Best Jazz Artist and Composition celebrated at Wellington Jazz Festival

Best Jazz Artist and Composition celebrated at Wellington Jazz Festival
GRG67 and Callum Allardice win big

photog. Stephen A’Court

photog. Stephen A’Court

The winners of the Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist | Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa and the APRA Best Jazz Composition were announced tonight at the Wellington Jazz Festival.

GRG67 were awarded their first Best Jazz Artist Tui while Callum Allardice became the first artist to win three Best Jazz Composition awards.

After curating a number of compositions, Roger Manins needed to find the right musicians to help bring his visions to life. And so GRG67 was born, consisting of Roger Manins, Michael Howell, Mostyn Cole, and Tristan Deck.

The compositions were developed with these musicians in mind, and this is evident in the cohesion of their album The Thing; an excellent eight-song collection of tracks performed by some of Aotearoa’s most well-known jazz musicians. Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan says The Thing is a strong collection of jazz composition, brought to life by a talented and creative group.  

“When these incredibly talented musicians came together to bring Roger Manins’ compositions to life it was destined to result in a spectacular album. It’s a truly deserving winner of the Tui this year.”

The APRA Best Jazz Composition was awarded to guitarist and composer Callum Allardice for the third time for his composition Chungin’.

In 2016 Callum’s Sons of Thunder took home the inaugural Best Jazz Composition Award at the NZ Jazz Awards, and he followed that up by winning the same award in 2017 for Deep Thought.

APRA AMCOS Head of New Zealand Operations Ant Healey says: “Callum’s work is held in very high esteem. Despite the judging panel changing every year, and compositions being judged anonymously, Callum’s work continues to rise to top. His prolific work with ensembles The Jac and Antipodes leads to bold, evocative compositions, and it’s great to see the next generation of jazz artists, like Callum, establishing their work in the New Zealand jazz pantheon.”

Other finalists for the Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist were Antipodes for Good Winter, and Dog for No Dogs Allowed.

Grant Hughson for Follow The Sugar To The Gee, and Jasmine Lovell-Smith for Cerulean Haze were the other finalists for the APRA Best Jazz Composition.

The awards were announced at the closing night of the Wellington Jazz Festival, which ran from Wednesday 5 through to Sunday 9 June, and featured around 150 gigs with local and international jazz performers throughout the week.

Finalists for APRA Best Jazz Composition

  • Winner: Callum Allardice – Chungin’

  • Grant Hughson – Follow The Sugar To The Gee

  • Jasmine Lovell-Smith – Cerulean Haze

Finalists for Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist

  • Winner: GRG67 – The Thing

  • Antipodes – Good Winter

  • Dog – No Dogs Allowed

About Recorded Music New Zealand
Recorded Music NZ is a non-profit industry representation and licensing organisation for recording artists and their labels. It divides its services into three main areas. The Member Services team delivers projects including the Vodafone NZ Music Awards, the weekly Official NZ Top40 Charts and the Music Grants programme. Recorded Music NZ’s licensing division administers broadcast and public performance licensing either directly or through its joint initiative with APRA called OneMusic. The Pro-Music team is dedicated to protecting and promoting the interests of artists and labels across the New Zealand recording industry.

APRA AMCOS, representing the Australasian Performing Right Association and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society, is a non-profit organisation that collects and distributes songwriting royalties to its 100,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members, and around 3,000,000 copyright owners worldwide.

About Wellington Jazz Festival
The annual Wellington Jazz Festival (5-9 June) is the highlight of Aotearoa’s mid-winter music calendar, featuring some of the finest musicians from across New Zealand and around the globe. Throughout the Capital’s streets, cafes, bars and live music venues, jazz aficionados and intrepid newcomers can explore more than 140 gigs across the city, with five days of serious play bringing the sounds and spirit of jazz to Wellington.

Find out more at