GEORGIA DUDER-WOOD (Vocals)
A graduate of Toi Whakaari: the New Zealand Drama School, Georgia began her career in international musical theatre for Cameron Macintosh (UK) and EssGee (Aus) and has since worked consistently in many genres including one-woman shows, jazz, corporate cover bands, cabaret, soul and funk, and as a backing and session vocalist and voice artist. She performs regularly for The Jazz Age, specialising in the theatricality of the Great American Songbook and with The Royal New Zealand Navy Big Band. Other performance experience is extensive, including residencies at Sky City, performing for Prince Charles during his last tour to New Zealand, concerts in Auckland Domain and musicals for the Auckland Theatre Company. With specialist training in yoga she teaches and coaches holistically in the entertainment industry and in institutional, therapeutic and corporate environments. She was a winner of the 2013/14 ART Venture Award for leading arts practitioners. For more visit: www.georgia.co.nz
DIXON NACEY (GUITAR, BACKING VOCALS, MUSICAL DIRECTOR)
One of the most versatile guitarists in the country, Dixon‘s twenty two-year music career has seen him perform with top local and international jazz and pop musicians as a sideman and band leader, musical director and arranger. He has recorded three albums (2008, 2011 and 2013) with the Samsom Nacey Haines Trio, the first of which was a finalist in the 2009 Jazz Tui of The Year Award. He also leads The John Scofield Project, plays jazz with The Alan Brown Trio, rock-reggae with dDub, and Latin music with Santiago Soul Stars. He has recently been through USA, Australia, Canada, New Caledonia, Singapore, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Thailand with his music. Dixon currently teaches jazz at Auckland, Massey and Canterbury Universities. As a music teacher he has also built a large following through his YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/dragondix) which led to the development and launch of what has become a very successful video tutorial-based jazz guitar website: http://jazzguitarlegend.com/
BEN FERNANDEZ (Keyboard)
Formally trained in Western Classical Music, Ben also holds a Bachelors Degree in Music (Hons), majoring in Jazz Performance from the New Zealand School of Music. He has performed in over 20 countries, including the Cannes Film Festival, New Year celebrations at Dubai’s World Trade Centre, for President Bill Clinton in Mumbai, and here for our Prime Minister. He is also the official pianist for ceremonies hosted by the Governor General. He has performed Indo-Western fusion with a number of leading Indian classical musicians, and his current Masters research is based on the fusion of Indian music and jazz. Ben also composes music for advertising jingles, film soundtracks, corporate films, television shows and audiovisuals, with one of his jingles winning Gold at the Pro-Max AV Awards in Singapore. Besides performing and composing, Ben is also an educator and conducts regular workshops on jazz improvisation in New Zealand and overseas. For more visit: www.benfernandez.net or www.facebook.com/benfernandezmusic
ALEX GRIFFITH (Bass)
Alex is a bassist with three decades’ performance experience with national and international touring artists including Randy Crawford (USA), the Roger Fox Big Band, Miguel Fuentes (Puerto Rico) and playing support for George Benson. His career includes performance and study experience in genres as diverse as soul and R&B, salsa and Latin jazz and indigenous rock fusion. He is highly regarded for his technical facility on the extended range six-string bass, for his rock-solid groove and his virtuosic improvisational skills. He is resident band member for Auckland’s premiere jazz and soul venue Orleans. Alex is also currently studying toward a degree in Chinese Medicine, believing all music, as resonance and frequency, directly links us to the cosmos.
LANCE BENTLEY (Drums)
Lance ‘Lagi’ Bentley is of Samoan descent from a family steeped in music. He has been involved in the music industry for decades throughout New Zealand, played with top local and international acts, and worked with shows touring through Australia, Samoa, Hawaii, L.A. and Las Vegas with artists as diverse as Nathan Haines, the Yandall Sisters, Santiago All Stars and Mark de Clive-Lowe. Lagi is highly regarded in New Zealand music circles across a range of genres due to his study, practice and mastery of many different rhythmic styles and the ease with which he authentically performs R&B, funk, Latin, jazz, Polynesian, Hindu and Middle Eastern music. Lagi is currently resident at Bellota Tapas Bar at Auckland’s Sky City every Sunday evening, playing a variety of Latin styles with the Henrique Morales Quartet.
MANJIT SINGH (Tabla)
Originally from India, Manjit is professionally trained as an Indian classical percussionist and is now studying western classical music and jazz for a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Auckland. In India, Manjit successfully obtained two degrees in 2005: a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Sangeet Vishard Degree in Tabla. He also received traditional training from the renowned Punjab Gharana Tabla School between 2000-2008. He is a disciple of Guru UstadKulwinder Singh and a disciple of legendary UstadAllaRakha. As well as numerous concerts and shows in India, Manjit has performed in many different countries including England, Scotland, Malaysia, America, India and New Zealand, playing with top jazz musicians and featuring in Indian classical music concerts. Manjit recorded an album Taal Sadhna (T-series, Dehli 2005) and in New Zealand an album Kahe re ban kojan Jahe in collaboration with his students. He is an established music teacher and currently the director of the Rhythm School of Indian Music. As the first itinerate music teacher of Indian Music in New Zealand Manjit teaches at various locations around Auckland.