Participating Bands

2018 Big Bands 


The Rodger Fox Big Band

Band leader: Dr Rodger Fox


Nelson Big Band

Band leader: Simon Williams

The Nelson Big Band has been in existence for more than twenty years, and has played at every Nelson Jazz Festival since its inception as well as playing regular gigs in the region. The band’s Musical Director is Simon Williams and includes some of the best Jazz players and vocalists currently in Nelson. The combination of talent with many years of musical experience creates a great sound that brings the dance floor alive.

Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra

Band leader: Caulder Prescott MNZM

DCJO has been swinging for 30 years under the leadership of jazz legend Calder Prescott. We play gigs and festivals around Otago and have also travelled to festivals in Montreux, Sydney, West Coast USA and Port Macquarie. This will be our 4th trip to Christchurch Big Band Fest!

Ellesmere Big Band

Band leader: Matt Davis

Ellesmere Big Band still practices in the 1905 band room that was home to Ellesmere Brass Band . Our band members are a cross section of our local and wider community and are currently have the great fortune to be directed by Matt Davis . We perform at both private and community events and have participated in Big Band Festival for the past three years.

Mainland Big Band

Band leader: Terry McGowan

MainlandBigBand ( has been playing for over 50 years.We are 14 to 16 piece with a wide repertoire and specialize in dance music.

Garden City Big Band

Band leader: Lana Law

A full 17-piece big band consisting of some of the best local musicians & vocalists in its line-up, the band performs a wide variety of music ranging from classic swing and dance music from the Big Band Era through to more contemporary big band sounds, Latin and and Rock ‘n Roll.

Sideline Swing

Band Leader: Butch Green


The All Girl Big Band

Band leader: Lana Law

The All Girl Big Band, formed in January 2016, was brought about after a conversation between Lana Law and Kate Taylor. The conversation had these in-demand female musos wondering if they could actually get a big band together here in Christchurch consisting of only female musicians. It didn’t take long between them to realise that they could in fact name virtually a full 18 piece big band of Christchurch female musicians. What was considered a crazy, out of the box idea finally became reality. AGBB is not only a unique band within Christchurch, but within Aotearoa. This bombastic and magnetic jazz orchestra lives to blast the roof of any venue, to keep the epic big band format alive and current and, most importantly, to encourage more female musicians to keep playing. Not to mention to get the audience dancing!

Papanui High School Big Band

Band leader; Georgina Rees-Stevenson

Students from Years 9-13, double gold award winners at Southern Jam & Ara JazzQuest for the last two years.

Christ’s College Big Band

Band Leader: Claire Oliver


St Andrew’s College Big Band

Band Leader: Duncan Ferguson

The StAC Big Band recently won Best Big Band at the National Youth Jazz Festival in Tauranga. The StAC band has won the Southern Jam more than any other band in the competition’s history and this year they are stepping it up with some very polished performances of some ‘pro’ level charts.

StAC Jazz Orchestra

Band leader: Duncan Ferguson

The StAC Jazz Orchestra is a fun band they performs crowd pleasing favourites. Featuring some of our younger jazz musicians, it is a great training ground for our early improvisors.

Burnside High School Big Band

Band leader: Chris Petch

In recent years the Burnside High School Big Band has enjoyed considerable success, winning the award for “Best Performance by a Jazz Band” on each of its five appearances at the NZSM Jazz Festival in Wellington plus seven consecutive Gold Awards and the title “Best Big Band” at the ARA “JazzQuest” competition. Several members of the band have also won individual excellence awards at both festivals. This year the band brings a very special concert of big band and strings combined.

CSM Big Band

Band Leader: Georgina Rees-Stevenson

Newly started at CSM this year.

Hagley Jazz Band

Band leader: Nanako Sato

This newly formed jazz band has been enjoying rehearse big band music. We meet twice a week at lunchtime.

Chisnallwood Jazz Band

Band leader: Judith Bell

This vibrant and entertaining jazz band of 11-13 year olds this year has played at the Oamaru Steampunk Festival, at schools and JazzGalaWorkshop in Dunedin, at community events and at Jazzquest.


Band leader: Victoria Panckhurst

Westburn Primary School’s Coolest Cats

Lincoln Primary Jazz band

Band leader: Stephen Nichols

13 piece Jazz band from Lincoln Primary School led by Stephen Nichols started this year to perform at WeBO festival in Wellington. Includes students who have been learning their instrument for 2 or 3 years.

CSM Jazz@4

Band Leader: Stephen Nichols

11 piece CSM band directed by Stephen Nichols includes primary aged students who learn through the CSM Outreach band programme.

Sunday Big Band service band (City Citadel)



If your band isn’t listed here yet, please ask you band director to jump onto the band registration page of this website!

2016 participating bands