Blog and news articles

First day in the studio!

I’m excited that the recordings are underway at Hi Hat studio for my debut jazz album!

I have some fantastic musicians joining me on the album including:

This album has been a long time coming, with 5 original pieces on the album.

One of my original pieces, Open Your Mind, was written at least 20 years ago!

So it really is a thrill to be finally ‘releasing’ these original tunes, plus my favourite jazz standards!

Me & Eric in the studio

Stay tuned for more updates!

 

Save RN Music

Due to budget cuts, ABC Radio National has axed a number of it’s music programs.

It’s a sad day indeed.

As of today, these programs will no longer be aired via the analogue signal broadcast.

The programs include; The Daily Planet, The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set, The Rhythm Divine and Jazztrack.

Without these programs, how will ABC Radio National possibly “reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community”?

My inspiration

Watching the amazing bassist Marcus Shelby (video below) play Jitterbug Waltz, evokes childhood memories of my Mum playing the same tune on piano many years ago.

My mum, a former jazz piano player, is my greatest inspiration! She is the reason why I chose to be a jazz musician.

As a jazz lover, mum avidly listened to Mal Stanley’s Jazztrack on ABC.

It is sad that my mum and others like her, particularly those in Regional Australia, will not be tuning in any more to Jazztrack on Radio National.

You can help out by signing the petition on Save RN Music.

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>

Spring is in the air

Rejuvenate, celebrate, this is Spring!

I’m excited about all my upcoming Spring and Summer gigs, indoors and outdoors!

First up… Smiths on Thursday!! Then the lovely Rodney’s Garden Cafe this Sunday!

I think the term Spring Fever really resonates with everyone in Canberra.

There is a certain vitality in the air. Flowers, blossoms a plenty, an abundance of outdoor activities, arts and live music!

We are also not quite sure if we’re ready to leave the comfort of our home. The evenings and morning are still cold… and will I need a jacket if I venture out?

Will that outdoor gig be on? Will the rain stop?

Then we get a whiff of that spring air and energy abounds.

We don’t care about the weather.

We spring into action!

“Whether the weather be cold or
Whether the weather be hot
Whatever the weather, we’ll weather the weather whether we like it or not!”
Anonymous

Teen Vocal Workshop

2 Day Vocal Workshops-

Integrating Singing and Theatre Voice techniques

Have you ever wanted to?

  • Try singing for the first time
  • Explore your vocal capacity
  • Gain a little confidence
  • Find your inner groove
  • Release your voice
  • Believe in your dreams

What is on offer?

  • Experienced professional performers to guide you
  • Fun vocal activities with movement
  • Dress up / character play
  • Sing with a group
  • Sing on your own (no obligation)
  • Help you realise your own inner talent!
  • A small group concert on 2nd day of workshop

Dates: April 15-16 (bookings close April 8)
Time: 10am to 3pm
Location: Kingston – Canberra Baptist Church Hall
Ages: 14 to 18

Fee

$250 for 2 days –
$100 deposit required upon booking
Payment details: electronic transfer – register using the form below.

Vocal workshop registration

Register your place in the vocal workshop.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

I will be playing the last (for this year) of the Summer Sunday jazz gigs at Hoi Polloi this Sunday 6th March!

I’m thrilled to be performing with the very talented piano player, Clare Fitzgerald!

Clare has played in the Bella Groove band previously, this gig will be the first time we’ve played in a duo format together.

She is really becoming one of the most sought after keyboard / piano players in town!

We look forward to seeing you at the Hoi Polloi, Old Parliament House this Sunday!

 

Hoi Polloi, Old Parliament House!

I am looking forward to performing at the Hoi Polloi restaurant again this Sunday 28 February at 12.30pm!

For this gig I will be performing with guitarist and fellow Novocastrian, Luke Greenhalgh!

Luke studied jazz guitar at Newcastle Conservatorium.

His tutors included some of Australia’s most prominent musicians; Graeme McCutcheon, Giuseppe Zangarri, Terry Latham, Carl Dewhurst, Ron Philpott and Daryl Aberhart.

Luke was also fortunate to have private tutelage from internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman. His playing style is heavily influenced by American contemporary jazz-rock guitarists John Scofield and Pat Metheny.

He also has a love of the new wave of jazz guitarists such as Gilad Hekselman, Adam Rogers and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Luke’s day job is with the Australian Army Band. I know for a fact that military bands produce very fine musicians. They are expected to be of a high standard upon entry and are very versatile players.

I am looking forward to performing some jazz tunes with Luke for the very first time!

So come on down to the Hoi Polloi this Sunday, the 28th February, for some fine food & jazz!

A little Afro Cuban fusion! 

I am looking forward to having the dynamic Afro Cuban percussionist Sinuhe Pacheco perform with Viktor Rufus and I at Rodney’s Garden Cafe, Pialligo, this Sunday (17th January)!

Sinuhe studied popular Afro-Cuban percussion at the prestigious Superior Institute of the Arts, as well as Felix Farella music schools in Cuba. He has gained a well regarded reputation not only in Canberra but across Australia including performances at W.O.M.A.D festivals and more.

I have been performing with the fabulous young jazz guitarist Victor Rufus over the past 4 to 5 months.

Victor graduated from the ANU in 2012, completing Jazz Performance Honours. He currently teaches at Music For Everyone (MFE). He also composes for his band Reverberation whist playing in various groups across town.

Victor is fast becoming a popular “young gun” for hire not only in the ACT but in Victoria and NSW!

IMG_2974

So come on down to the beautiful surrounds of Rodney’s Garden Cafe. It’s sure to be a lively gig!

By the way, the food is terrific and the staff are friendly.

There’s also plenty of shading to keep you cool!

See you there!

Bella Groove will be playing Funk & Soul plus some R&B thrown into the mix at Honktonks, Canberra on the 30th January from 6 to 8pm!

Having performed some R&B / funk / soul material at past gigs, I felt it was time to form a new lineup specifically to pay homage to those musicians who inspired me so much.

Joining me will be Clare Fitzgerald on keys/clavinet sounds, Scott Temby on bass and Bruce Smythe on drums. Guest horn player, Cameron Smith (from Moochers Inc) will accompany the band on the night!
 
It will be a fun couple of hours. You will hear some tunes from favourite artists such as The Meters, Bill Withers, Herbie Hancock and Eddie Jefferson.
So stop by Honkytonks for a pick me up for your Saturday evening! We will certainly have you dancing and grooving to our soul and funk repertoire!

We’re back at the Hippo Co!

Bella Groove is back at the Hippo Co this Wednesday with some more infectious tunes and rhythms!

I’m excited to be performing with another great line-up of young musos!

There’ll be fabulous Victor Rufus on guitar a.k.a. VRR (Victor Rufus Reverberation), solid bass player Scott Temby (electric and stand-up bass), talented Clare Fitzgerald (keys), Mark Levers, rhythm machine (on drums) and dynamic percussionist Sinuhe Pacheco.

Expect a new kind of beat that’ll get your feet tappin’ and your body groovin’! With some jazz funk, a few standards & some beatnik jazz including some original material by Elise and bass player Scott!

See you there or be square!