Bernie Allen Profile

Chris Bourke
25 Feb 2014

For over half a century Bernie Allen’s name has been hidden in the credits of many recordings, films and TV shows that involve New Zealand music.

While jazz is his first love, and the saxophone his preferred instrument, Allen is a multi-instrumentalist and arranger whose work ranges from early Johnny Devlin sessions to soundtracks of TV shows such as Under the Mountain.

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The Bernie Allen Big Band playing in a club in Swanson Street, Auckland
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Auckland Bandleaders at the Oriental Ballroom, Symonds Street, early 1960s. From left: Bernie Allen, Al Patchett, Bill Sevesi and Merv Thomas
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Bernie Allen in the mid 1960s
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Auckland Star, June 1963
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Bernie Allen Tentette at Fagels' Jazz Club, Federal Street, Auckland 1959
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Bernie Allen at Auckland Town Hall with Len Hutchinson
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Goodnight Kiwi Theme
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Bernie Allen at The Auckland Town Hall, June 1957
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Union dues: the New Zealand Musician’s Union executive committee arrive in Hamilton to form a sub-branch, 1964. From left: Bernie Allen, bass-player Spike Donovan, Morrin Cooper president, Tom Skinner secretary, Viv Coombes vice-president, and pianist Lyall Laurent
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Ken Bartrum Band at Auckland's Orange Ballroom early 1957
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Bernie Allen
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Four Auckland bandleaders ready for their residencies at the Oriental Ballroom, Symonds Street, early 1960s. From left: Bernie Allen, Bill Sevesi, Merv Thomas and Al Patchett
Photo credit: Phil Warren Collection
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Bernie Allen and band at Embers
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Bernie Allen (on the right) playing rock and roll in 1957
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Bernie Allen at an Auckland Town Hall rock and roll show with Lynn Christie
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Radio Times (with Bernie Allen's Radio Times Band)
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The Arthur Skelton band at the Peter Pan Ballroom, Auckland 1958
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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