MURRAY WOOD (R.I.P.)

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First published in February 2011, last updated March 2011

Sadly, Murray was one of the many casualties of the Christchurch earthquake of 22nd February 2011.

TRIBUTES

Murray was involved in our group for Flaxton Festival (which was postponed due to Murray's being missing).  We've changed the name of the Festival to Flaxwood to perpetuate Murray's involvement. - John Campbell   (click here to view the tribute to Murray on www.flaxwood.org)
Worked with Murray at Caroline Bay Jan 8th.  Tragic.  Apart from his Biz talents a great piano player & M.D. - Ray Woolf
Just one of those people you meet in this business of being a musician you respect immensely.  A fellow performer who is on the same road as you but so much further ahead.  A privilege to have worked with him in so many different areas, just never taking it in that the last time we gigged was indeed the last time.  My heart goes out to Nikki, Jack, Linda and the kids.  He's left an enormous hole in a lot of lives. - Doug Petrie
Well, where to start with Murray?  Nowhere really.  Back in the day, the kid and his little group of wannabe musicians took me on as a teacher.  Fat lot of good that was.  Have no idea why Murray’s mum sorted me to be the mentor.  Fact is I had absolutely nothing to offer/show Murray.  He was streets ahead of me.  So gifted and blessed …………..  one of the guns who heard the stuff before his fingers.  Gifted.  Magic. - Peter Hindmarsh
A sad loss - Martin Hope
Murray it was always a pleasure to work with you, I shall miss you forever - Ritchie Pickett
I met Murray Wood when he was 18 and although a 10 year gap between us we became instant friends.  A wonderful person, life long friend, teacher of both life and music.  God always be with you. - Brian Ringrose
My profound sorrow and condolences to the Wood family.  Murray was a visionary and a very generous soul as well as a fine musician.  His inspiration and sheer affability created a network of positivity in every sphere in which he operated.  His potential was as great as the tragedy of his loss.  Rest in peace Murray - Neill Pickard (Jazz School)
I was always in awe of Murray’s playing – from early on he had a wicked technique, focused yet he seemed to be so relaxed when playing up a storm.  Saw him on all sorts of gigs –CHTV3 house bands, concert musical director, gigging at the White Heron.  He was younger than me but seemed as sharp as a tack when it came to scoring and promoting gigs….a genius in every way.  Can’t believe he has been taken this way.  A great loss to his family and to the city.  One of Christchurch’s dynamos is no more. - Liam Ryan
Murray and I became great friends in the early 70's.  I then joined his band, Harvest, playing 7 nights a week at the White Heron.  Murray continued to play there long after I left, and he and I were reunited in the early 80's on the TV show "That's Country".  He was one of the most talented musicians I ever worked with, and I learned immensely from working with him.  I will miss the opportunity to work with him again (a project on the horizon), and will greatly miss his friendship, which we rekindled recently.  RIP, mate! - Gary Sammons
I am in Los Angeles at present mixing the NZ School of Music Big Band CD........this is very sad news.  Could you please pass on my thoughts. - Rodger Fox
Whilst probably around 15 years my junior, Murray touched the hearts of all of us "old guys" not just due to his extraordinary ability and enthusiasm, but also with his humility, sense of humour and a respect for both his peers and associates.  I gigged with Murray on many occasions, more so in later years in the many reunions and gigs that our ChCh friends regarded so highly, and many times Murray was the driving force behind these events.  I was looking forward to a gig in Tekapo in March with him and his close buddies Rob Carpenter and Wayne Allen.  Sadly now I will never see him again and life will never be the same for me without that great guy in my life.  My grief and that of Murray's family and friends is immeasurable.  Murray  set us all an example with his amazing talent and solid business sense , along with sharing his wit, knowledge, and his wonderful zest for life.  I'll miss you mate with a huge gap left in my life. - Nev Claughton
Murray Wood was CEO of Canterbury Television and one of those killed when the building collapsed.  He was also a wonderful human being with very special qualities.  He was also an excellent piano player and was a professional at the age of eleven when his Mum would drive him to a gig and he'd perform with his band 'Murray and the Puppets'.  Twenty years ago I flew from Wellington to Christchurch to stay with him while he taught me how to operate some hi-tec equipment that he and his friend Stuart Craw had recently sold me.  Murray was endlessly patient.  While I was there he was dreaming up a new venture that became MagnumMac.  Murray and his wife Nicki have six children and he was a very proud husband and father.  Many people are going to miss you Murray Wood. - Clive Cockburn
(click here to email me your tribute to Murray and I'll add it in - andy@nzmusos.co.nz)

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