Monday 23rd August 2021.
Last Tuesday the Delta variant of COVID -19 finally found its way to New Zealand and the Government quickly threw the country into Level 4 lockdown. As of today, there is still no COVID in the South Island. At this stage it's only in the North Island. We wait today, to see whether the Govt will lower the level for the South Is. They will keep The North Island - Auckland, Wellington at Level 4 as the risk is too high and there are too many cases. Luckily, no one has died yet from this latest outbreak. It has been a year since NZ was in lockdown and six months since our last community case. Hopefully we can keep on top of this latest outbreak. Time will tell.
The only other thing I wish for is for people to get vaccinated. This is the only way to prevent getting the illness, or at least reducing the severity and chances of dying from it. We owe it each other to protect our friends and families from this fast-spreading dangerous virus.
As a result of Level 4 lockdown , my studio is closed for all teaching and I'm working from home. It's giving me a chance to catch up on stuff - admin, prepare for my online video course, prep lessons and finalise the images for my book. There is much to do.
The band has had an upcoming show re-scheduled as a result. I have some shows coming up in Sept and Oct but I hope that we will be down alert levels by then and able to play these.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are safe and well.
Take care - arms around you.
July 7th, 2021
I hope that wherever you are in the world, you are safe and well and I hope that COVID is not affecting you too much. It's certainly a new world we are living in at the moment.
It's been a long time coming but soon I will have some new resource material for new drummers to work and practise at. Having been a drum teacher for nearly 20 years, I have seen first hand the issues and frustrations that new drummers go through. So I have put together an easy-to-digest resource to help those drummers, practising on their own at home. Standby for more info on that.
The Oxo Cubans have been a little quiet since the end of June as Doug, our keyboard player, has been on tour with Ian Chapman and his Bowie show. But shortly, On June 9th, we will put our feet back into the water and play at Ross Home, Dunedin. Am looking forward to that. In the meantime, teaching is going well and keeping me busy, with new students coming on board.
Till next time, take care and check out my favourite drummer, Manu Katche.
Where on earth has the time gone! Apologies for the gap in writing. It's been a whirlwind couple of months. First we had the build up to the very successful Midge Marsden concert at the Mayfair Theatre. It was amazing to have sold the theatre out two weeks before the show, especially in these times. But here in NZ we are lucky that we are essentially COVID-free and can go to concerts and play shows etc. It was a brilliant concert and thanks to everyone involved - Mediaworks Dunedin who jumped on board with it and gave their full support to live music. Also, the one and only Mark Laughton, who always gets in behind and supports and helps us with any Oxo event. Thank you so much Mark. Also, theatre staff and of course sound and production - Strawberry Sound and Southern Lights and Services. Thank you to everyone, and especially the fans who came -we had a ball thank you!
Then there was the MLT Songwriters and NZ Country Music Awards in Gore two weeks ago, which was a huge success. For the first time in its history this concert also sold out two weeks in advance as part of the newly created, Tussock Country Music Festival. It was again for us and for me, a pleasure to work with such great songwriters and some great NZ Country artists like Tami Neilson, Delaney Davidson, Jody Direen, Marian Burns and others. It's full on for us Oxo Cubans with rehearsals and preparation - we're the house band for the event - but worth every minute as it's such a pleasure to play such a great show. Thanks to Jeff Rea and The Tussock Festival and MLT Trust committees. We look forward to next year already!
In between these events we managed to fit in a show at Nellies in Mosgiel. With Doug Wright, our keyboard player unavailable, in stepped fellow Oxo, Nick Libretto and partner, the excellent and lovely Arlie Julia. We had never seen Nellies so packed. It was by far the biggest crowd we had ever played to there and it was a great night. We rocked the joint and had a great time! Thanks to Nick and Arlie and for Nellies management for looking after us.
Teaching is as busy as ever with some new students coming on board. Thank you to them for trusting me with the new drumming journey. As far as song writing goes, we are back to creating new music for Ricky Orbit. Only in the writing stage just now, but fellow writer and mate Denis Gibbins and I are back working on a bunch of ideas. It's exciting as I think this batch will be different to what came before. Stay tuned.
That's all for now - take care - keep the music alive!
Not long to go till May 22nd and the Midge Marsden/Chet O'Connell concert at Dunedin's Mayfair Theatre. Tickets are selling well - the media promotion has started - and rehearsals are in full swing. At this show, we will be introducing and welcoming the excellent, John Dodd, as our new bass player. Craig will go onto 2nd keyboards. Craig is a brilliant piano player but will still play bass from time to time. But this process will give us a new focus and opens up lots of new creative ideas for our music. So, it's going to be an exciting show! Tickets are available here: http://www.tickets.oxocubans.co.nz
My Ricky Orbit writing partner, Denis, and I have re-ignited our song-writing and are excited about what we are coming up with. Trying to fit it in our around our busy lives is always a challenge but we are making progress. Will keep you up to date with new music as we get it.
With Covid-19 well and truly at bay in NZ, gigs are beginning to come back. We had a great night at the Terminus a couple of weeks back. It was great to get back to our gigs and get in front of a crowd again. While the rest of the world is still fighting, we in NZ are very fortunate to be able to go about our normal lives with no restrictions. My thoughts are with those countries and people who are still struggling with it.
Take care everyone - arms around you.
February 10th, 2021
Just listening to the new Foo Fighters album while I write this. Slight change of vibe for them on a few tracks which is nice to hear. Nearly the middle of February and we are off and running with teaching, gigs and planning shows. Three years ago we did a show featuring the one and only NZ blues legend, Midge Marsden with guitar maestro, Chet O'Connell. Held at the Mayfair Theatre, Dunedin, it was a sell out. There is another in the planning for the first half of this year so stand by on news with that.
The Oxo Cubans are back playing and we are also working the excellent, John Dodd, into the band. John is a quality, classy bass player and will suit the Oxo Cubans perfectly. Craig will remain with the band but will jump to second keyboards in the songs that John plays. This gives us plenty of variety as we all sing, and can switch instruments from time to time. Looking forward to that.
Hoping that wherever you are you are staying Covid safe, and can still enjoy the music.
