Rodger Fox – Tribute

Written by ChissyMusic

Rodger was an internationally known jazz legend and keen supporter of jazz education. He has been visiting Chisnallwood and working with our students (and thousands of others in NZ) since 2007. Sadly, he passed away after a short illness last week on May 26th, and is a huge loss to NZ jazz.

Last week NZ lost a true jazz icon. 

We are grateful for the encouragement over the years from Rodger Fox, for the many times Rodger visited our Chisnallwood Jazz Band from 2007 on, and for hosting fabulous workshops for youth in Christchurch (often as part of the “Youth Big Band Workshop” at the “Christchurch Big Band Festival”, but also as part of “Jazz For Juniors” and “Jazz On The Road” events) and events in Wellington where we took our band to the NZSM Jazz Festival, WeBo and MEFA festivals. These extra events often included opportunities for our students to meet and play with other famous performers from NZ and the USA that Rodger had organised. Many of our students over the years have gone on to study further, now make a living from music, and have expressed gratitude for Rodger’s interest, encouragement and guidance. Rodger was always quick to help with music if we needed it, and this year we are enjoying playing one of the pieces he introduced to us: “One Sixty Blues”. He has organised Jazz Band-It, which has seen many popular NZ tunes turned into Big Band charts, and adjudicated regularly at Southern Jam, an event that many of our local secondary jazz bands attend. He has left a big gap in NZ jazz, but has also left an enormous legacy which Chisnallwood is very grateful to have been a small part of.

Read about Rodger’s life here

By Judith Bell