I was thrilled to receive a Music Award from the Canberra Critics’ Circle for my “…leadership as a vocalist, flautist and songwriter of the jazz band Bella Groove and for the…” entertaining launch of the new album City Lights at Ainslie Arts Centre”.

It was inspiring to witness other amazing local artists receive recognition such as the talented musician and composer Sally Greenaway.

Elise with music award
Elise receiving an award from the Canberra Critics Circle.

 

 

Listen to City Lights by Bella Groove

The City Lights album launch in Canberra was filmed with the help of talented videographer, Matt Ong. We’re going to release the videos in the same order as the tracks on the album.

City Lights is the first, we hope you enjoy watching it on YouTube and give us a like and share 🙂

Song background

The song City Lights, title of the Bella Groove album, was conceived about 8 years ago!

I wrote the main chorus of City Lights after seeing Dan Sultan perform at the Sydney Opera House.

It was exciting seeing a live band at The Opera House Studio. The Studio theatre, “with its capacity to transform, is a space where the edges of art are not only reached but explored”. I have been fortunate to see a few “bizarre and beautiful” acts perform at the Studio.

So, I was buzzing… walking down the promenade at Circular Quay, heading back to my inner West abode. Suddenly the tune just came to me, beginning with the lyrics:

Come down now, come to the city tonight

There you’ll find brighter skies than you’ll ever see

A full moon out there, full moon out there

Come take a risk with me…

The rest of the lyrics came later. The melody was fixed!

Piano player and arranger, Hugh Barrett, played some cool chords and I figured out the intro! Hugh went away and worked on a horn arrangement, then we had a tune!

Thanks to Matt Ong and James Robinson who assisted Matt with filming the launch.

 

 

 

Album post-launch update

On April 9, an enthusiastic crowed filled the main hall at the Ainslie Arts Centre! It was great to see such a supportive audience turn up for live music on a stormy Canberra day.

Thanks to Helen Musa, City News and Eric Pozza, Canberra Jazz, for such wonderful reviews!

The afternoon was a success, more than I could have ever envisaged!

Tributes

Thanks to all those involved in this project including; my fellow musicians, my partner, my mum, my family, friends, HiHat Music Studio and Andrew Edgson at Studios 301.

Listen to and buy album

The Bella Groove album, City Lights is now available on bandcamp!

You can purchase the CD and buy the streaming digital album or single tracks on Bandcamp.

It’s also on iTunes, Google Play and soon to Amazon, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, YouTube, Microsoft Groove, ClaroMusica, Saavn, MediaNet, and Shazam!

I hope you enjoy this album.

Bella Groove album launch band members were great

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!

Woo hoo! The album is now ready for mastering!

Thanks to Greg Stott and Mark Sutton, of Hi Hat Music Studio for doing a fabulous job editing and mixing the album!

Thanks especially to Greg Stott for the amount of hours dedicated to mixing 12 tunes!

I thoroughly recommend anyone to Hi Hat Music Studio. Greg and Mark are the loveliest guys to deal with, they’re so easy going! The quality of their work is paramount.

Now I’ll be handing over the tunes to be mastered by Andrew Edgson, from Studios 301. Thanks to Bob Scott‘s recommendation.

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

Horn Finale!

Woo hoo…! It was great to have Miroslav Bukovsky and John Mackey in the studio last night!

With no time to view the tunes beforehand, Miroslav and John just sailed through their parts. Everything just fell together so smoothly.

Their playing just added that final touch that was so integral to the album.

So it was a real treat to have this awesome duo play for me!

I can’t wait for the final mix and to share all the tunes with everyone!

Here is John and Miroslav in action:

All tunes have been laid down!

The harmony and rhythm players have completed their roles on my debut jazz album. It’s very exciting!

I am so happy with the results so far.

Thanks to Mark Sutton and Greg Stott for their amazing job recording all the players so far!

Here is a photo collage of the main players, who were all magnificent!


I can’t wait for the next session with the horn players!

 

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.