellington Town Hall
All welcome: Adults $10 per day, Students free


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