18thh January, 2021
It'a a belated Happy New Year to you all - should have done this earlier but being in Auckland for twelve days and then moving house over the holiday period was full on. I hope that you all had a happy and safe Christmas/New Year period. My teaching studio is now open for 2021 and I'm looking forward to welcoming back my existing students and any new drummers keen to rock into the new year on the drums.
If you are overseas reading this I do hope you are coping with the struggles of Covid-19. What an enormous situation for the world to be in. Here in NZ we are lucky, we have had no community cases since early November, but we do have cases of the new variant at our border and in quarantine. Let's hop it stays there. We have many freedoms here, almost normal but not quite. We are very fortunate that we did what we were asked to do and locked down early on, last March. I hope you are safe wherever you are.
This year I plan on doing a lot with the business and the band - the Oxo Cubans - we have a few shows planned which is exciting. Will keep you posted. In the meantime, I'm enjoying helping drummers, young and old, new or experienced, with improving themselves on the drums and making a quality contribution to their music. It's what I do and what I love.
Till next time, take care, stay safe, scan the QR code and wear a mask on public transport and in Ubers.
Cheers, Marcel X
I'm sure you will agree that 2020 has been a very strange year. The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything and has had tragic consequences around the world. And it's still not over for many countries, especially for my family members in Europe, where it just seems to getting worse again. If you are overseas, I hope you are keeping safe. Here in New Zealand we have managed to keep Covid out of our lives as much as possible, with all cases in managed isolation and none in the community. We hope it stays that way.
It will be so good to see the end of 2020 for other reasons. Right now, I can write you a list of all seven friends or colleagues who have passed away. People who I know well, - who I have worked with or have done gigs with and made records with. None died from Covid, just from other medical conditions. Seven people! They are: Ross McNab, Steve Binns, Alan McKay, Brian Burt, Alec McNeil, Jim Hinkley, Chris Miller - and I've missed one I think. May they all RIP.
With our lives pretty much back to normal here in NZ, we are back to playing shows and it's been going well. We have had some very successful shows and now, for me, I have no more shows left to play for the year. My drum teaching finishes at the end of the week and it's time for a holiday. This year, our holiday is based around family, which makes me very happy. Family is everything.
Thank you for staying around and following me - I enjoy the connection.
May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year - roll on 2021! Can't wait.
It's so good to be back playing shows again. The Oxo Cubans has a few good ones coming up. On Sunday the 29th November we are at Nellies in Mosgiel for a show with the excellent Bare Essentials. Two bands featuring quality musicians on a lazy Sunday afternoon from 2pm to 6pm. Called ROCK INTO SUMMER - I'm looking forward to great show. Don't miss it. Tickets only $25 at Nellies or Beggs Musicworks in the city.
This week, we are at Bistro at the Terminus in Andersons Bay, Dunedin - 7.30pm to 9.30pm. This is always a great gig! Free entry and just book a table if you want to dine.
Last night I was recording for the Dunedin band, Tomahawk Radio, adding percussion to some of the tracks I recorded for them a few months ago. I'm really enjoying working with the guys - they have some great original indie rock songs. It's fun being part of their process. There will be a release party and launch in the New Year. I will keep you posted.
2020 - I'm sure the world will look at this one as being one of the most difficult with Covid 19 impacting us all. Looking forward to a brighter year next year - but there's still stuff to do, so go out and see some live music wherever in the world you are - the musicians will love you for it.
October 7th 2020
With Dunedin back at Level 1 for the last couple of weeks, we are thrilled to be able to play shows again. Bars are open, we can have more than 100 people at a show and can have a dance floor. Last week, we (Oxo Cubans), played our first gig in a long while and it was so good to be back. We have a couple of shows this weekend - at the Casino in Dunedin. Looking forward to it again. Was so nice to get back to it. Also there is no Covid in the community in NZ which is great. Let's hope it stays that way. Wherever you are in the world I hope you are keeping safe.
Have a great week.
It's great to be be able to say that RICKY ORBIT- the creative outlet I am part of - now have our music available online - Itunes, Spotify and Youtube so far. The songwriting collective is made up of, myself and Denis Gibbins (both from Mother Goose), singer/writer, Jack Parker from Melbourne band, Low Speed Bus Chase, and includes the excellent, guitarist and producer, David Harrison, and our late dear friend, Ross McNab (RIP), whose support, production, dedication and enthusiasm was immense, not to mention his beautiful piano playing.
Here's the iTunes link . Would love you to have a listen and a purchase if you're so inclined. Thanks so much!
28th August 2020
Covid-19 - Level 2, continues to prevent us from doing gigs with more than 100 and social distancing still a requirement. The most important thing is everyone's safety so we will await the outcome on September 6th, where our Prime Minister decides whether we step down to Level 1 - allowing gigs, or whether we stay at the current Level 2. It certainly makes it hard to plan ahead with any real confidence, but if we step down to Level 1, our September 20th show at Nellies, will go ahead. We will wait and see.
In the meantime, I have moved my teaching space to new premises in Vogel St, in Dunedin city. It's great to be back in town and my studio is a work in progress as soundproofing and general dressing of the room goes on. I'm really enjoying it so far.
I am looking forward to having some music released soon in approximately the middle of September - under the banner, RICKY ORBIT! It's a project I have been working at on and off over the years. I will let you know as soon as it is released. While some of the songs were recorded some time it's still great to see them see the light of day and be released out to the public.
Wherever in the world you are, please, follow the rules - wear a mask if you have to - social distance - wash your hands - and stay safe - we will all get through it togther. Take care
27th July 2020,
Yep the shows are beginning to come back. Enquires for the band are increasing. Our band OXO CUBANS Big Band has a show ready for September 20th at Nellies Bar in Mosgiel. Along with the Whirling Eddies, the show is a Sunday afternoon session dance party from 2pm to 6pm and features quality musicians in an exciting show. I can't wait. More info on the EVENTS page.
I'm also being hired this week and next, to record some tracks for a local band, which I'm looking forward to. Will let you know about that once the songs are released. Also have some news about our song writing project Rick Orbit so stay tuned for that.
So, post Covid, things are beginning to happen. We are so fortunate here in New Zealand that when we were all asked to seriously lockdown - we did. We did it once and we did it right. It's difficult watching our friends in Australia, especially in Victoria and New South Wales struggling with their second wave. Am so grateful to be in NZ and getting on with it.
