This conversation is me chatting with musician, bandleader, arranger, promoter and educator Rodger Fox.
Dr. Rodger Fox is now a full time senior lecturer at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University. He continues to lead a big band, teach various ensembles and still plays in smaller combos as well as creating winning collaborations – such as the ongoing one with classical pianist Michael Houstoun and several shows and tours with returning American vocalist and guitarist Chris Cain. He’s also responsible for bringing international artists to New Zealand to play with New Zealand musicians. We’re talking artists the calibre of Michael Brecker, Randy Crawford, Arturo Sandoval, Louie Bellson, Bettye LaVette, Robben Ford and Charlie Musselwhite, to name just a few.
Before all of that Fox abandoned his training as a classical trombonist to join the horn section of one of New Zealand’s most prominent bands of the time, The Quincy Conserve. From there it’s been 40+ years of leading big bands, of working tirelessly to promote and educate and share his passion for jazz and in particular the big band varietal.
Right now he needs your help the band has been offered a spot at this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival as part of the 60th Anniversary lineup. Click that link to see the Boosted crowdfunding page, and contribute if you can or share the link about. It closes this week.
I was going to talk to Rodger Fox for the podcast anyway – but we tried to time this talk to promote the Monterey trip and appeal to any fans and friends that may wish to support the Big Band on this amazing adventure.
Outside of that it was a great thrill to talk with Rodger through his career – we’ve met many times and corresponded regularly across the last decade and a half and I’ve enjoyed so many of the shows he’s put on. But to talk through his early career and to understand a bit more his drive and motivations across so many musical endeavours was super rewarding for me. I hope it is for you too.
And I hope you enjoy our chat.
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