Colin Hemmingsen (Executant Diploma of Music, Auckland University, NZ (1968)
Master of Music, New England Conservatory, USA (1973),
Has had a dual jazz/classical career for more than 30 years and until 1992 was New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s principal bassoonist. He won a Downbeat scholarship on tenor saxophone in 1970 to study jazz at Berklee College of Music and was subsequently awarded a scholarship to New England Conservatory. There he completed a Masters degree in bassoon with Sherman Walt as his teacher.
After teaching and performing in the United States (freelance with the Boston Philharmonia and Opera and ballet companies and a one year position at Virginal Commonwealth University in a resident woowind quintet) he returned to New Zealand to work with the NZSO and also establish the country’s first jazz school. He has been involved in jazz education since the mid-1970s and founded the NZ Jazz Foundation in 1983.
He is a Senior Lecturer in Jazz studies at the NZ School of Music, Wellington.
Present research consists of “Exploring the bassoon in Jazz Performance” CD release 2005-“The Rite of Swing” and conference paper at the International Double Reed Society 2004.
Electric Instruments in Jazz (wind synthesis). CD release 2004 “Parallax”. Recent research seminars “Eddie Daniels-improvisational characteristics’ and “The Lydian Augmented-A scale for all Occasions”.
Recordings: Sustenance (Four recordings), Scandinavian Suite (also recorded for TVNZ with NZSO (saxophone soloist of original NZ compositions). All NZSO recordings from 1977-1992 and some from 1992-1996 on bassoon and saxophone. USA Public Television Series “Our Changing Music” Gunther Schuller 1973.
Soloist on many commercial and jazz recordings with performers including Mike Nock, Malcom McNeil, Anne Pacey, Frank Gibson Junior, Phil Broadhurst etc.
Recent recordings “The Rite of Swing” RATA Records-TUI finalist 2006
Soloist on Vaughn Roberts “Great Stuff” RATA Records-TUI Winner 2006
Soloist on Kevin Clark album “Once Upon a Song I flew”TUI Winner
His latest album “The Rite of Swing”was a TUI finalist in 2006