In this sparkling interactive musical performance and accompanying talk, Dr Ian Chapman and his band delight in entertaining and educating audiences on the empowerment and healing potential of music and the arts. Personally inspired by David Bowie, one of the most complex and enduring performers in the history of popular music, Dr Chapman is a musician, academic, and author of a dozen books including Experiencing David Bowie: A Listener’s Companion (2015), and David Bowie FAQ (2020).
Cosmic Jive Trio brings to the stage superb acoustic arrangements of David Bowie’s finest songs, arranged especially for the show. The honest simplicity of the stripped back and largely acoustic instrumentation allows Bowie’s masterful song-writing to take centre stage.
David Bowie & the Art of Being Different is a wonderfully entertaining celebration of eccentric creativity, a testament to how the arts can empower, improve mental health, heal past traumas, and provide an essential blueprint for how to deal with bullying. Above all, this show is a triumphant affirmation of the power and potential of difference.
Dr Ian Chapman (vocals/percussion)
Dr Ian Chapman is a musician, author and motivational speaker. Currently co-convener of the Contemporary Music degree course at Otago University, where he has been on the Performing Arts faculty since 2002, he is a specialist in the life and work of David Bowie and has written two books on the artist along with many articles and other media outputs. In the 1980s he was a professional drummer working with artists such as Rob Guest and Billy T James. More recently he was the glittering glam rock performer Dr Glam.
Doug Wright (keys/vocals)
As a freelance musician, composer, and currently working as a performance tutor in contemporary music at the University of Otago, Doug has been a resident fixture on the Dunedin music scene for over 30 years. A founder member of iconic Dunedin bands “Rue de Remarque” and “Oxo Cubans” his keyboard skills are always in demand. Combined with writing, and arranging music for television, radio, and an array of live productions, his calendar is always busy.
Pānia Simmonds (bass/vocals)
Pānia studied music at Otago University where she specialised in bass guitar; also performing and touring with Ian Chapman’s glam rock alter ego, Dr Glam. After graduating she moved to Wellington to study double bass. After a stint of teaching music at Invercargill Polytech, Pānia now lives in Dunedin once again where she teaches bass at Otago University and also has an administrative role at eCampus NZ. In addition she plays in a jazz band, a string ensemble, and for local musical theatre. She has studied electric bass with Dr Rob Burns, jazz bass with Paul Dyne, and now classical bass with Dunedin Symphony Principal bassist, Pat Dean.
Proceeds to Te Awamutu College Multi-Sport Turf Project