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Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival 2021

Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival is back for 2021! 

  • 4th August - 7th August 2021 

  • ASB Theatre Marlborough - Main Venue for School Competition

  • Public Performances by SJAM bands will take place in schools and hospitality venues across Marlborough Region.

  • Saturday Night Finale Gala (at ASB Theatre) - Early bird ticket sales coming soon!

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Public Performances

Each year all of the SJAM bands head out into the community to perform at a variety of different venues, this year we have a great list of public performances. See the image below to find out the confirmed venues! 

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Finale Gala Night 

Southern Jam's Youth Jazz Festival tickets are now on sale! 

Held at the world-class ASB Theatre, this will be a very special experience for both audience and performers.


The concert will showcase pieces from all participating schools, feature the All-Stars Band compiled from the top musicians of this year’s festival as well as offering the opportunity to see the judges band – all national and international artists who have performed around the world.

The only event of its kind in the South Island; it provides a great opportunity for young musicians to learn from other great, well-respected musicians; and for you to be among the first to experience the South Island’s next wave of musical talent.

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Our Judges

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DR Rodger Fox 

Rodger Fox is New Zealand’s foremost jazz trombonist, big band leader, jazz educator, arranger and producer.

Over the years Rodger has performed with some of the biggest names in jazz – blues and commercial music including Michael Brecker, Diane Schuur, Joey Defrancesco, Mike Stern, Randy Crawford, Charlie Musselwhite, Robben Ford, Chris Cain, Dee Bridgewater, Diane Schuur, Steve Smith, Tom Warrington, Larry Knoose, Joe LaBarbara, John Fedchock, Bill Cunliffe, Steve Houghton, Dick Oatts, Alex Sipiagin, Bob Sheppard, Bruce Forman, Charley Davis, Denise Perrier, Alan Broadbent and Jim Pugh …….to name but a few.

Rodger has promoted live concerts with his Big Band in the Global Festival arena, Montreux Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Wichita Jazz Festival, The International Association of Jazz Educators Concert 1997 & 1999 and concerts in London, Singapore, Australia, Poland and the USA.

Rodger has recorded some 38 albums. He has won the 'Tui' for New Zealand Jazz Recording of the Year five times, most recently in 2011, and has been nominated on 9 other occasions. In 2003 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Music and in 2005 received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Massey University.


Rodger currently is a senior lecturer at the New Zealand School of Music and is renowned as one of New Zealand’s jazz premier artists.


David Wilson

Dave Wilson is a musician, composer, and ethnomusicologist, and Senior Lecturer in Music at the New Zealand School of Music–Te Kōkī.


His teaching primarily focuses on histories, cultures, and practices related to jazz and improvisation. He is the current Jazz Performance Programme Director, teaches courses in the Music Studies Programme, and regularly supervises postgraduate students in areas of jazz and composition, in addition to co-supervising students in other schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. His music appreciation textbook Gateways to Understanding Music (Routledge), co-authored with Timothy Rice, was released in 2019, and his work has also been published in Yearbook for Traditional Music, Commoning Ethnography, Arts, and Music & Politics.


Based on his work as an ethnographer, performer, and composer in southeast Europe, his PhD research approached several cases from music scenes in North Macedonia to explore how human music making makes spaces for belonging through collaborative sonic and social practices. Dave's recent albums include SLANT (pfMENTUM, 2019), a series of original improvisation-based co-compositions on tenor saxophone with pianist Richard Valitutto; and In Passing ​(SkyDeck Music, 2017), an album of original music for oud and clarinet/bass clarinet duo co-composed and performed with Gabe Lavin. In 2013, his composition Springs of a Desperate Heart was performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Earshot Readings in conjunction with the American Composers Orchestra and the Jazz Composers Orchestral Institute.


Dave’s work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Councils of International Education, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Herb Alpert Foundation.


His research is also intertwined with his work as a composer and performer exploring the intersections of a number of musical traditions.