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When Jazz Came to Town

October 20, 2015

Chch jazz musicians 2015

Christchurch jazz musicians of the 1950s were recently the subject of a Radio New Zealand Spectrum documentary produced by Katy Gosset, When Jazz Came to Town. She interviewed four veteran musicians – now in the 80s and 90s – about how jazz captivated them as young men, and how they reacted: by listening to recordings from the US, and trying to emulate them. All four played in legendary bands in Christchurch, including for the 3YA radio dance band on live broadcasts.

Pictured above, from left, are drummer Harry Voice, pianist Doug Caldwell, trumpeter Gerald Marston and Doug Kelly (who supplied the photo to Radio New Zealand).

Gosset’s background piece to the documentary – at the link above – features a recording of ‘Elevation’ by Doug Kelly’s Radio Band, from Christchurch’s first jazz concert – in 1951 at the Radiant Theatre (later known as the Repertory Theatre). Also on the page are a couple of lovely archival photos of Doug Kelly’s Radio Band. Kelly also recently took part in the musical element of Christchurch’s Heritage Week, which Nga Taonga Sound & Vision’s Sarah Johnston blogs about here.

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