The Grand Masters of Jazz in New Zealand.
Brian Smith, Saxophone, started to make his mark in Auckland in 1958 as an in-demand tenor saxophonist playing and backing local and international touring artists. After a stint on the Gold Coast, he moved to London in 64, where he performed at the famous Ronnie Scotts and worked and toured with the likes of Bing Crosby, Alexis Korner, T-Bone Walker, Georgie Fame, Alan Price, Jon Hendriks, Nat Adderley, John Dankworth to name a few.
In 1969 he started working in The Maynard Ferguson Band until 1975. Brian was a founding member of Ian Carr’s Nucleus which won the European Jazz Band Competition in Montreux, resulting in gigs at the Newport Jazz Festival, along with touring Italy, Germany, Holland and America. He also played sax for Nancy Wilson, Eartha Kitt, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Donovan, Dusty Springfield’s CD, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Brian returned to NZ in 1982 and recorded three albums. One, The Brian Smith Quartet was Jazz Album of the year.
His CDs in 1990 and 1991 respectively went on to became Platinum in NZ titled, Moonlight Sax, reaching number one on the album charts, and Moonlight Sax two reaching number two. Film and TV sound-tracks include, Come a Hot Friday, Shaker Run, Gloss, Frontline, and numerous TV commercials. Brian was declared, “A National Treasure” by Metro Magazine.
Dean Kerr, Guitar, studied at the Sydney Conservatory of Music Studies under Tommy Emmanuel. He has toured playing guitar with Tommy Emmanuel, Sammy Davis Jnr. Shirley Bassey, Cilla Black, Olivier Newton John, and also with Eartha Kitt.
Bruce Lynch, Double bass, has worked with many artists and bands playing both acoustic and electric basses in the UK and NZ including Rick Wakeman, Cat Stevens, Morrisey Mullen Band, Space Case, Pacific Eardrum, Nucleus and many others. He is also a noted record producer, recording engineer and composer with many films to his credit.
Frank Gibson, Drums has had a vast career which has taken him around the world and he is a musician who has shown his ability to play in any genre. All of this has given Frank a very successful career. His CV reads like the “Who’s Who” of jazz playing for many artists such as Frank Foster, John Scofield, Milt Jackson, Lee Konitz, Sonny Stitt, Joe Henderson and Sam Rivers, Dusty Springfield, Anita O’Day and Diana Krall. He has played on over 200 CDs/albums and 250 Jazz, radio programme, Frank won Jazz record of the year 3 times, played on 10 other award winning albums, and been inducted into the Zildjian hall of fame.