Take care everyone, wherever you are overseas. Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands. It's easy. Take care for now xx
A couple of weeks ago we played Bistro at the Terminus, our first gig back since Covid-19. I have to say it was so good to be back playing in front of people again. I had a great time and with a packed room, it was a lot of fun. I realised how much I missed it. It was also a great opportunity for Dunedin bass player, John Dodd, to come and sit in with us. We plan on doing some more shows with John on bass -while our regular bass player Craig moving to second keyboards for some songs. This sill be an exciting shift for us and open a lot more choice for music.
Bring on Live Music Again!
JUNE 10th, 2020
Well done NZ, we have rid ourselves of Covid-19 - for now at least. Being at Alert level 1, means businesses are back open as normal, mass gatherings are allowed and we can get back to playing gigs. Bars, cafes and restaurants are all back open so we can get to live music again.Our band is currently planning our next move and in what form or shape we will approach the second half of the year. The lockdown has been good for us to individually determine what's important to us, and how we want to operate in the future. It is our 25th year this year so we are planning a celebration of some sort - a concert or show or some event. Stay tuned.
On Thursday 14th May, New Zealand steps down to Alert Level 2, which means businesses like mine can get back to what we do best, teaching, playing and making music. It's been an amazing five weeks for me - where Lockdown has given me the opportunity to breathe and be. When everything stopped, it was actually nice. It was time to take stock of what went before and anticipate what will be ahead. Some decisions were made and opportunities arose. It was great to get online classes up and running - something that I should have done already, but always seemed ' too busy' to get to.
It seems like a long time I ago that I saw my awesome drum students and it will be good to get back to teaching and interacting with them again.
There will be no gigs for the foreseeable future as gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed. I think it will be awhile before I get to play a gig in public. In the meantime, I have been writing songs and I have throughly enjoyed that. I hope that wherever you are in the world, that you are safe and well and getting through this very unsettling global situation. In the meantime - take care and stay safe, Cheers, Marcel
How amazing, that in a matter of a few short weeks, we should find ourselves in a total lockdown situation as the whole country battles the spread of the Covid-19 virus. In my mind, there is no doubt that our Government has done the right thing, as difficult as it is. We just need to do the best we can to see out the situation, till we can get ourselves back to some sort of 'new' normality.
To that end, with my business being one that relied on face to face drum education, moving to online lessons was the next natural step. So far this is working very well. I'm doing my sessions through the Zoom platform and this suits my needs perfectly. All my students need is the free Zoom app, downloadable from http://www.zoom.us and a device with a camera - phone, iPad, laptop, desktop. If you feel that you'd like to explore that, then just email me at: http://email@example.com
There are, of course, no gigs of any sort until mass gatherings are allowed again - and I have to say I am missing the gigs with my mates from the Oxo Cubans. Still, I know at some point we will get back to it. In the meantime stay safe, stay at home and take care.
The global pandemic, Covid-19, is making its presence felt here in New Zealand and as a result, the Government has locked us all down for four weeks. This means that my teaching business, along with countless other NZ business are closed. This is a difficult situation for many who have staff and a large wage bill. For me, as a sole trader/operator it means my income has suddenly been cut off. BUT, and there's a big BUT - the lockdown is absolutely the right thing to do. We are told to STAY AT HOME, so Lynn and I are ready for it. We are doing just that. I know that all my wonderful students will be doing the same. Aside from going to the supermarket, this is us for the next four weeks. Wherever you are, please take care, stay safe, and STAY AT HOME! I know that we will get out the other side and I look forward to seeing you all there then.
February 18th, 2020
How quickly has the year started off. I don't know about you but I am having a busy time of it. There's been lots on. In our fair city, we have had some big names play here. Elton John was here, two weeks ago playing a show to 35,000 people. I didn't go. But Queen + Adam Lambert were here last week and we went to that - another 35,000 crowd show. I though they were fantastic, especially Adam L, he was sensational! I was fortunate enough be in the support band for Queen (with Freddy) in 1985 - four shows at the Melbourne Entertainment Centre, during ' The Works' tour. So it was good to see this version of Queen again. Shame I never got to see, Brian May, this time. In 1985, when we played their shows, he was, as you can imagine, a real gentleman and came to see us in our dressing room every night, wishing us well. It was great just to feel the Queen vibe again. Special memories for me.
This year our band, Oxo Cubans, have been contracted to musically direct and perform at MAMMA MIA, the Musical in October this year. As Grease was in 2016, it will be staged at the Lion Foundation Arena for DKCM Productions. We will have nine piece band to rock those great ABBA tunes. Looking forward to that.
This year also mark the Oxo Cubans 25th anniversary. I haven't been their drummer that long!! Only about 15 years now. We will be celebrating with a concert of some sort - yet to be determined. Aside from that we have some corporate shows coming up and also, there's talk of working with some Melbourne artists. So all in all, it's a busy time , but that's the way aha aha, I like it!
That's all for now - don't forget to be kind to one another - and give someone close to you a hug.
January 7th, 2020
There's nothing like the start of a new year. It's a good feeling for me. Most of us have had a break of some sort and now some of us are back at work. That includes me. The whole Christmas/New Year period for me is all about family and friends. One of our sons, Jackson, lives in the North Island so unfortunately he couldn't join us. But we had a nice family gathering, with our other son, Harley and his partner and extended family members and friends. Was great to just chill and share that family, time and also to have nothing booked in front of me.
OXO CUBANS (NZ)
On January 4th, the band started the year with a gig in Gore, country music capital of NZ. Now we play again soon at the Taieri A&P show in Mosgiel on January 25th. Then we have a very busy February.
This year, 2020, we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary. How we celebrate that, in what form, we are yet to decide. There's plenty of ideas floating. There's bound to be a show of some sort so stay tuned.
Also, later this year the band will be providing the live soundtrack for Taieri Musical's production of Mamma Mia, at the Lion Foundation Arena produced and directed by Doug Kamo of DKCM. Scheduled for four massive shows in October, this will be a fabulous show. In 2016, we did the same for the musical, Grease, in the same venue and it was fantastic. With a nine piece band, we are really looking forward to rocking those great ABBA songs. It's sure to be a raging success and one we are looking forward to.
