Date: May 28th, 2023
FOUR HANDS, TWO PIANO’S, ONE BIG BAND
Featuring Michael Houstoun, Bill Cunliffe and The Rodger Fox 50th Anniversary Big Band
Look forward to hearing a reimagined version of the classic George Gershwin composition RHAPSODY IN BLUE – arranged by American Grammy Award winning composer / arranger / pianist Mr. Bill Cunliffe.
The concept of this concert series is to present believe or not two grand pianos on the stage at one time in concert with the Rodger Fox Big Band.
The two pianist will include New Zealand’s iconic classical pianist Mr. MICHAEL HOUSTOUN – It would be safe to say Michael Houstoun had been the most well-known and certainly one of the most admired artists in the world of classical music in New Zealand for the past 50 years. In recent year Michael ventured into project with New Zealand iconic band the Rodger Fox Big Band performance a blend Classical/Jazz and contemporary compositions.
Joining Michael at the other piano is international acclaimed American pianist, composer, arranger “Grammy Winner” Mr BILL CUNLIFFE – Cunliffe grew up in Andover, Mass. He began piano lessons with his mother, Ruth, at the age of 8. It wasn’t until he was 20, having been captivated by the music of Oscar Peterson, that he changed his focus from classical music to jazz. As an undergraduate at Duke University, he studied with jazz legend Mary Lou Williams, At the Eastman School of Music, he studied jazz piano with Bill Dobbins and arranging with Rayburn Wright. In 1989, Cunliffe won the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition.
He began his career as pianist and arranger with the Buddy Rich Big Band and worked with Frank Sinatra, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson and James Moody. Later he toured and recorded with the Clayton Brothers and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, drummer Joe La Barbera, trumpeter Terell Stafford and jazz flutist Holly Hofmann.
Bill was awarded a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for “West Side Story Medley,” on the album “Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson. In addition to receiving five Grammy nominations and a two-time Emmy nominee.
All in concert with the Rodger Fox 50th Anniversary Big Band, we have one hell’va concert.
Once again, the Rodger Fox pushes the boundaries of musical endeavours to feature this concerts series on tour in New Zealand.