Holly Hofmann, Mike Wofford and the Christchurch All Girl Big Band.
See details about the artists below. Can’t get enough? You might like to go to Holly and Mike’s workshop as well as the concert :)
Holly Hofmann – Flute
Holly Hofmann’s first memories as a musician are some of her fondest. At age 5 she would spend evenings playing a child’s flutophone, accompanying her father, a jazz guitarist, on standards from the Great American Songbook.
It was an auspicious beginning for the woman who, after years of studying her instrument and performing in classical ensembles, would find equally satisfying partnerships with such renowned jazzmen as Ray Brown, Frank Wess, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron and many of other top names in the music.
Today, Holly Hofmann has taken the flute from its middle-of-the-orchestra origins and made it a front-line instrument in jazz. She has earned the praise and respect of musicians and jazz aficionados for her bluesy, bebop-based improvisations and technical prowess on an instrument that many once regarded as definitely not a jazz horn. Hofmann has proven them wrong and critics have labeled her one of the most authoritative, swinging flutists -- male or female -- in jazz today.
She will also be joined on stage by Mike Wofford, jazz pianist.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Mike Wofford grew up in San Diego, California where he began piano lessons at the age of seven. He later studied briefly with a local jazz piano teacher, Bill Franks, an admirer of Teddy Wilson, who primarily emphasized harmonic creativity in improvising rather than technique. Wofford is otherwise self-taught and was first influenced by hearing recordings of Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver.
Mike began his professional career recording with Slim Gaillard in 1961. That same year he also joined Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-stars. In 1962 Wofford became a member of Shorty Rogers and his Giants and also recorded with Mel Torme on the album “Comin’ Home Baby.”
While becoming active in the Los Angeles jazz club scene, he also toured with vocalist June Christy as her accompanist in 1963, and recorded with vibraphonist Gary Burton in drummer Larry Bunker’s quartet.
Wofford’s first trio album under his own name, “Strawberry Wine,” on Epic Records was released in 1964 and he was subsequently asked to join Shelly Manne’s quintet at Shelly’s Manne-hole in Hollywood. His musical relationship with Manne would continue until the drummer’s passing in 1984.
Wofford became more and more in demand as a free-lance studio pianist working in TV, film scoring and recording in general. During this period he recorded or performed with, among others, The Ventures, Joan Baez, The Jackson Five, Cher, John Lennon, Donna Summer, Sergio Mendes, Harry Nilsson and Roger McGuinn. He has also recorded and performed with jazz legends Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz, Joe Pass, Quincy Jones, Benny Carter, Ray Brown, Tom Scott, Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Kenny Burrell, Benny Golson, Oliver Nelson, James Moody, Phil Woods, Bud Shank, Zoot Sims, Frank Rosolino and Harry “Sweets” Edison, among many others.
In 1979 and again in 1983 he toured as Sarah Vaughan’s conductor and pianist, a position he also later held with Ella Fitzgerald from 1989 to 1993.
Most recently he has worked and recorded with John Clayton, Matt Wilson, Oliver Lake, Jeff Hamilton, Lee Konitz, Terell Stafford, Kevin Mahogany, and Vinny Golia.
Wofford now works primarily with his own trio and quintet, as well as with his wife, noted jazz flutist Holly Hofmann, in duo, quartet and string orchestra settings.
The Christchurch All Girl Big Band
In a largely male dominated musical genre, 18 Christchurch women are changing the face of the big band. The All Girl Big Band is a completely female, full big band who create a "powerhouse of sound" that will blow you away!
Formed in January 2016, AGBB emerged from a conversation between musical director Lana Law and vocalist Kate Taylor "It had us wondering if we could actually get a big band together here in Christchurch consisting of only female musicians". What was considered a crazy, out of the box idea finally became reality. The All Girl Big Band debuted at In the Loop at the Court Theatre as part of their ‘Hidden Artists’ segment, since then they have had stunning success with sell out shows in Nelson and Christchurch, and record-breaking crowd numbers at outdoor events such as Lazy Sundays and at Founders Park. Their regular gigs around Christchurch include Jazz After Work, the Christchurch Folk Club, performing for the Swingtown Rebels and playing at Fat Eddies.
As well as traditional swing music, The All Girl Big Band also perform themed concerts including their 'Tribute to Natalie Cole' (debuted in the 2016 Big Band Festival) and 'The Ages', "An unequivocally chilled-out and enthusiastic masterclass in Big Band virtuosity", which honours the women who have changed music in the last 100 years. This year they have been invited to play in the Manawatu Jazz Festival and will perform ‘The Ages’ in Palmerston North in June.
The band consists of an array of talented musicians whose " infectious joy of music making" is evident at all their live shows. The majority of the band are professional musicians or music teachers in Christchurch - and they have spent much of the last 12 months touring, performing and recording their first CD.