Rodger Fox Profile

John Dix
2 Apr 2016

A music teacher, jazz educator, trombonist extraordinaire and big band leader, Dr Rodger Fox has played alongside some of the world’s greatest performers. In 2003 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to music and in 2005 Massey University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Music. Astonishingly, over the past four decades, the various Rodger Fox Big Band ensembles have released over three dozen full-length albums.

Music has always surrounded Rodger Fox. His parents were music teachers and his grandfather was a brass band conductor. “Growing up in our household was a unique experience”, says Fox. “At any given time I could walk past my mother giving piano lessons in one room and into the lounge where four tuba players were practising with my father.”

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Rodger Fox
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The Rodger Fox Big Band's The New York Tapes (1981)
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The Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra's The Capitol Sessions, recorded in Los Angeles at the Capitol Studios. It was released in March 2013.
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Rodger Fox
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Rodger Fox and the Wellington Jazz Orchestra at The Regent Theatre, Palmerston North, 2013
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Rodger Fox interview for Tauranga Jazz Festival 2015
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Quincy Conserve in 1973. Left to right at rear: Billy Brown, Peter Blake, Rodger Fox, Geoff Culverwell, Murray Loveridge. Front: Malcolm Hayman, Paul Clayton
Photo credit: Murray Loveridge collection
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Rodger Fox - Pick Up The Pieces (Telethon, Hamilton, 2 September 1990 - with Rodger Fox on electric bass)
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Michael Houston with The Rodger Fox Big Band (2015)
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Rodger Fox and the Wellington Jazz Orchestra at the Jazz & Blues Gala, Nelson 2013
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Rodger Fox
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Rodger Fox with the Wellington Jazz Orchestra, Wellington 2011
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Eric Marienthal and Rodger Fox Big Band - Play That Funky Music (live at Masonic, 27 September 2009)
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Rodger Fox
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A Quincy Conserve image from the mid-1970s: Paul Clayton, Murray Loveridge, Tom Swainson (front), Peter Blake (behind Tom), Rodger Fox, Richard Holden (manager of NZ Breweries music circuit), Bill Brown, Geoffrey Culverwell, Billy's son with Malcolm Hayman in the front.
Photo credit: Jackie Matthews collection
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The Rodger Fox Big Band's Heavy Company, recorded at Radio NZ (1981)
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The 1860 Band's sole album, from 1978.
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Rodger Fox and Michael Houston in 2015
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Rodger Fox at the 2013 Wellington Summer Series
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Trivia:

Fox’s big bands have recorded and/or performed works by New Zealand acts as diverse as Phil Broadhurst, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Lorde.

Fox estimates that over 200 personnel have passed through his various big bands.

Rodger Fox’s paternal grandfather, H.C.A. (Harry) Fox, was instrumental in the development of the Ratana Church brass bands in the 1930s. Based in Hawera, conducting brass bands, he tutored at Ratana Pa and lent musical instruments to the community.

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