Big Band Registrations are Open for 2018!

Register your band for the 2018 Big Band Festival

It’s time to register for the 2018 Christchurch Big Band Festival

This year’s programme is truly looking awesome with the chance to play in some new venues and incredible events as well as playing in some old favourites locations!

There will be workshops, a Gala concert with International guests, party night, huge FESTA event, service at the citadel…. you don’t want to miss it!

Jump on and register your band now and please feel free to forward this email to any other big band friends you have around NZ (and beyond).

2018 Big Band Festival
October 19th – 22nd

What are some highlights for the Big Band Festival?

  • performances by lots of big bands of all ages in fantastic venues and locations around town
  • workshops for all
  • Gala concert
  • FESTA participation
  • Big Band Service
  • Big Band Party Night

Make sure the date is in your calendar

Register Your Band now

Symposium Vocal Extravaganza – Gala Concert

Excited to announce this amazing concert by our top local band big Symposium featuring 10 stunning local vocalists!

  • John Armstrong
  • Naomi Ferguson
  • Georgie Clifford
  • Nick Hollamby
  • Ashley Clarke
  • Gregory R Knowles
  • H Kaa
  • Janice Gray
  • Jennine Bailey
  • Kate Taylor

The concert will open with the Christchurch Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO), an auditioned group of under 20 year olds.

Grab your tickets here and bring your friends



Fundraiser Big Band Extravaganza Concert

Venue: Blue Smoke @ The Tannery
Sunday August 27th

Bands playing from 12.20-5.30pm

12.20 Chisnallwood Intermediate Big Band
12.50 All Girl Big Band
1.40 River City Jazzmen
2.30 Garden City Big Band
3.20 Rangi Ruru Big Band
3.50 Ellesmere Big Band
4.40 Sideline Swing

Come and join us for a Big Band Extravaganza on 27 August where we are raising funds to support the Rodger Fox Big Band in their effort to get to the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. Rodger continually supports jazz all around NZ, and major centres around NZ are all helping with fundraising for this major trip.

The Christchurch Extravaganza is being held on Sunday 27 August at Blue Smoke in The Tannery at 3 Garlands Rd from 12.20pm right through to 5.30pm. The following bands will feature in a fantastic afternoon of big band jazz.

Entry will be by a minimum of a $10 donation (but more happily accepted for this good cause!) and there will be food and drink available for purchase at the bar.

Please spread the word amongst all your friends and family – it will be a wonderful afternoon and your support will be so appreciated

Below is some information about the invitation the Band has received:

The Rodger Fox Big BandBand has been asked to perform at the 60th Monterey Jazz Festival in the US in September.

Festival organisers have recognised the pre-eminent status of the big band and invited them to join the line-up in its milestone anniversary year. Musical Director Rodger Fox is delighted with the unexpected invitation -it reflects the overseas reputation he and his players have achieved over the 40 years the band has been running.

In rolling out the red carpet, CEO of the festival, Tim Jackson, says “It’s a great honour to invite New Zealand’s acclaimed big band” to join the line-up in a milestone year.This festival is renowned as one of the world’s pre-eminent longest consecutively running jazz festivals, which makes the invitation to Rodger Fox particularly special.

Their programmes for the festival will include performances with US blues guitar master Chris Cain and a featured programme of New Zealand music.In addition to the Monterey Jazz Festival invitation, Rodger has arranged performances on the West Coast of America and a recording session at the acclaimed United Studios in Los Angeles. United is where top artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Harry Connick and Diana Krall recorded many of their celebrated albums.

Rodger’s 20-musician big band is comprised of Wellington’s leading young talent, including Lauren Ellis – drums, Ben Hunt – Trumpet, Eilish Wilson – saxophone and Oscar Laven – Saxophone are all seem around Wellington in bands such as the Richter City Rebels and the Mingus Ensemble.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime for Rodger and all of the musicians. However with these opportunities come significant financial challenges.The Rodger Fox big band is a not-for-profit society, and the total tour budget is set at a minimum of $128,000, which the big band has had only four months to raise.

Big Band Extravaganza poster

June 6 Workshops and Concert

Tuesday June 6
Aurora Centre, Burnside HighNot-to-be missed!Dave Weckl drum workshop – 5.30pm-6.45 $20
Gala Concert with Tony Lindsay, Dave Weckl, Alex Sipiagin, Adam Schroeder and the Rodger Fox Big Band – 8pm $55
Buy tickets here (Full price adult tickets for drum workshop and/or gala concert)

Please note:
For students and seniors, there is a school deal with workshops starting from 1.30-5pm
$20 workshop or concert or $30 for all workshops and concert! See details and registration below:

1.30 – 2.15pm

  • General introduction.
  • Rodger Fox Big Band to open the workshop by performing a swing style chart.
  • Discussion will then take place to show what it takes to play in this style of ensemble. Each section of the big band will demonstrate their parts within the arrangement and will then put it all together. Full scores for the musical arrangement will be available to music teachers and the instrument parts will be made available to all students to follow as the Rodger Fox Big Band demonstrate the music.

2.15 – 3.00pm

  • Introduction to improvisation
  • Improvisation is a key characteristic of jazz and students will be introduced to the concepts to enable them to develop their own skills in this area.

3.00 – 3.15 Transition to individual workshops

  • Instrument specific workshops
  • Students will have the opportunity to focus on their own instrument and learn the tips and tricks from the professionals

3.15 – 4.15pm

  • Individual Workshops
  • How to play in a jazz style
  • Trumpet / Trombone / Saxophones (Woodwinds) / Vocals / Rhythm Section (Keyboards, Guitar, Bass, Drums)

4.30 – 5.00pm

  • Recap on the afternoon workshop and panel discussion
  • Students have the chance to ask their burning questions and reflect on what they’ve learned so far.

5.00 – 5.30pm Short break

5.30 – 6.45 pm Dave Weckl Drum workshop/masterclasses

6.45pm to 8.00pm Dinner break

8.00pm Concert featuring all the Artists and the Rodger Fox Big Band

Grateful thanks to local organisations Rata Foundation and Music Education Canterbury for their support.