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First published in September 2010

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The Kevin Clark Trio
The 40Watt Banana
Los Gringos
Fran and the Two Man Band
The Dixie Dudes

The Kevin Clark Trio
1967 - 1970
Kevin Clark, piano, Barry Johnston, bass, Bud Jones, drums.  Had a Sunday night jazz residency at a coffee bar – the Tête-à-Tête -- for several years.  Recorded several radio programmes.

1970 – 1973
Next line up played at “Giovanni’s” – opposite the Majestic centre — twice a week for three years — Dave Parsons drums, Dave Day bass. More radio programmes were recorded.

1974 ---
With vocalist Fran Barton. (also known as “Gruntphuttock’s Revenge”)  Played at the Napoleon Room in its heyday twice a week for three years --- everything from Chick Corea to originals to Carol King to Ella Fitzgerald.  Appeared at jazz festivals around the country, recorded more radio programmes, appeared on the weekly live to air television show Brian Edwards on Saturday for about ten months — album “On Saturday” - music from the series.  Dave Pearson, bass, Mike Fullarton drums.  Break of a year while Fran had a baby then started again for another year with Maurice Phillips on drums and Dennis Quaintance, bass.

Appeared on TV Just Jazz series with Maurice Phillips drums and Paul Dyne bass.

Fran is still working with me — now a 37 year musical partnership.

2000 - 2004
I set up a twice a month jazz night at the Sandbar at Paremata.  Rowan Clark, bass, Richard Wise drums, with guest artists every night.  We played hard out Afro-Cuban Brazilian and original hard bop stuff.  Built up a large loyal following.

Monteiths Paremata.  The Trio with Fran Barton -- Reuben Bradley drums and Aaron Stewart bass — 1st Sunday of every month.  Mellow to hard jazz.

The 40 Watt Banana

1970 - 1975?
Came into existence as an experimental highly creative group, playing 100% original material using Indian music as inspiration, with a sitar, tablas, synthesizers etc.  Group expanded for projects by addition of flute, tanpuras etc.  More radio recordings, live performances at “arty” festivals and University concerts.  Dave Parsons went off to India again to further his studies on the sitar.  Recorded “Nirvana” — an original on EMI.

Influences of the group can be heard on “Once Upon A Song I Flew” where Dave recorded with us on tanpuras and other Indian instruments.

Los Gringos

An eight piece Afro-Cuban jazz powerhouse band I formed while tutoring at Massey University Conservatorium — a collection of highly talented students and some of the staff.  I wrote all the arrangements, went to Cuba, had some lessons, we had a residency for a while in the Grand in Wellington, and played concerts at Jazz Festivals, street festivals etc.  Los Gringos can be heard on three tracks on “Zahara”.

Not commercially viable and I didn’t want to play “salsa”.  Core line up included Mike Taylor trumpet, Andre Paris alto sax, Dave Bremner trombone, Rowan Clark bass, Richard Wise, Reuben Bradley Lance Philip percussion drums.

Wrote some arrangements for Fran to sing with us at appearances at the Martinborough Wine Festivals. Cubanalistic

Fran and the Two Man Band

2007 - 2009
Vocalist Fran, piano (I also played trumpet, piano and hi-hat cymbal at the same time, as well as doubling on tuba and mellophone) and Chris Schnack (ex NZSO) on tuba, bass and trombone.

A light hearted fun razz ma tazz anything goes group — ragtime, vaudeville, swing, classical parodies etc.  Resident at Water Front Brasserie, Raumati for a year and Monteiths about six months.

The Dixie Dudes

Originally set up with mainly tutors from Massey Conservatorium to present some New Orleans music, the original 6 piece now operates occasionally (annual “residency” at the Napier Art Deco Festival) mainly as a four piece — (for commercial reasons) and the ability to “stroll” at outdoor gigs etc.  Not a big part of my life.


"Zahara” – 100% original Flamenco/Cuban jazz Finalist NZ Music Awards 2007

“The Sandbar Sessions” Live recording- 50% originals. Winner of NZ Music Award “TUI” in 2005

“Once Upon A Song I Flew” 100% originals “world” jazz. Winner of NZ Music Award “TUI” in 2003

“On Saturday” featuring Fran Barton. 1976.  Originally on Vinyl.  Music from the TV Show, “Brian Edwards On Saturday”

“Don’t You Feel My Leg” featuring Fran Barton. 2008.  Compilation from all the above CDs featuring Fran.

“Nirvana” Single on EMI - Indo-pop-fusion 1971


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