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Best Jazz Artist and Composition celebrated at Wellington Jazz Festival

Story Published Sunday 9 June 2019
Callum Allardice

The winners of the APRA Best Jazz Composition and the Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist | Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa were announced tonight at the Wellington Jazz Festival.

Callum Allardice became the first artist to win three Best Jazz Composition awards while GRG67were awarded their first Best Jazz Artist Tui.

The APRA Best Jazz Composition was awarded to guitarist and composer Callum Allardice for the third time for his composition Chungin’.

In 2016 Callum’s Sons of Thunder took home the inaugural Best Jazz Composition Award at the NZ Jazz Awards, and he followed that up by winning the same award in 2017 for Deep Thought.

APRA AMCOS Head of New Zealand Operations Ant Healey says: “Callum’s work is held in very high esteem. Despite the judging panel changing every year, and compositions being judged anonymously, Callum’s work continues to rise to top. His prolific work with ensembles The Jac and Antipodes leads to bold, evocative compositions, and it’s great to see the next generation of jazz artists, like Callum, establishing their work in the New Zealand jazz pantheon.”

After curating a number of compositions, Roger Manins needed to find the right musicians to help bring his visions to life. And so GRG67 was born, consisting of Roger Manins, Michael Howell, Mostyn Cole, and Tristan Deck.

The compositions were developed with these musicians in mind, and this is evident in the cohesion of their album The Thing - an excellent eight song collection of tracks performed by some of Aotearoa’s most well-known jazz musicians.

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan says The Thing is a strong collection of jazz composition, brought to life by a talented and creative group.

“When these incredibly talented musicians came together to bring Roger Manins’ compositions to life it was destined to result in a spectacular album. It’s a truly deserving winner of the Tui this year.”

Other finalists for the Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist were Antipodes for Good Winter, and Dog for No Dogs Allowed.

Grant Hughson for Follow The Sugar To The Gee, and Jasmine Lovell-Smith for Cerulean Haze were the other finalists for the APRA Best Jazz Composition.

The awards were announced at the closing night of the Wellington Jazz Festival, which ran from Wednesday 5 through to Sunday 9 June, and featured around 150 gigs with local and international jazz performers throughout the week.

Finalists for Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist

  • Winner: GRG67 – The Thing
  • Antipodes – Good Winter
  • Dog – No Dogs Allowed

Finalists for APRA Best Jazz Composition

  • Winner: Callum Allardice Chungin’
  • Grant Hughson – Follow The Sugar To The Gee
  • Jasmine Lovell-Smith – Cerulean Haze