Dennis Huggard Profile

Chris Bourke
15 May 2017

The way New Zealand’s popular music history is understood was changed by a tireless jazz fan in a West Auckland garage, clipping, copying and sorting articles from newspapers and magazines, editing and transcribing tapes, transferring archival audio from analogue to digital.

Dennis Huggard spent his working life in the RNZAF and at Air New Zealand. When he retired in 1988 he was looking for a hobby that involved his first love – jazz – and began cataloguing every mention of every New Zealand jazz musician he could find.

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Artie Shaw's US Navy Band with Auckland vocalist Esme Stephens - White Christmas. Recorded live in Auckland in 1943, Shaw sat out during this song
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Jazz at the Playhouse: a hand-painted label for a 10-inch, 33-1/3rpm acetate of a January 1952 concert in Auckland
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Dennis Huggard
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Dennis Huggard, circa 1950
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George Gershwin's 'Embraceable You', recorded by Wellington bandleader Freddie Gore in his Upper Hutt "studio", 25 December 1956. Cheshire is likely to be a copying facility
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The intricate, hand-painted label on this 10-inch 33-1/3 rpm "mix disc" describes its contents: Gene Krupa, Nat King Cole, and a "Palmerston North group". The stylus is to start at the middle of the disc
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Dennis Huggard was invited to be Joy newspaper's guest music editor, 4 May 1959
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Dennis Huggard, circa 1950
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The Southern Dixieland Band, from left: Ces (Pop) Little (saxophone), Fred Swanberg (trombone), Aby Green (drums), Vern Wilson and Arthur Frost (piano and leader)
Photo credit: Dennis Huggard Archive, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington
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The 1951 78rpm release of Between Two Trees (backed with The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise), accompanied by the Guitars of Buddy Kaine. Buddy would back Esme on three 78s for Zodiac in 1950 and 1951.
Photo credit: Dennis Huggard Jazz Archive, Alexander Turnbull Library.
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Lauri Paddi and his Peter Pan Band - You'll Do It Someday, recorded 17 February 1937
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