Heather is a guitarist, composer and music teacher who works and performs regularly in many different capacities around New Zealand.
She studied jazz guitar performance at the Ara Institute of Canterbury (formerly CPIT Jazz School) and graduated in 2015, followed by an Honours year at the University of Canterbury. During this time she was tutored by Bob Heinz, Andy Genge and Dixon Nacey. In 2017, she took her study overseas when she was accepted into the Conservatorium van Amsterdam Summer Course. Here, she was tutored by world-renowned musicians including Jesse van Ruller (NDL), Dick Oatts (USA) and John Riley (USA), and performed at the Amsterdam Blue Note.
Heather has broad music interests and plays a variety of guitars including electric, acoustic, banjo and mandolin. She has considerable experience with musical theatre, most notably: Footloose; 42nd Street (NASDA); Alice (Free Theatre Christchurch); Mamma Mia (Variety Theatre Ashburton); Catch Me If You Can the Musical (Blackboard Theatre Collective); Wicked; We Will Rock You (Showbiz) and Jesus Christ Superstar (The Court Theatre).
Heather is a highly active member of the New Zealand jazz music scene. She has performance experience as a bandleader, sideman and recording artist. She is a foundation member of the All Girl Big Band and leads her own groups, The Blues Berries, The Stick! and Heavy Water Quartet. She also performs as an ensemble member in the Darren Pickering 1/4tet, Soul Kweenz and Jazz Ladies of the Night. Heather has performed around New Zealand in various jazz and arts festivals. Recently she was the lead guitarist for Julia Deans’ Like Water at the Christchurch Art’s Festival and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert with Showbiz Christchurch and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra at the Isaac Theatre Royal.
As well as performing, Heather loves composing. In 2017 she was commissioned to write and record a piece with Sumo Jazz for their recent album, Shiko, which was released this year (Rattle Records) as part of the 2018 New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival in Christchurch.