After a successful and enjoyable year teaching in 2019, I have a few limited spaces for new students in 2020. If you, or someone you know is keen to learn to play drums and make music then just send me an email at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Or perhaps you've been a player and are looking to refresh, then I'm here to help. I look forward to hearing from you
Wherever you are, thanks for reading and following me. Have a great start to 2020 and I'll see you back here soon.
It's been an excellent couple of months. During the recent school holidays, Lynn and I went to Melbourne for ten days to visit close friends and family. Back in the '70's and '80's we lived in Melbourne for nine years and I have toured and played there so often. I know the city and I still very much love the city. It's one of the world's best, modern cities and we had such a great time catching up with everyone who is still close to us. Missing everyone already. It was a great holiday break and now we are back ready for the run home to the end of the year. For my school students, Term Four has just started and it's great to see everyone return to their drumming.
The band has been a bit quiet lately but we have gigs coming up to Christmas and ironically, in the new year, which is traditionally a quiet period for us.
I am currently rehearsing for a private show I've ben hired for, where I get to play with four divas and dancers. It will be some show. Other than that, my Memoir is completed and am likely to self-publish. Am currently exploring printing options. It's getting exciting and will keep you posted when the book is available for sale.
That's all for now - take care
26th August 2019
I'm absolutely delighted to say that my memoir is finished and I am now actively looking for a publisher. It's taken some years but it's been a very rewarding exercise. And it's great to know the bulk of the work is behind me. As soon as I have process on the publishing side you'll be the first to know.
It's been a quiet August for the band but we are about to kick into it again later this week with a trip to the Sail Bar in Timaru, our favourite gig.
I am also currently working on a side project which will transform in to a a one-off show in later November. More details as they come to hand, but it is something a little different for me and which I am really excited about. Stay tuned. Till next time, take care.
It's into August we go and the Oxo Cubans are having a couple of weeks off after a pretty busy run of shows. The variety of stuff we do really keeps things interesting, with different lineups and different types of gigs.
ARGUS is now not able to play in 2019, so we are looking at 2020 - most likely February. It's not that the band doesn't want to play, it's purely just making sure everything lines up and unfortunately with the year beginning to run out of dates in the later months, we can't make it happen. That's all good, it'll make next year's shows all the more exciting. Stay tuned.
Thanks you everyone for all the birthday wishes - gee, they come round quickly at my age!
Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. It'll be great to have you along. Take care for now.
It's all on for the next six months - full steam ahead as I finalise the images for my Memoir. It's finally finished and it's time to look for a publisher. Here's hoping.
I have some exciting things in the wings - am collaborating with someone on a show and ARGUS is also exploring venues for a couple of shows in October - stay tuned. In the meantime, The Oxo Cubans have been very busy and finish our immediate run with a gig at Nellies in Mosgiel this Friday 5th July. It's free to get in and it's always a blast.
In the meantime, my teaching studio is going very well - school holidays are coming up next week which means my timetable is a little more flexible. If you, or someone you know, are keen to look at getting into the wonderful art of drumming, then flick me an email at: email@example.com
Thanks and have a great July,
Hello and welcome to my blurb.....it's June 4th - nearly six months gone already!
The last month or so has been great. We had a very successful MLT Songwriters and NZ Country Music Awards, last week. Sharing the stage with people like Tami Neilson, and NZ Country Artist of the Year, Jenny Mitchell certainly made it an exciting time. Always a wonderful concert - thank you to the MLT Songwriters Trust for having me again this year. Loved it.
We followed that with a show as guests with excellent Arlie Julia and Nik Libretto at Otago University's 150th celebration at the Dunedin Town Hall. A great night of dancing after all the formalities and speeches.
Last month Doug, Craig and I spent a weekend jamming and rehearsing some new ideas. It was great just to have the time to jam, with no set intentions or deadlines. We got a bit of work done.
MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY is FINISHED!! Finally, I am now busy finalising photos and images for the book and then it's off to hunt for a publisher or do it myself. I will keep you posted.
That's all for now - don't forget - hug a friend or tell a family member how much you love them.
Since my last post re the tragedies of Christchurch, life has naturally moved on, but our country will take a long time to recover fully. In my own life, all is going well. Easter has just passed and I had one gig on the Saturday. I have been finalising details for my autobiography, working on images, while a cover is being designed. Then it's on the hunt for a publisher. I will keep you posted.
The Oxo Cubans have been busy and quiet. We have a busy May coming up with the annual MLT Songwriters and APRA Country Album of the Year Awards at the end of May. In two weeks we are hiding away to make plans and work on more great music. I'm excited about this. Like anything, you can be busy 'in' it, but you also have to work 'at' it, and we will be doing both.
We have been doing some great shows of late with both Nik Libretto and Kelvin Cummings and that's been exciting.
Till next time, take care and be kind to eachother. X
It has to be said that last Friday's events in Christchurch, where 50 innocent people were shot and killed in two mosques, shook me and all of New Zealand to the core. This is something that doesn't happen in NZ. It's not who we are. We are a diverse and tolerant nation. We care about each other. That has been witnessed by the outpouring or love since the event. In the weekend, I had two gigs to play and I must say it felt a bit weird. Just a weird feeling - everyone was feeling the same. This will take the country a long time to get over and we will never be the same country again. What a terrible, terrible tragedy and my love and support goes out to the muslim community, and all NZ'ers.
After such tragic events it's important to for life to go on and to not give in to those who commit these attrocities. The band is now heading into a busy three week period of shows. Most are corporate shows with the next public event being Nellies in Mosgiel on April 27th. In the meantime we are working on new songs and planning our next big show, whenever that will be. We're always scheming something.
Hi and welcome,
It's been a while since I last wrote, but here I am. I have been doing some work at home on the studio, or I should say, access to the studio, which is coming together. I have had a small lull in gigs these last two weeks, so it's given me a chance to get a few things like that done. As well, Lynn has finished reading my autobiography and after I make a few small changes, it will be ready for the next stage. Standby.
The Oxo Cubans have been busy till now and in March we pick it up again with a busy three weekends of shows, including St Patricks Day, March 17th, in Timaru at our favourite bar - The Sail. Last week we also had a great gig at Bistro at the Terminus - it was packed with a great number of fans, newcomers and regulars. Thanks to all of you who came and yelled, clapped and danced their way through the gig. It was so much fun! It's become a bit of a thing at that wonderful venue, so keep an eye on the date the next one.
