Australian and International Crowd Pleasers

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Touring each year and available for overseas festival appearances, jazz concerts, International club/Corporate engagements, gospel/church services, sea/riverboat cruises, New Orleans style street parades etc.

Australia's most travelled Traditional Jazz Band, this high energy 7­piece hot group from Sydney has within 18 years won an international reputation as Ambassadors of Australian Jazz. Proof of numerous invitations to play are indicated including Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland (Montreux), Japan (Tokyo), Norway, UK & USA. 2003 brings an 11th overseas Tour to Europe.

In Sydney their residencies guarantee and maintain good music entertainment with an "easy listening" Jazz-Style. Newspaper reviews give fuller praise and good sales of their 9 CD's shows their popularity. Most of the CD's are recorded live with an audience which is characteristic of the Sydney-Zenith Jazz-Blues Band and its crowd pulling attraction. Whether at festivals, in concert hall venues, on board ships, at casino/hotels, in jazz club setting, on the road using pantechnicons in the Australian outback or involvement with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games concerts: the band is an institution, permanent fans and audience being guaranteed for them.

International Performance Credits & Press Reviews

Tops from Down Under (94) Wizards of Oz (95) Key to Reaching a Zenith (91) Cellar Swung in Jazz Fever (96) Zenith Easy Listening Style of Jazz (Sydney Olympics 2000) Zenith there from the Start (94) Jazz with Razzamatazz (97) Stars Shine as Jazz Band reach Zenith (Edinburgh 98) Jammed to the Rafters (2002)

Jazz Festival Stars Overseas

  • Bimungham, UK
  • Brecon, Wales 94, 98
  • Düsseldorf Jazz Rally
  • Germany 96, 97, 98
  • Edinburgh, 91, 94, 95, 98, 00, & 02
  • Glasgow, UK
  • Holywood, Belfast
  •  Isle of Man, Britain
  • Maidstone, Kent UK
  • Montana, USA
  • Montreux, Switzerland
  • Portland, USA
  • Santa Cruz, USA
  • St Raphael, France
  • Sildajazz, Norway 98, 00 & 02
  • Silkeborg, Denmark
  • Stockton, USA
  • Swanage, UK
  • SWR Hotjazz Germany
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Whitley Bay, UK


  • Adelaide Casino
  • Bellingen Festival
  • Canberra Festival
  • Darling Harbour
  • Government House
  • Griffith Festival
  • Guinness Festival
  • Jazz at the Pines
  • Manly Jazz Festival
  • Moe / Morpeth
  • Montsalvat Festival
  • Perth Festival, WA
  • SunRice Festival
  • Sydney Hbr. Casino
  • Sydney - Soup Plus
  • Thredbo Jazz Festival
  • Vaucluse House


