Julian Lee Profile

Chris Bourke
20 May 2013

Julian Lee was nicknamed "Golden Ears" for good reason. Blind since birth, he had acute listening skills that helped him become an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger.

His ears didn’t just help him spot a flat note coming from the back row of the brass section, they also helped him recognise people saying hello in the street, decades after they had last met.

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Ricky May and The Julian Lee Orchestra, 1988
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Sunday jam session, Epi Shalfoon band, early 1950s: Jack Clague (trombone), Julian Lee (trumpet), Frank Gibson (drums), Bob Ewing (bass), Allen Posley (piano), Ray Gunter (guitar)
Photo credit: Frank Gibson Jr. Collection
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Julian Lee Big Band
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Esme Stephens with the 1ZB Radio Band in the early 1950s, led on this occasion by Bob Leach - a treasured item from the Frank Gibson Sr collection
Photo credit: Courtesy of Frank Gibson Jr.
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Bon mots from Julian Lee on a return visit to Dunedin, 1969
Photo credit: Ross Somerville collection
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Julian Lee at his ham radio
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Don Burrows Band: L-R Don Burrows, Frank Gibson Jr, Julian Lee, Andy Brown, George Golla
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