Plans are underway for another Oxo Cubans concert or two this year. Will be able to make an announcement soon.
Till next time take care and be kind to each other.
Well that was some show last weekend. I was privileged and honoured to play for Mi-Sex in Cambridge on the shores of the beautiful, Lake Karapiro in the North Island. I had a fabulous time playing those wonderful Mi-Sex songs, with some fabulous people. It was an intense day of rehearsal on the Friday - I only had one shot at it as I was stepping in for their drummer, Jordan. But come gig day I felt ready and prepared and with no train wrecks, or disasters, the gig went off really well and we rocked! For me, it was a memorable gig playing great music with mates. It doesn't get any better.
January 18th, 2019
It's a new year and I have limited openings for drum tuition. If you, or someone you know is keen on achieving something special then do email me as soon as you can. The available slots will go quickly. If you have free times during the day then these times are easier to accomodate. Either way, let's connect. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It's already January 7th and welcome to 2019. The last year was a busy one. In 2019, I plan to be more structured with my time, publish more online content, publish my book and generally, get amongst it a little more. Plus there's always new things to learn on the drum kit. I am so grateful to all my students who have stuck with me again this year, to carry on their drumming journey. I love it and appreciate it so much. I start teaching again on Monday January 14th. I am also grateful for the variety of drumming work I get to do. In a small, boutique city like Dunedin, I am fortunate to be able to work like we do, with the Oxo Cubans, my friends and bandmates.
NEW YEARS EVE in the Octagon, the centre of town, was a fantastic show. I had a ball. The band pumped and the crowd sang along and danced for the full two hours we were onstage. If you were there, thank you. You made it a great night. Now for the month of January, and with the NYE show behind me, I turn my attention to the show with Mi-Sex, on February 2nd at the Bluewater Festival, Cambridge in the North Island. I am now in rehearsal mode. This week I'm going into a special, small rehearsal theatre, where I can rehearse and blow the songs out at full noise. I'm looking forward this. I'm filling in for their regular drummer and so stepping in is both a thrill and exciting. Plus I get to play those iconic Mi-Sex songs, with my friends Murray and Don from the band, who I have known for many years.
Well how fast are the years flying by? Christmas 2018 is just about here and where has it gone? Out the door that's where and fast. Those of us with busy lives are looking forward to having a holiday break to wind down - still I'm not complaining about being busy and working. It's what drives me.
We had a great show at Bistro at the Terminus at the end of November - it was packed and I thank all our regulars for coming to see us, and especially Dean and June Driver for getting a whole bunch of people to come and party. It was great for new owners Jason and Andrea to see what Oxo's at the Terminus was all about.
Rehearsals for NYE is going well and in between then and now we play a couple of Christmas shows for the elderly which we do every year - we play a wedding - a friend of a friend - and we play Dunedin Casino. So there is still a bit to do. My teaching schedule is beginning slow down a little as some of my students finish up for the year. This allows me to concentrate on my rehearsals. I'm looking forward to both shows.
It will be good to chill out in early January as I take a few weeks off. It will mean I can focus on the pictorial content of my autobiography which will now see the light of day in 2019. Can't wait.
I hope you all have a magical Christmas with family and friends and a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you for your support throughout 2018 and don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram
Cheers Marcel x
It's been a great few weeks. We have been working hard on our NYE show on Dec 31st in Dunedin, NZ, with our 10 piece band. Coordinating rehearsals is quite a feat when everyone is so busy so we are rehearsing in batches. Some people some days and others on other days. But by showtime we'll be ready to rock 'n roll Dunedin. Looking forward to it!
I am also looking forward to playing drums for Mi-Sex in February. Have started mapping out the set list and getting a handle on all those great songs - each one a banger. In amongst all that I am enjoying my teaching as the years slowly winds down for some of my students busy with exams.
Till next time, stay well and happy and look after each other
Here we are - November is just around the corner - then it'll be Xmas. We are gearing up for a few gigs between now and then, culminating in our New Years Eve show in the Octagon. The show features a great array of artists, with Kelvin Cummings being the main attraction. Our fabulous Oxo Cubans lineup includes: Nik Libretto on guitar and vocals, Divas Arlie McFarlie and Janine Weatherly on vocals, the excellent Bruce French on Sax, the wonderful Neville Copland on second keys, Stu McFarlane on percussion, along with Craig, Doug and myself. We also have a junior Oxo join Bruce on 2nd Sax. This will be some show so if you are in Dunedin, make sure you hit the Octagon by 10pm to see our show.
Playing with us in the Octagon is Oamaru band Dee May and the Saints - they are on 8pm to get us in the mood. See you then.
MI-SEX - am thrilled to be asked to play a one-off gig with my favourite NZ band Mi-Sex, at Bluewaters Music Festival, in Cambridge, New Zealand, Feb 2nd, 2019. Can't wait to play some of those iconic Mi-Sex songs!
AUTOBIOGRAPHY: In the meantime my autobiography is pretty much finished. Just some tidying up work to do. Looking forward to it being released sometime in the new year. Will keep you posted.
After a quiet five or so weeks, the band is gearing up for a busy run of shows leading up to the big New Years Eve show in Dunedin' Octagon. This show features the one and only Kelvin Cummings, along with the nine piece Oxo Cubans band, rocking through to the New Year. I am really looking forward to this show. It's always a pleasure playing with such great players such as the excellent Nik Libretto on guitar, Auckland sax player Bruce French - the wonderful voices of divas Janine Weatherly and Arlie Julia and the lively Kelvin Cummings up front. It'll be a great a show, so make sure you get to the Octagon. We're on at 10pm till the midnight countdown.
August News 2018
August 27th, 2018
It's been a busy three months for me and the band, Oxo Cubans. We've played a great mix of shows, of all shapes and sizes and currently, we are in between shows and having a little break, before we head in to the latter part of the year.
In early August I played with Dunedin's Big Lawn at their EP launch at the Fifty Gorillas nightclub. It was a great gig and I enjoyed sharing the stage with people, I knew but hadn't played with before. I had a great time and may do the odd gig with them again in the future. As the Big lawn is a collective, other musicians can step in. It was nice for me to step out and rock out with some different players.I am also humbled by the amount of students I have on board. I have very full timetable, with only the odd daytime slot available. I am thoroughly enjoying my teaching. It's a very rewarding career.
