† Anthony (Tony) Leonard Hopkins
( 1940 - 2013)
Event co-ordinator, Band Leader, Drummer, Percussionist.
Tony was a legendary Auckland (NZ) Jazz drummer who played with American top stars or bands such as Tab Hunter, Sal Mineo, The Crystals, Fabian, Bobby Vee, Jimmy Rogers, Gene McDaniels and more. He also played with famous Jazz musicians like Georgie Fame, Charlie Byrd, Percy Heath, John Lewis, Don Burroughs, Doug Jerebine, Bob Gillette, Nathan Haines, Tim Hopkins, Roger Fox, Malcom McNeil and others. He was the Musical Director of a radio program sponsored by Coca Cola in Hong Kong called "6 O'Clock Rock."
Tony was the band leader at the Top of The Treasury, Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney, Australia for 2 years playing 4 nights per week, the London Bar in Auckland also 4 nights per week, between 1990 and 1994. He received a Tui award for ‘Best Light Music Program’, [a live Jazz program, on which Tony played and presented] at the New Zealand Music Awards.
This radio program, "Off The Record" funded by NZ on Air, was broadcast on 35 stations every week for one year and featured as guests most of New Zealands top jazz singers and musicians. In the last 15 years he has played on 3 jazz albums that received Jazz Album of the Year Awards at the NZ Music Awards. One of these awards was with his own band, another was Nathan Haines highly successful album "Shift Left". Tony used to play with high energy and passion and excited with strong grooves.
In February 2006 Tony played The Guaramiranga Jazz Festival in Brazil with his own group using 2 brilliant young Brazilian musicians and received a wild enthusiastic response. He toured with Georgie Fame playing at the Tauranga Jazz Festival, Christchurch Jazz Festival, Matakana Mountain, Napier, Lower Hutt and Auckland and in New Caledonia in December 2010, playing concerts with Michel Benebig and Stefan Paltry from France.
Tony was invited to attend the New Zealand music awards last year as one of the two surviving original members of the Johnny Devlin band, the Devils. Johnny is the first entertainer to be inducted into the NZ Music Hall Of Fame. Currently he freelances and plays with his own band in and around various bars and functions in New Zealand.
On October, 2012 he was awarded with the 'Scroll of Honor Music Award' from the Variety Artists Club. His contribution to the New Zealand music industry for over 50 years, his mentoring and his charity work was distinguished. He had been diagnosed with a inoperable pancreatic cancer.
It was Tony´s strong desire that his wife Myres Hopkins could keep this website on, so that the resources on it could inspire music students and jazz newcomers, and could also entertain visitors.