THE NEW ZEALAND JAZZ FOUNDATION
Jazz Education in New Zealand took a significant leap forward when New Zealand hosted close to two dozen of America’s top jazz musicians for jazz workshops in 1980 and 1981. In the late 1970s, Jamey Aebersold, famous for his jazz “Play-A-Long” records and books, had been running his Summer Jazz Workshops in the United States for around ten years. Aebersold was hosting similar workshops in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) during the southern hemisphere summers, the opposite time of the year from the American workshops. Several New Zealanders travelled to Australia in 1979 to attend these workshops. When they returned, a group of enthusiastic jazz musicians organized an effort to have these same Aebersold Workshops come to New Zealand the following year. The New Zealand Jazz Foundation was established, 17 August, 1980 in order to create an official entity that could raise money and host the workshops.
"When we got back to New Zealand after that mind-blowing experience,
discussions started around getting these same people to do those workshops in
New Zealand the next year. Through that process we created the New Zealand
Jazz Foundation. Those events really jump-started so many things for us and
virtually everything in New Zealand Jazz education today has its roots in those
– Rodger Fox