Kiwi saxophonist hits the right notes

23:23, Aug 22 2011
Brian Smith Sax
JAZZING IT UP: Brian Smith's Cannonball saxophones are supplied by Glenfield-based ABI Music.

Brian Smith likes to blow his own horn – literally, that is. The Stanmore Bay-based saxophonist, who is something of a legend in Auckland's jazz circuit, is slated for a series of performances along with famous jazz singer Dame Cleo Laine in New Zealand and Australia early next year.

Judging by their fan following, the tour is expected to be a sellout.

Declared "a national treasure" by Metro Magazine, Brian has performed extensively in New Zealand as well as internationally over a period spanning five decades.

During this time he has been part of a national jazz revival with platinum hits such as Moonlight Sax and Moonlight Sax Two.

His current album Taupo was nominated for Jazz Record of the Year.

"It's been quite a journey," says Brian, whose career started rising after he moved to London in 1964, touring with the likes of Humphrey Littleton, Alexis Korner, T-Bone Walker, Georgie Fame, Alan Price, Annie Ross, Bing Crosby, Mark Murphy, Jon Hendricks, Nat Adderley, John Dankworth, Gordon Beck and Tubby Hayes.

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In 1969 he started working in the Maynard Ferguson band and was a founding member of Ian Carr's Nucleus which won the European Band competition in Montreaux in 1970.

Brian is now passing on his knowledge and skills to those with a passion for music.

He teaches jazz at Northcote College School and the New Zealand School of Music in Albany.

Indeed, if the musician inside you is raring to break free, then Brian's classes can unlock your creative potential.

"It doesn't matter how young or old you are, or what your occupation is, you will start playing in a few short weeks," he says.

Log on to his website www.briansmith.net.nz for more details.

Brian plays Cannonball soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, as well as flutes.

He would like to thank Glenfield-based ABI Music who have supported him all through.

"ABI has been serving the music lovers for well over 25 years, and they have been bringing these marvellous instruments for us to enjoy," he says.

Known as Auckland's brass and woodwind specialists, they are at 10A Parity Place, Glenfield, phone 443-5666, website www.abi.co.nz.

North Shore Times