  • 100 CLUB, London
  • Albert Dock, UK
  • Aus. Embassy, Bonn
  • Bull's Head, Barnes
  • Dumfries Jazz Club
  • DrJazzClubDasseldorf
  • Elie, Fife UK
  • Fat Sam's, UK
  • Forth Cruises UK
  • Hesketh Arms, UK
  • Hub, Tokyo 94, 95
  • Jazz at the Crown
  • Jazz at the Fell 96,99
  • Maltings, Berwick
  • Nottingham Rhythm
  • Rochdale Jazz Club
  • Woodman Jazz Club
Touring Group Biography
John Edser - Trombone/Leader/Vocals
A Professional Musician, started playing violin, switched to trombone 1960, joined Geoff Bull's band in 1963 and toured with them to Greece and UK in 1968. Whilst in Britain played with the Gothic and John Keans Jazz Bands. Re-visited London in 1970's and worked at various clubs. Lived and worked in New Orleans as an exponent of the New Orleans style for about one year and since returning to Australia has played with Adrian Ford, Merv Atchison and New Paramount Jazz Band for 3 years. Has been with the Zenith ever since 1985 including their tours in 1991, 94, 95, 96, 98, 00, 01 and 2002. Overseas playing venues include the Tokyo Hub, 100 Club in London, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and USA. As leader of the local group he was invited by the Vintage Jazz Club to play in New Zealand after returning from the band's 1995 overseas tour later that same year.
Mike Hallam - Trympet/Cornet/Harmonica/Vocals
A retired civil engineer co-founder of the Harbour City Jazz Band in 1968. Spent 4 years with Ray Price Quintet and then formed his own "Mike Hallam Hot Six" and played in the Sydney Hilton for 8 years as well as the Sydney Jazz Club and Red Ned's for 7 years. Also worked with Graeme Bell All Stars at Australian jazz festivals. Travelled overseas with the Mister Crow show band, Alan Leake's Jazz Repertory Company and Hot Gossip playing in Jazz festivals in Canada, USA, UK, Thailand and New Zealand. Has toured with the Zenith on their last five trips to England, Scotland, Wales, Hotjazz festival in Germany, Sildajazz Festival in Norway, Riverboat Festival in Denmark, Holywood, Ireland and Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and USA.
Jack Wiard - Reeds
Born in Lodi California, USA. His interest in jazz started when he heard Benny Goodman play on TV. Graduated from San Francisco State College with AA., BA., BM and teaching certificate in Music. In the 60's Jack played with Pops Foster and Brian Richardson's Jazz Bands including Burt Bales, Joe Sullivan as well as various Kid Ory and Turk Murphy alumni. Has performed at Burp Hollow, Ye Rose and Thistle, Rathskeller, Earthquake McGoons and Pier 23 plus half time shows backing Tony Bennett, O.C. Smith and Johnny Mathis. Jack moved to Australia in 1971 as a professional musician, taught music and is a committee member of the Clarinet and Saxophone society of NSW. He has worked with most jazz bands in Australia and runs his own trio group. He has toured extensively with the Graeme Bell All Stars to New Zealand, Europe, and South East Asia including an Australian Tour with Humphrey Lyttleton, Alex Welsh and Graeme Bell and has over a dozen recordings to his credit. Played clarinet on last four Zenith tours playing I International Jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland, Edinburgh, Scotland, Tradjazz Festival in Haugesund, Norway and USA.
Lawrence Buckland - Double Bass
Born February 1944 in Victoria, Australia. Began playing bass in a boarding-school orchestra in Melbourne, 1960. Lawrence took lessons at the conservatorium, joined a big band and was later active in the jazz club and university jazz band. Settled in Canberra in 1960s and worked with several local groups including Greg Gibson and Fortified Few. In 1970s co-founded the Black Eagle JB and was treasurer of the Canberra Jazz Club. Since 1980 and over the years has worked at Bogart's, the Contented Soul, played with Jerrabomberra JB, deputized with most Traditional Jazz bands and currently plays bass with the Black Mountain Jazz band. First invited to tour overseas with the Zenith on their 2002 trip to the West Coast of USA for the Portland, Oregon Jazz Festival and San Francisco Bay Area Jazz Break gigs in Stockton, San Jose and Monterey.
Peter Hogan - Drums
Commenced playing drums at age of 11 in the Newcastle Police Boys Brass Band. Among his many memorable performances in the brass band was playing the tympani at the Albert Hall, England. As a 15 year old he was approached to join the ABC Orchestra and the Australian Navy Band but was unable to accept both these offers. His love of jazz began at 17 when he was asked to join the Maryville Jazz Band. He has continued to play with this band for the past 25 years and assembled his own band, Jazz Serenade, in 1997 in the Newcastle area of New South Wales, in 1997. He also played with the Blue Dog Jazz Band for four years, regularly appeared with Eric Holroyd's Hot Shots. He is now the latest member of the local Zenith Jazz Band and will travel overseas for the fast time with the Zenith group to Europe in 2003.
Mike Hart MBE - Banjo/Guitar
MBE for services to jazz in Scotland, founder and Director of the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival now running for over 22 years. A founder member of the Climax Jazz Band from Edinburgh, started on drums with Sandy Brown, switched to banjo in 1954, then played with the Climax. Started Old Bailey's Advocates, also Society Syncopators and toured world wide with own band till present day. Played with Climax Reunion Jazz Band [same members from 19591 in Australia at Perth and Manly Jazz Festivals in 1992. Has guested with Sydney-Zenith on five International tours including the du Manner Downtown Toronto Jazz festival, Bonn Embassy in 1996, Dusseldorf Jazz Rally in 1996, 97 & 98 plus Haugesund, Sildajazz traditional Jazz festival in Norway in 1998 & 2000. Also joined the Sydney-Zenith for the Riverboat Jazz Festival in Denmark, Hotjazz Festival in Germany, Holywood Jazz Festival in Ireland and Isle of Man Jazz Festival in 1999, Montreux, Jazz festival in Switzerland during 2000 and USA West Coast in 2001 and 2002.
Tom Wood - Piano/Keyboard/Band Manager
Born in Edinburgh and was involved in the local jazz scene in the late 50's. He joined the UK Climax not long after its formation playing piano at the Stud Club, where the entire George Lewis Band sat in whilst on tour in Britain in 1959. After a break from music Tom moved to Australia and set up his own consulting business. He later joined the Zenith just before they initiated jazz at the well known Strawberry Hills venue and played there for over 5 years. His rolling rhythm punching piano contributes to a solid rhythm section which lifts, guides and helps the ensemble swing to give the integrated Zenith sound. Arranged and played in all 10 Zenith overseas tours including the Climax Reunions sponsoring their Australian visit in 1992 and in 1999 organised their 40"' Reunion at Edinburgh & Brecon jazz festivals and Dtisseldorf Jazz Rally. The 2000 tour included Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland plus return visits to both Edinburgh & Sildajazz (Norway) International Jazz festivals proving the band's popularity overseas. Band commenced their first tours to the West Coast of USA in 2001 and 2002. 2003 marks their 11th overseas tour.

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