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Rodger FoxThe Rodger Fox Jazz Band

71 years ago, the American Armed Services arrived in NZ. To honour the event, an afternoon of jazz/swing and big-band music from this era by The Rodger Fox Big Band

Rodger Fox is New Zealand’s foremost jazz trombonist, big band leader, jazz educator, arranger and producer. He has performed in concert with some of the biggest names in the business, from the jazz and entertainment world and has promoted live concerts with his Big Band all over the world including concerts in London, Singapore, Australia, Poland and the USA. Rodger was winner of the'Tui' for New Zealand Jazz Recording of theYear in 1981, 2000 and 2012 and a finalist in 1984 and 2001.

Rodger loves leading the celebrated band he established in Wellington back in 1973 but, to pursue his passion, he fulfils a day time job as Lecturer in Jazz at the New Zealand School of Music. Jazz is vibrant and alive in New Zealand and no-one knows this better than Rodger Fox. As a former itinerant music teacher he can testify to its impact in secondary schools and now to the large number of students specialising in jazz at the New Zealand School of Music. Of his band, Rodger says "we can play in a pub one night and Carnegie Hall the next".

The Mulled Wine Concert Series is the brainchild of Wellington classical musician Mary Gow. Now in its sixth year, the series has established itself as one of the best concert venues on the Kapiti Coast. Paekakariki and its iconic Memorial Hall, with its unique beach-front location and views to Kapiti island and the South Island has been the setting for many fine musicians . “But we don't always present classical concerts” says Mary “our audience is very open and willing to try anything new and we are always trying to put on something different for them”. The only requirement is that the music should be top-quality and the next concert will be very special. It will form part of the ongoing recognition by the Kapiti Coast of the contributon made by the US Armed Services to New Zealand's history.

Organised by the Kapiti US Marines Trust in cooperation with the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) and a range of other heritage, environment and tourism groups, Salute 70 aims to engage Kiwis and American citizens with connections to this important period of history. The main focus of the Salute 70 Festival is the Wellington Region, particularly in Camps Paekakariki, Russell and Mackay where over 15,000 US military personnel were stationed and will also acknowledge the thousands of sailors who manned the 200 or more naval and support vessels which came to NZ during the war. “What better way to honour the ex-combatants and their families than to present a concert of the music they were listening to at the time?” says Mary Gow.

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