An artist described as a brilliant trumpet virtuoso will headline a national tour by the Rodger Fox Big Band and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, coming to Rotorua next month.

The 12-concert tour starts at New Plymouth on September 1 and moves to Rotorua's Civic Theatre on September 7.

Allen Vizzutti, a graduate of the prestigious Eastman School of Music in the United States, is a trumpeter equally at home in both the classical and jazz styles.

Jazz legend Rodger Fox describes Vizzutti as a trumpeter extraordinaire "who can seamlessly move between jazz and classical, and technically play scores that are beyond most musicians with ease and assurance".


Vizzutti has performed with famed Woody Herman, Thundering Herd and Chick Corea.

The repertoire for the concert tour, entitled 'Swing Into Spring', will be drawn from a wide range of jazz, Latin and popular big band material.

Classics such as A Night in Tunisia, Take The A Train and a West Side Story suite will be presented alongside stellar arrangements of New Zealand pop classics Royals and Wandering Eye.

The concept for the trendsetting series featuring the pre-eminent Rodger Fox Big Band and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), came during the band's 40th anniversary three years ago.

A meeting between Fox and NZSO general manager, Christopher Blake, saw the idea take flight.

Fox said it was a new departure for the orchestra.

"They have stepped into my realm and are performing with energy and the distinctive style they bring to all their music.

"The impact of 90 musicians on stage will give the audience a total experience that they'll never forget."

Fox has supplied music that's never been performed in this genre before. It's either been arranged or commissioned by such acclaimed composers as Matt Harris and Jeff Driskill.

In a unique first, Fox will direct the big band and Hamish McKeich will conduct the orchestra.

However, at times, Fox will become trombone soloist and McKeich will lead the combined resources.

Bookings can be made at