Michael Houstoun – Rodger Fox Big Band
Special Guest Erna Ferry
Mozart, Beethoven, Gino Vannelli?
You won’t find Vannelli next to van Beethoven in an alphabetical order of immortal composers but you should. New Zealand’s foremost classical pianist, Michael Houstoun loves him.
“I love the tunes, the harmonies, the driving rhythms, the jazz-rock feel,” Houstoun says.
While Fox and Houstoun have both performed before, the world premiere makes this series very different and special. Instead of playing jazz adaptations of classical pieces, Michael will present two of Gino’s most enduring numbers, especially written for him.
Rodger Fox has commissioned internationally acclaimed composer/arranger, Bill Cunliffe, to arrange Brother to Brother and Storm at Sunup, two Vannelli classics that set this Canadian rock singer/song writer apart from other contemporary musicians.
“Vannelli is sophisticated and catchy at the same time, he makes most pop-rock look like it’s not trying,” Houstoun says. “Bill’s arrangements are pure pleasure. He is a jazz genius. He’s created something new with his arrangements without any betrayal of the original Vannelli inspiration.”
Vannelli is very accessible and Houstoun advises the audience to “sit back and listen to us play. They’ll have a happy time.”
The concert also includes Warriors, a Bill Cunliffe original, and feature on piano in a rhythm/vocal version of Charles Trenet’s I Wish You Love, sung by supremo blues vocalist, Erna Ferry.
Erna will also present an awesome version of Mike Farrell’s Carry My Blues Away which can be found on the RFBB New York recording “You Gotta Know”, a stella version of George Gershwin’s Summertime and a mash-up of two tunes, Lee Morgan’s Sidewinder & The Beatles I Feel Fine.