My autobiography is finally nearing completion - I know I have been saying that for a while - but it's been a long work in progress but we are getting near the end. There will be launch details following. I will be glad when it's finally done. Then it's on to a new exciting chapter in my career.Bye now and thank you for staying with me.... take care till next time
June 6th, 2018
The snow arrived today which means winter has arrived. Though it wasn't much of a snow day as such. We had snow all round the hills but that's about all. Apparently Friday will be warmer and nice and sunny again. Just the way I like it.
During April and May the band had a busy time. We played the NZ Country Music Awards last week, which was a great success. This year I was a judge in the MLT Songwriters Awards held on the same evening . It was a great experience with some great songs making the final 10. We - the Oxo Cubans - are the house band for the Songwriters and Country Music Awards and it was another successful concert in Gore at the St James Theatre. We have done some corporate shows as well and are planning our next public theatre show.
In the meantime, I am re-configuring this website - to give it a badly needed freshen up. Stay tuned.
Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Videos will be appearing online slowly.
What a busy time I have had with the Oxo Cubans. We have played some shows over the last two months which have kept us busy and now we have a few weeks to re-group, rehearse some new stuff and plan our next event. We are currently working through some concert plans and will keep you posted as soon as. I am really enjoying our work and am looking forward to a busy year. Can you believe it's April already!
We have a great show coming up at The Longford at Gore with the excellent Kelvin Cummings. This will be a great show. Kelvin is a fabulous performer and together we will have the place pumping.
As usual, The Oxo Cubans will be at the MLT Songwriters concert and APRA Tui Awards for Best Country Album and Song, also held in Gore, later that week. Really looking forward to that as it's such a great show. Get your tickets from the Longford, only $15!
Already into March and the year is off and flying. I am having a busy time performing with the Oxo Cubans. We have had a great run of shows and it doesn't finish till the end of the month. Fro there we will be refreshing everything we do and in the coming months we will unveil a new Oxo vibe, which may include some new singers and musicians depending on the shows. It's an exciting time.
We are also planning a couple of big theatre shows which I will keep you in the loop with. We have had such success with these shows so will be something to look forward to.
I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to this year, 2018! Happy New Year to you all! Last year wasn't too bad at all - I was able to build on my teaching business and the Oxo Cubans, my band, played some great shows, that were eagerly supported by our fans. Thank you so much. You can bet that this year, will be more of the same. Shows that will be unique and offer the very best in talent and performances. Stay tuned.
In 2018, I have a few things planned. Firstly, I will complete my long-awaited autobiography. It has been many years in the making. It hasn't always been easy to work on it in between my normal, busy life, but as I have made a commitment to myself to finish it, this will be the year I will see it completed. I can't wait. I have some events planned around its launch. So do look out for news on that.
If you are a drummer - or wanting to study with me then you know you can contact me anytime. My timetable is already becoming compact and it's only the beginning of the year, so I suggest you contact me earlier than later. I would hate you to miss out. I love teaching the drums and helping my students to achieve achieve their goals. Contact me at: email@example.com
The last three months has seen the band busier than ever. The highlight was the Oxo Au Go Go show at the Sargood Centre. I'm pleased to say that this was another great success and we thank all those of you who came and sang along with us, we had a blast. As usual we are planning something fresh and new for next year.
I have been very busy, aside from my teaching which is going great - I have been working hard trying to get my autobiography finished. This is a huge but incredibly rewarding process and I think I can see the end in sight. I'm looking to next year, July 2018, to have it completed - and hopefully published. Will keep you posted.
NEWS Aug 31st, 2017
OXO CUBANS, August 31st, 2017
It's been a busy time for the band. Since we welcomed Dunedin singer and frontman for local band Bluestone, Mr Clive Copeman, to the Oxo family at the Midge Marsden concert in June, we've started doing more shows together. This has been great for the band with Clive adding another dimension to our sound. We look forward to working with Clive at the Sail Bar in Timaru in September and at the brand new OXO Au Go Go show on October 6th, at the Sargood Centre, Dunedin. This follows our hugely successful Sgt Peppers 50th Anniversary show. The demand for another show made this upcoming show our next exciting show. Tickets are available from Beggs Musicworks, Lower Stuart St, Dunedin. Cash or Cheque only.Last month we played a packed Nellies Bar in Mosgiel and had local singer Kelvin Cummings with us up front. Was a fun night. Kelvin has been busy promoting his debut album ' One Year' which we played on and co-produced with Kelvin. Look out for it on iTunes.
On September 23rd, Election Night in NZ - The Oxo Cubans with Clive C will be at the new Terminus Cafe and Bar (formerly Filadefios). Our special guest is the brilliant, Auckland sax player Bruce French. Bruce is one of the best in the business and we're looking forward to him having blast with us.
I have also been working on my autobiography and working hard to get it finished. Editing has started so I am looking at a 2018 release. I just have to find a publisher.
12th July, 2017
Recently, the Oxo Cubans filmed three songs live at the Port Chalmers Recording Services studio with engineer, Tom Bell. Behind the camera was well known Dunedin photographer / videographer Clive Copeman. These will be out soon and it'll be great to share the Oxo vibe online.
We also have some more good shows coming up. Our next public date is at Filadelfios, Andersons Bay on August 4th. Tables are being booked fast so get in and book if you need. Otherwise there's room at the bar to join in the fun. This gig features Bluestone singer, Clive Copeman, with us for the first time at Filies. Will be a fun night so don't miss it.
Sold out shows and standing ovations!
25th June 2017: Wow! What a brilliant few weeks we have had. Our recent concerts have been amazing and we thank everyone who came out to the shows. We had a full house at the Sgt Peppers 50th Anniversary show and a full house and three standing ovations at the Midge Marsden concert at the Mayfair Theatre. THANK YOU ALL for your ongoing support of these shows. They were an absolute pleasure to be part of. Thanks to Midge and Chet for their help in making it a success and to Phil and Simon from Otago Polytechnic at the Sargood Centre, Dunedin for their help with the Beatles show.
