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Doug Wright

Keyboards/ Vocals/ Guitar/ Bass
Musical Director/ Composer/Arranger

An original member of the Oxo Cubans, Doug Wright has been working in the music industry around the Otago / Southland region for more than 30 years. Born in Gore, he began his musical career playing in cabaret bands in Gore and surrounding districts in the 1970’s, while studying for a A.T.C.L. Diploma in classical piano, which he attained in 1979.

Moving to Dunedin in 1981 to study at Otago University, he became involved in the university arts scene and was soon in demand as musical director for many university drama productions.

Notable events at this time included singing with the renowned University Capping Sextet for 4 years and musical direction for the Capping Show in 1984.

Collaboration with Dunedin choreographer Helen Langford led to the production of two modern dance programmes for the university “Dance Arts” company and a commission to compose for the New Zealand Ballet as part of their “New Works” season.

While at university, he developed an interest in jazz music and in 1983 formed the band “Rue de Remarque” which became an integral part of the Dunedin jazz community.
The band recorded for Radio New Zealand’s Jazz Scene series and performed at many festivals around the South Island.
With a variety of line up changes over the years, core members Doug and vocalist Suzanne Ellison continue to perform including apperances at the Noosa & Christchurch Jazz Festivals.

The 90’s saw Doug move into national television when he joined Kid’s TV as musical producer for the popular “You and Me” series hosted by Suzy Cato. This series ran for five years with over one thousand episodes being aired and received numerous national television and media awards.

Other television series credits include “Bobby the Bus” for the American PBS Network and the Emmy award winning “Twisted Tales” series for Fox Studio’s Natural History New Zealand.

During this time Doug became a founding member of the Oxo Cubans.
Throughout his years with the band, Doug has been the Oxos musical director and arranger.
His experience in television, stage and theatre has been an invaluable asset to the band’s many stage presentations.

While the Oxos have played the dominant musical role in his life, he continues to be involved in television production, his most recent national network series being, “The Go Show” and “Action Central”.

In addition to his live performance and television commitments he has managed to find time to tutor at the University of Otago’s Contemporary Rock Music course and lend his talents to popular Dunedin bands “The Whirling Eddys” and “The Jazzberry Combo”.

His theatrical work includes musical direction for the Fortune Professional Theatre’s seasons of “Stretchmarks” and “The Gambler” plus keyboard roles with The Dunedin Operatic Society’s productions of “Rush”, “Encore” and “West Side Story”.

As a studio session player his distinctive keyboard style has graced a variety of albums including country music icon Jeff Rea’s “First Steps”, Phil Garland’s National Tui Award wining “Southern Odyssey” and Jenny Mitchells "The Old Oak".

In 2006 Doug was appointed Musical Director for the New Zealand Songwriters Trust and the annual concert performance of the New Zealand National Tui Awards country music category.

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