Doug Caldwell Profile

Rosa Shiels
24 Mar 2017

Fellow musicians, family, and friends celebrated with jazz pianist Doug Caldwell in 2008 when he turned 80. As of early 2017 he is still out there working: still turning up on the dot as dapper as ever, for cocktail piano engagements, private work, band gigs, and solo or ensemble concerts.

Douglas George Caldwell was born 22 March 1928, smack-bang into the Jazz Age. The compositions he grew up with – Gershwin’s An American In Paris, and tunes like ‘Basin Street Blues’, ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ and ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ – worked their way into his heart.

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Waiting at the Red Door - Doug Caldwell's 2009 album, on Polyjazz
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Doug Caldwell's memoir, My Life in the Key of Jazz, written with Rosa Shiels and published in 2010 by CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology)
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Doug Caldwell discusses A Life in the Key of Jazz
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A Passion for Jazz: the Christchurch scene then and now, by Jo Jules (CPIT, 2009). This book contains short profiles - and sumptuous photographs - of Christchurch jazz musicians from the 1920s to the 2000s. On the cover, from left, are Nick Nicholson, Doug Caldwell, Harry Voice and George Campbell
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Doug Caldwell's album Willows, recorded live in 1995
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The Doug Caldwell Trio at the downstairs studio at 3YA, Gloucester Street, 1949: the first live recording at NBS's Christchurch studios. From left: Harry Voice, Gerald Gebbie and Doug Caldwell
Photo credit: Jo Jules collection
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Doug Caldwell rehearses a band in his parents' backyard, Christchurch, 1949. From left: Doug Caldwell, Des Lealy, Pat Thompson, Andy Christie, Lyn Christie, Don Donnithorne
Photo credit: Jo Jules collection
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Saxophonist and bandleader Martin Winiata with Doug Caldwell, backstage after the first Christchurch Jazz Concert at the Repertory Theatre, July 1951
Photo credit: Jo Jules collection
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Pat Vincent's 1960 EP Four of the Best contained jazz standards, backed by the Doug Caldwell Trio. Vincent was a schoolteacher during the "amateur" era of the All Blacks
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Christchurch jazz musicians 2015, L to R: Harry Voice, Doug Caldwell, Gerald Marston, and Doug Kelly.
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Off the Cuff - Doug Caldwell's 1992 album for Kiwi-Pacific
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Doug Caldwell, c. 2013
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Doug Caldwell, Jazz Piano Night 2015 – 3
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Doug Caldwell, Jazz Piano Night 2015 – 2
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The Brian Marston Orchestra, Winter Gardens, 1948. From left: George Wright, Ray McKay, Gerald Marston, Lance Glanville, Brian Marston, Gerald Gebbie, and Doug Caldwell
Photo credit: Jo Jules collection
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Doug Caldwell, Jazz Piano Night 2015 – 1
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Trivia:

Doug Caldwell was the first New Zealand jazz composer to be awarded full writer membership to the Australasian Performing Right Association.

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