It goes without saying that the Oxo Cubans always strive for excellence and we are always looking to up the ante when it comes to our shows. You can be assured that we are currently conjuring up something special for our next performance. Don't worry, you'll be the first to know.
At the Midge Marsden show we uncovered another great Dunedin talent in Mr Clive Copeman. Clive, was invited to be one of the backing singers, along with Jules Kesha and Georgie Daniel. Clive did a great job with the team and also did a sterling job with us pre-show in the Green Room, as Craig, Doug, Clive and I did a short set of blues for the Mediaworks party - Mediaworks and The Sound radio station being a major sponsor of the the concert. We thank all our sponsors and advertisers for being on board and supporting live music with us.
Thank you everyone!
The Kelvin Cummings 'ONE YEAR' album launch was a great success on Saturday night the 6th May. There was a capacity house and fans, friends and family gave Kelvin rousing support. From an Oxo Cubans point of view, I thoroughly enjoyed playing the show. We had a great group of musicians with us playing a bunch of great songs. Now onto Sgt Peppers.
TICKETING DETAILS: Show No 1:
50th Anniversary of The Beatles - Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Ten Piece Oxo Cubans celebrating this great album. Sargood Centre, Logan Park, Dunedin, Friday June 2nd, 8pm. Tickets $30, at Beggs Musicworks, Lower Stuart St, Dunedin
Show No 2
NZ Blues Legend, MIDGE MARSDEN, Live with Oxo Cubans, Mayfair Theatre, Dunedin, Friday June 16th, 8pm. Tickets $40 at Beggs Musicworks, Lower Stuart St, Dunedin.
23/03/2017 We have two great concerts coming up - the first on May 6th features the Oxo's live playing the launch of Kelvin Cummings debut CD, ONE YEAR' followed by blues legend MIDGE MARSDEN on June 16th. Add a show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt Peppers at the Sargood Centre Dunedin and you can see we have some good stuff coming up. Stand by for ticket info
This year is shaping up to be one filled with a variety of shows which will keep me on my toes. I have just spent the weekend filling in for local band, Tempo, at a huge finale to the 2017 Goldfields Cavalcade. But coming up we have an Oxo Cubans recording and film shoot, a record launch for a local artist, a Mayfair Theatre concert, two in fact and some corporate stuff later in the year. Plus, I am also in the throes of organising a special drumming event which is due to happen within the next three months, so standby. Exciting and busy times.
This is as well as my normal teaching schedule. I recently did some marketing on the website, Treat Me, and this has introduced me to some new students which has been great. I welcome them all on board and thank them for choosing me as their drum tutor / mentor.
Margaret River Cultural Centre Concert 25th Feb 2017
It was a fantastic trip to Perth, Western Australia, last week and a pleasure to play with my former Mother Goose teammate, Noah 'The kid' Shilkin'. We spent much of the week preparing for the show at the Margaret River Cultural Centre, where the band, with Noah as Elton John, performed the whole of the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, in its entirety. An enthusiastic crowd turned up and I thoroughly enjoyed playing the show. Thanks to John Goldsmith and Ric Shinnick from Kosmic Sound /The Drum Shop, Perth, for the loan of John's beautiful DW drum kit. Sounded great.
Thanks also to the wonderfully gracious, Carl Burman, who allowed me to saty at his Balinese inspired, million dollar plus home. I made a new friend who looked after me so well.
Thanks to Noah for asking me to be part of this special event - we hadn't seen each other or played a gig together since 1984. Thanks to the band members who were part of it and made me fee so welcome. It was a blast. Now look out for the possibility of shows on the East Coast of Australia.
On the 24th and 25th of February, I will be performing two theatre shows in Perth with Mother Goose keyboard player and writer, Noah Shilkin and some fine Australian musicians. The first show is in Perth itself on the 24th and the 2nd show in Margaret River on Sat 25th Feb. More details as they come to hand but let me say, I''m really looking forward to playing back in a city I love and where I've not performed since 1988 with the band, Perfect Strangers. I've lived in Perth twice in the 1980's with two different bands. I'm looking forward to, firstly performing with my dear friend Noah, who is playing and singing all Elton's songs and who I've not shared a stage with since 1984, and secondly, catching up with friends and colleagues who I know in Perth.
We're performing the whole of Elton John's ' Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ' in its entirety which is a great body of work. It'll be a multi media extravaganza! I'm excited and I know we're going to have a blast. If you're in Perth, do come along and say hi. It'll be great to see you!
This year I'm looking forward to helping drummers make sense of what they're learning, why they're learning it and how to bring their drumming alive. I'm planning some exciting one-off events for drummers and music lovers. Stay tuned for that.
So make sure you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates on what I'm up to. My band, the Oxo Cubans are also planning a few surprises this year so am looking forward to ripping into the year head on.
If you're thinking about achieving something special this year then apply to learn the drums with me in 2017. I know you'll love it. Send me an email or PM me on Facebook and tell me where you're at.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all. I hope 2017 is a happy healthy and successful one for you.
For me, I have some exciting new things happening on the horizon, which Iíll tell you about as we get closer to the time.
Christmas / New Year was great - spent with my awesome family. Then on Jan 1st Craig and I from the Oxo Cubans traveled to Timaru to be the rhythm section for NZ blues legend, Midge Marsden, which was a lot of fun. Great weather and two excellent shows. The full Oxo Cubans are back in Timaru this coming weekend, hired as a backing band situation. Should be fun.This year I will be developing my online world, with more content designed for the learner drummer. This includes all my social media including, my Youtube channel and Instagram - donít forget to follow me there - as well as Facebook.
Ok till next time, take care, keep smiling and give someone you love a hug.
Indeed, I will be planning to do just that. It's been a busy year for me but an excellent year also, so I will be making the most of the holiday season. It has been a great year with a trip to Europe, lots of gigs, Grease - the Musical, and my teaching has been very successful. I always say I have the best students.
I would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy new year. I have lots of exciting things on the go for 2017 so I will keep you posted. Take care.
Blues, bands, and beats
13th December, 2016
A good weekend last weekend with one show for media company, Mediaworks, a long time supporter of the Oxo Cubans here in Dunedin. Also on the bill was local singer, Robyn Johnstone, who is fast developing a name for her excellent singing.
