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First published in September 2008

John can be contacted at

Photos & Memorabilia - The Inn Group, Auckland Neophonic Orchestra, John Pickworth Orchestra

Born & grew up in Tauranga, where I worked with local musicians such as Ken Hayman, Paul Gillet, etc.  Also played with Tauranga Swing Musicians Big Band & was involved in playing for the early Tauranga Jazz festivals.

1965 - Moved to Auckland courtesy of Union Steam Ship Co. Ltd (transferred).  Started working with Auckland musicians Bernie Allen, Tony Baker, Bruce King, etc at the Colony Nightclub and accompanied Tommy Adderley, The Convairs, Miss Lee Grant, Chic Littlewood, Lew Pryme, Kiri Te Kanawa, etc.

September 1966 I turned professional and started working with Jimmie Sloggett at Logan Park, along the way playing for 2 seasons of AKTV-2 "The Late Show".  Logan Park had entertainment 6 nights a week, and one of the highlights was two 6 week seasons with Howard Morrison.  Also recorded with Sandy Edmonds as well as many "jingles" etc.

1968 /1969 Had a trio at El Matador Restaurant.  Also worked with Auckland Neophonic Orchestra in 1968 for Concert with Russell Garcia at Peter Pan Cabaret.

1969 - Moved to Sydney, Australia.  Worked at Millers "Oceanic" Hotel at Coogee.  

1972 - Queensland Tour with Col Joye, Sandy Scott & Little Patti - 4 to 5 weeks living on a train!  From Brisbane up as far as Atherton & Mareeba.  

1973 - Musical Director for Judy Stone - Qld & NSW 

1973-1994 Resident pianist at Illawarra Catholic Club, Hurstville.  Also wrote hundreds of arrangements for a variety of performers.  

1994 started working as "casual", apart from a long residency at Cabra-Vale Diggers on Sundays.  A variety of Club Gigs, Weddings, Corporate, Civic & Charity functions.  One was a function at the Westin Hotel with Col Joye & - Chubby Checker who performed 2 songs - "The Twist" & "Let's Twist Again"!  

From 1986 ran my Big Band (the John Pickworth Orchestra), performing for many different artists at different venues (incl. Star City, etc).  

1993 played a couple of shows for Chan Romero at club venues. 

2007 - my first tour of N.Z. (after all these years!) with Kamahl for a series of Seniors Concerts in both North & South Islands.  One highlight was catching up again with Russell Garcia in KeriKeri, who is now 92, and currently overseas with concerts in Europe & U.S.A.

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