When I discovered Bill Frisell, in the late 1990s, I thought some of his music made the perfect soundtrack to long country road trips. For instance; the Ghost Town album, 2000. and the 2001 album; Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, probably a favourite!

The first long road trip, where Bill Frisell provided the soundtrack, was a bus journey from Melbourne to Batemans Bay (NSW). I was visiting my parents, who were staying at their holiday house in a lovely little South Coast town, Malua Bay. That was a very long journey. As I stared out the window at the beautiful country and coastal scenery, Bill Frisell’s music really was evocative. I found myself becoming lost in the scenery & music and the time just slipped away.

Over the years I discovered plenty of other road trip soundtracks e.g. Australian composer Paul Grabowsky has some amazing road trip music from his earlier compositions.

What’s your favourite? It’d be great to hear from you and continue this chat!


It is said that bass players provide the link between the rhythm and melody of a song.

The amazing Eric Ajaye and the talented John Burgess are the bass players on the Bella Groove debut album.

I was so excited when Eric agreed to play on my album. Not only is Eric deeply respected amongst fellow musicians in Canberra, he is a widely respected player worldwide!

Eric has toured many parts of the world with acclaimed musicians such as; Freddie Hubbard, Taj Mahal,  Nancy Wilson, James Morrison, Bob Sedergreen, Paul Grabowsky and Sandy Evans. He has also worked as a session musician on several film and TV projects in the U.S. and recorded for artists such as Chaka Khan and Bill Cosby.

John has been playing bass for 20 years. Eric was his teacher and mentor at the ANU Jazz school. According to Eric, John is the “poster boy” for the upright Steinberger electric bass. He produces such a unique tone and plays awesome solos too!

John has been my ‘go-to’ bass player in Canberra since Bella Groove formed in 2012. So it made sense for John to play on my debut jazz album!

The line-up

The band is back at the Hippo Co this week and what a line-up!

This time we have two special guests:
Esteemed Australian trumpeter Miroslav Bukovsky and National Jazz Award finalist for keyboard, Hugh Barrett, will be playing with Bella Groove for the first time at Hippo Co!

The remainder of the Bella Groove line-up are; the talented John Burgess on electric bass and the amazingly versatile drummer Steve Fitzgerald (also the drummer for the Brass Knuckle Band).

We’ll be aiming to get the groove on this Wednesday!

The tunes

The set list includes some upbeat favourites by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Horace Silver, including a tribute to Al Jarreau, who recently passed away.

I’m also looking forward to trying some of my new original tunes that were arranged by the amazing Hugh Barrett!

Look forward to seeing you there!

Miroslav Bukovsky, Hugh Barrett, John Burgess, Steve Fitzgerald will play at Hippo Co

As a music teacher, I enjoy seeing the look of happiness on students faces when they reach a goal.

This is just a short post to thank Active Activities.

Bella Groove received a Top 25 Award for Most Popular Kids Activities!

<div id = "TDC_1485834109_v1_5890077d0e2dc" class = "TDC_badgesMostPopular"><a target = "_blank" href = "https://www.activeactivities.com.au/directory/bella-groove-162890.html#most-popular-box">ActiveActivities Most Popular 2016 Award</a></div><script async src="https://www.activeactivities.com.au/badges/most-popular/162890/2016/TDC_1485834109_v1_5890077d0e2dc/" charset="utf-8"></script>

Life is but a stage!

Workshop program for 8 to 16 year olds

Students get to act, sing, dance and put on a 30-minute show in just 3 days!

Working with experienced vocal coaches, performers, musicians and a dance instructor they will learn lines, sing songs and develop dance routines culminating in one fun and exciting performance for family and friends.

Venue: Canberra Baptist Church Community Hall, Kingston
Cost: $150 per child for 3 days including final performance.
Dates: TBA

In the workshop children will explore & develop:

  • their Imagination and Creativity
  • self Confidence
  • self Awareness
  • and Resilience

Facilitated by Elise of Bella Groove and Queen Juanita Music.

If you’d like to express interest, please fill in the form below. We will contact you and advise when the next workshops will be held.

We’ve just updated our site with a fresh design and more importantly, more music!

Check out the videos and music. We’ll continue to update the site with music and stuff. If you like, follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Soundcloud.

Please send us an email if you’d like to book us for a gig, or Elise for a lesson.

This will be a fun gig at ANU Fellows Garden! I’m fortunate to be playing with fellow Kooky Fandango members Peter Barta, Robert Nesci and Claire Leske! So here’s hoping the weather will hold out!!!