Nick Nicholson and The Neketini Brass Profile

Chris Bourke
3 Apr 2014

In the mid-1960s, across the Western world, sophisticated parties were more likely to play Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass than rock and roll. Adults felt hip with Alpert’s trademark mix of jazz, swing and pop with a heavy dose of Mexican/Mariachi seasoning.

As singles like ‘The Lonely Bull’ and ‘A Taste Of Honey’ became MOR standards and albums such as Whipped Cream sold millions, it made perfect sense for Christchurch-based dance band musician Nick Nicholson to emulate the idea. He arranged Māori popular standards such as ‘Haere Mai’ and ‘Po Atarau’ in the Tijuana style, and called his band The Neketini Brass.

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The Neketini Brass in 1968, from left: Tangi Williams, Gerald Marston, Bruce McKendry, George Williams, Nick Nicholson, Neil Stringer, Roger Whyte
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection. NZBC.
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The Regal mid-price reissue of the 1968 Neketini Brass album, from 1969. This was the artwork that somehow ended up on the cover of an album from Nigeria the same year.
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The Neketini Brass' final Christchurch only 7" EP release on the Robbins label in 1969
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Nick Nicholson and the Neketini Brass outside the Christchurch NZBC studio, 1968. From left: Tangi Williams, Gerald Marston, Nick Nicholson, Neil Stringer, Bruce McKendry, George Williams and Roger Whyte.
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection. NZBC
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Hine E Hine
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The Neketini Brass recording at the NZBC's Christchurch studio in 1967. From left: George Williams, Nick Nicholson, Roger Whyte, Basil Carroll, Tangi Williams.
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection. NZBC
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The Christmas EP from 1968. Similar artwork was on the first edition of the album.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Neketini Mambo
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Trivia:

The Neketini Brass played at the wedding of country singer John Hore.

From the late 1960s through to the early 1980s, The Neketini Brass' Haere Mai was used by Air New Zealand to welcome people onto their international flights.

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Members:

Nick Nicholson - bass, trumpet

Neil Stringer - drums

Roger Whyte - piano

George Williams - percussion

Gerald Marston - trumpet

Bruce McKendry - trumpet

Tangi Williams - guitar

Basil Carroll - drums

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Labels:

HMV


Robbins Recordings