This week is pretty much the last week for my teaching. Also Wed and Thurs are days set for the beginning of mixing the new Kelvin Cummings record which we are producing, along with Kelvin and engineer Tom Bell, from Port Chalmers Recording Services, formerly Chicks Hotel.
This weekend we also have three shows to play then thatís it for the year, till Jan 1st with Midge Marsden, which will be a blast.
6th December, 2016
The past few weeks has been a busy time. We had a great weekend playing Timaru and Geraldine and Sunday we were in the Dunedin Santa Parade. We have been part of this for many years now. We have our own Oxo Cubans float and we always shout out to all those Dunedin musicians and singers who want to join us on the float for the parade. Always a fun time. This year I had Jackson join me - he played percussion. Thousands of people line the streets and itís a lot of fun.
Last week I was involved with backing vocals for Kelvin Cummings debut album, which the Oxo Cubans are producing. The Oxo Cubans are also planning recording and filming an event at the same recording studio, the former Chicks Hotel in Port Chalmers. That will be in the New Year.Will keep you posted.
I also have an exciting drumming event I am planning for the new year. Canít tell you about it yet, but once I firm up details, youíll be the first to know! Stand by!
In the meantime, my ebook continues to get great feedback and for that Iím grateful. If you havenít seen it - jump over to my Store and youíll see it there. You can get it from Amazon.com for only a couple of dollars.
Thatís all for now - if you see us playing around your area make sure you come and say hi.
Remember to visit my Facebook page to also keep in touch.
Right here. http://www.facebook.com/marcelrodeka
Itís been a busy time of late. The Oxo Cubans had a great crowd at Filadelfios last Friday, where one of my students, Hannah, came and joined us for two songs for her first time ever. She totally nailed it - did a brilliant job and I was very proud of her.
On Sunday we spent the day in the studio tracking guitars, banjo and dobro with the superb, Phil Doublet, from Christchurch for the new Kelvin Cummings album. I have done some shows with Phil over the years and have always loved his playing. He is one talented, creative player and I believe he also has a co-write on the album. The Oxo Cubans were not only the players on the album but are also producing it. The end result will be a very strong album that Kelvin can be proud of and be able to shop around the record labels and management companies.
GIVE IT! Blog
My first eBook continues to get excellent feedback back from those that have read it which is really humbling. Itís available for only a couple of dollars from Amazon.com and for me is all about getting the word out there.
I am humbled by the feedback I have had from those that have read my new eBook. It's been called , motivational, encouraging and inspirational and that is precisely what I hoped would be the reaction. It's available on Amazon.com for only a couple of dollars and if you manage to grab a copy I hope you enjoy it. And if you like it perhaps you could write a quick review on Amazon as well. I would be very grateful. Thank you.
My new ebook, GIVE IT! 'How to Bring Your Drumming To Life' is available now from Amazon.com. The link to Amazon is also available from my website on the'GIVE IT! Store' page. I have lots more books, blogs etc coming on stream soon so if you would like to kept up to date with these please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like what you read, I would appreciate it if you would write a short review of it for me on Amazon. You can also email me your thoughts and comments anytime. Thanks so much.
Last Thursday and Friday, Sept 28th and 29th, The Oxo Cubans trio, Craig, Doug and myself were delighted to be the session musicians for the debut album by Dunedin's rising star, Kelvin Cummings. Kelvin has been a regular face around the Dunedin for many years but has recently come into his own as a singer songwriter, recently winning the 2015 Gold Guitars and also awards in January, in Tamworth Australia.
The album was recorded at the former Chicks Hotel, in Port Chalmers, now called, Port Charlmers Recording Services, under the watchful eye of excellent studio engineer, Tom Bell. We had a wonderful time tracking the original songs for Kelvin's album and we wish him all the luck in the world with it.
Next week sees the launch of my first eBook called: GIVE IT! 'How to Bring Your Drumming To Life'. It will be available online through Kindle/Amazon and from my website. Watch out too for my new Blog coming up on my site soon. Here I will invite comments and feedback and will be concerned with all things drumming especially GIVE IT! and everything associated with it.
I'm excited to build on my private teaching business and share my knowledge, skills and experience with my online readers and drum students. I hope you'll stay tuned and spread the word! Thanks so much.
First eBook To Be Released Very Soon!
Sept 5th 2016
I'm delighted to report that very soon I will be releasing my first eBook. As a drum educator, I love teaching, sharing my knowledge, skills and expertise in helping others improve their drumming, no matter their level. As I see it, all new drummers are hungry for knowledge, advice and help and anything I can do to help them achieve their goals and dreams and turn them into more complete players, is what drives me.
The eBook is not a 'learn to play drums' book but it is full of valuable insights on "how to bring your drumming to life". It's different to much of the everyday drum training material out there in that it looks at the other aspects of playing drums and being the drummer, other than just the technical skills and drills we need. I hope it inspires my readers to a fulfilling musical journey.
If you'd like to be kept up to speed with the release date, drop me an email at: email@example.com and I'll make sure you're kept up to date.
Sept 5th 2016.....I was fortunate enough to be able to recently have five weeks off to visit family in Europe and enjoy a well earned holiday. Lynn and I traveled to Holland, Italy, France, England and Japan. We had a fabulous time. But now it's back to work, which for me is teaching and playing shows. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to be able to work at what I love. If you or someone you know is keen to spread their wings and develop new musical skills then do let me know. Just email me anytime for more info:
On Tuesday July 2nd, Dunedin guitarist David Harrison, a member of the Oxo Cubans family, along with Oxo's Craig Reeves, Marcel Rodeka and Doug Wright will be conducting a workshop /seminar called ' Play with The Band', an interactive workshop targeting high school instrumentalists and vocal students, with the focus being on working with the band members on live performance. Will be an inspiring session. for music students.
When: Tuesday 5th July
Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm/9pm
Where: The Mary Hopewell Theatre
Applications to: firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 479 8885
The Oxo Cubans are delighted to be part of the Taieri Musical and DKCM production of Grease, The Arena Spectacular, opening in the More FM Arena, Dunedin, on July 21st Ė July 23rd 2016. Itís going to be a huge stage production and with a nine piece band, we will be rocking all those classic Grease songs.
Tickets are selling fast, so visit the website for info and tickets: www.grease-arena.co.nz/the-show