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First published February 2014

Bart died suddenly at his home in Auckland on 18th January 2014, aged 82.


I was saddened to hear about Bart's passing.  I didn't know him well while I was still in N.Z., but we worked together a lot during the time I was in Sydney, and he and Lew Campbell opened a lot of doors for me and helped me get truly established on the Australian scene.  A great player and writer and someone I truly looked up to. - Bruce Johnstone
Back in the 1940s, while a salesman at Beggs, an earnest young high school student named Bart Stokes told me he was going to be a famous jazz musician.  I admired his ambition and wished him well.  In the next couple of years, I heard him blow a few times at the Wellington jazz venue.  He certainly was getting on top of the tenor sax and was probably Wellington’s first real bopper.  The cognoscenti were vastly impressed.  A few years later in the 50s I was pianist with his first radio band.  Bart’s arrangements were challenging and a bit unconventional and probably raised the eyebrows of the powers that be.  However, we did manage to play them.  Later, Bart left Wellington to pursue his career and I lost contact with him.  I followed his progress by reading, listening and finally seeing him on NZ television.  He always looked very cool and focused and was obviously fulfilling his ambition.  I always remember that serious high school student.  He lived the dream.  R.I.P. - Bob Barcham
(email me your tribute to Bart and I'll add it in -


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