Rodger Fox and King Kapisi bring jazz and rap jam to Queenstown

Oct 02, 2023

Two Aotearoa icons are set to take the stage in Queenstown this month, fusing together two distinct sounds - modern jazz and hip-hop - to create something new and distinctly Kiwi in vibe.

Multi-award-winning hip-hop artist King Kapisi will join the Rodger Fox Big Band to perform at Wakatipu High School on Thursday, October 19, with special guest supremo blues vocalist Erna Ferry.

The show will premier new arrangements from the Silver Scroll Award-winner's back catalogue, combining a hip-hop driving rhythm with a big brass sound.


It's a return to the stage for King Kapisi, who earned his place in history as the first-ever Kiwi hip-hop artist to receive the prestigious Silver Scroll Award at the APRA Awards for Songwriter of the Year for his single ‘Reverse Resistance’ in 1999.

While he had the nation grooving to a new beat it wasn’t just about the music. It was about ‘keeping it real’. King Kapisi was born in Samoa as Bill Urale, and his music has become a movement – promoting cultural pride and bringing his Pacific roots to life, inviting listeners to ‘learn your language and your origins’.

Meanwhile, in the world of big band music, the Rodger Fox Big Band has locally reigned supreme since 1973. With five Tui award-winning albums under their belt and a well-earned reputation for delivering a world-class repertoire, they have more than 90 New Zealand compositions to their name, with 76 of these recorded.

The band has also extended their musical family by collaborating with some of the world's most eminent jazz artists - names like Michael Brecker, Mike Stern, Kurt Elling, Michael Houstoun, and Simon O’Neill have all graced their stage.

The latest mash-up is an innovative collaboration that will deliver to audiences as well as create fresh music for high school jazz bands and local community big bands to play with.

Rodger Fox says he's excited for the upcoming performances: "We look forward to seeing old friends at the concerts and making many new ones, but tickets are selling fast". 

The trio will be in Queesntown for one night only, and tickets can be purchased here.

Following Queenstown, the performers are also heading to Invercargill and then Oamaru – same flavour, different location.

Remaining New Zealand tour dates:

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Main image (Supplied/Rene Hueme): Rodger Fox will bring the jazz, King Kapisi, the hip-hop.


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