Rufus Rehu Profile

John Dix
Published: 5 May 2016
Updated: 21 Nov 2020

Rufus Rehu was born in Rotorua on 14 January 1939 but raised from age four in central Auckland, his parents running a boarding house off Victoria Street West. His father organised get-together bands and an uncle introduced him to the rudiments of the family piano and the musical hotbed of the Auckland Māori Community Centre.

“I did start tuition,” he remembers, “but that’s all I did – start.” Rufus Rehu’s remarkable skills are self-taught, practical and theory. He was tinkling away at eight years old and the nearby Māori Community Centre furthered the education.

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Rufus Rehu at Auckland's The Alhambra, on the cover of Auckland Jazz And Blues, October 2005
Quincy Conserve in Wellington, 1971: Fritz Stigter, Mike Conway, Barry Brown-Sharpe, Malcolm Hayman, Rufus Rehu, Johnny McCormick and Kevin Furey
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders collection
Quincy Conserve in 1970: Left to right, top to bottom: Rufus Rehu, Denys Mason, Johnny McCormick, Bruno Lawrence, Kevin Furey, Malcolm Hayman, Dave Orams
Rufus Rehu and Larry Morris at Auckland's The Alhambra, 2006
Photo credit: Photo by Dianne Clayton
Quincy Conserve in Gisborne, January 1969. At rear: John McCormick, Malcolm Hayman, Denys Mason. Front: Rufus Rehu, Raice McLeod, David Orams.
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Jimmy Gibb, Glyn Frewin and Rufus Rehu at Auckland's The Alhambra, 2006
Photo credit: Photo by Dianne Clayton
Peter Dawkins with Quincy Conserve at HMV studio in early 1971. From left: Denys Mason, John McCormick, Rufus Rehu, Barry Brown-Sharpe, Dave Orams, Richard James Burgess, and Malcolm Hayman. Seated are Peter Dawkins and engineer Peter Hitchcock. Visible behind Rehu is the top unit of the 4-track Ampex tape recorder.
A rare colour shot of The Quincy Conserve c.1969: Denys Mason, Malcolm Hayman, Raice McLeod, Rufus Rehu, Dave Orams and Johnny McCormick
Photo credit: Photo by Sal Criscillo. Ken Cooper collection
Rufus Rehu recording at HMV Studios, Wellington, 1971
Rufus Rehu, Rick Roff, Ray Morgan and Michelle Salomon at Auckland's The Alhambra, 2006
Photo credit: Photo by Dianne Clayton
Quincy Conserve on the corner of Willis Street and Lambton Quay, Wellington, early 1970s. Left to right: Mike Conway, Rufus Rehu, Malcolm Hayman, Kevin Furey, Johnny McCormick, Fritz Stigter, Barry Browne-Sharpe.
Glyn Frewin, Lloyd Kidd and Rufus Rehu at Auckland's The Alhambra, 2006
Photo credit: Photo by Dianne Clayton
Richard Ghent, Rufus Rehu, Kellie Izzard, Brian Edgar and Jimmy Gibb at Auckland's The Alhambra, 2006
Photo credit: Photo by Dianne Clayton
Quincy Conserve, 1969: Malcolm Hayman, Rufus Rehu, Ria Kerekere, Johnny McCormick, Denys Mason and Dave Orams with Raice McLeod in front.
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Menzies
Rufus Rehu, Truda Chadwick and Jimmy Gibb at Auckland's The Alhambra, 2006
Photo credit: Photo by Dianne Clayton
Quincy Conserve in 1972: Mike Conway, Dave Orams, Kevin Furey, Johnny McCormick, Barry Brown-Sharpe, Malcolm Hayman, Rufus Rehu.
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