A collection of our past events and some pictures from the night.
SUNDAY 12th JUNE
PRINCE TRIBUTE SHOW
Featuring a 14 piece band celebrating the music of the legendary PRINCE with performances by the cream of Newcastle’s music scene. featuring Marissa Sarocca, Robbie Long, Dave Carter, Justin Ngariki, Dean Kyrwood, Ben Eliott, Jason Nelson, Sue Carson, Adam Morris, Gareth Hudson, Luke Gaudry, Peter Gray, Matt Gaudry, Jason Bone. “PRINCE was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was a musical innovator and known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the film Purple Rain. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of 100 Greatest Artists – “the most influential artists of the rock & roll era”.
SATURDAY 28TH MAY
JOE FARNSWORTH PRIME TIME QUARTET TOUR
Joe Farnsworth Prime Time Quartet Tour May 2016
“Near to being absolutely perfect.” – Benny Golson
New York jazz musician Joe Farnsworth is regarded as one of the leading jazz drummers in the world today, but as far as he is concerned, he is just getting started. He is dedicated to the great tradition of jazz drumming conceived by artists like Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Billy Higgins and Arthur Taylor. Farnsworth has appeared on more than 70 albums and shared the stage with such jazz luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Cedar Walton, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Kurt Elling and Diana Krall to name a few.
Farnsworth has assembled the cream of Australian jazz for his east coast tour with iconic tenor saxophonist and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers alumni Dale Barlow, National Jazz Award winning bassist Brendan Clarke and Chicago born and Sydney’s most swingin’ pianist John Harkins. This performance promises blistering swing and world-class modern jazz at the highest level.
Joe Farnsworth Prime Time Quartet
Joe Farnsworth – Drums
Dale Barlow – Tenor Saxophone John Harkins – Piano
Brendan Clarke – Double Bass
FRIDAY 20th MAY
Chaika is an ensemble that performs uniquely original compositions and re-imaginings of traditional songs. Sensuous, cinematic and sometimes irresistibly danceable, their music is a rich tapestry of vocal harmonies that weave seamlessly into instrumental dialogues. They are influenced by a range of musical genres from contemporary jazz to the Balkans. Clarinet, violin, piano, double-bass, guitar, accordion, vocals and percussion create soundscapes that go beyond the realm of folk and jazz, reinventing the textures and dynamic temperament of classical music. They have been described as “deeply touching and meditative” as well as “exuberant, virtuosic and uplifting.”
Formed of six musicians who have, between them, written for and performed with such artists as Monsieur Camembert, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Nicky Bomba, Riley Lee, Mara! & the Martenitsa Choir, The Song Company, The Rhythm Hunters, Kevin James, Baby et Lulu, Great Waitress, The London Bulgarian Choir and The Renaissance Players, on major national and international stages, they collectively bring an extraordinary depth of experience to their music. After a whirlwind creative session as resident artists at Bundanon last year, they are touring new material, yet to be revealed to awaiting audiences.
“To say that these guys are talented would be an understatement. Mesmerising… Extraordinary” – ★ ★ ★ ★ Fine Music FM
“Spine tingling a capella… sublime harmony vocals… It is easy to be enchanted” – Tony Hillier, The Australian
SATURDAY 14th MAY
ETHIO- SOUL LEGENDS DEREB THE AMBASSADOR
Dereb Desalegn (aka Dereb the Ambassador) is a unique vocal talent, well known as one of Ethiopia’s most respected singers. On his first solo album ‘Korkorow Yalew’ recorded in 2003, his hit single ‘Wollo’, reached number one in the Ethiopian charts. Dereb has since toured in America, England, Asia, New Zealand and Australia where he currently resides.
“Electrifying, kaleidoscopic vintage soul… his blistering vocal attack is beyond compare: hail one of the world’s most exhilarating new voices” – MAG
After moving to Australia, Dereb collaborated with Nicky Bomba and the Bomba Band releasing a CD and touring nationally in June 2007. In 2011, Dereb joined forces with producer Tony Buchen on a new project – Dereb the Ambassador – a title given to him years earlier by the Ethiopian media.
Performing with a band of virtuoso musicians and inspired by the funky sounds of great Ethiopian artists of the 60’s and 70’s, such as Mahmoud Ahmed and Mulatu Astatke, they recorded their highly acclaimed debut album. More recently they have found success with the album released in Japan on the P-Vine label and Dereb the Ambassador featured on one of Francis Falceto’s (of Ethiopiques fame) Ethiosonic releases, showcasing new music from the Ethiopian Diaspora.Dereb and his 6-piece band consistently livens up crowds with their addictive, gritty brand of Ethio-soul. Performance highlights include WOMADelaide, Jeonju Sori World Music Festival Sth Korea and tours in Ethiopia and Japan.
“Beautiful soulful joyous music that isn’t afraid to groove. You can’t go wrong.” – Bob Baker Fish
Dereb Desalegn – Vocals
Peter Farrar – C Melody Saxophone and alto saxophone
Daniel Pliner – Keyboard
Jonathan Pease – Guitar
Jarrol Renaud – Bass
Ross Ferraro – Drums
FRIDAY 6th MAY
AARON FLOWER ‘AKA BAZ’
On FRIDAY MAY 6TH National Jazz award winner AARON FLOWER ‘AKA BAZ’ brings his latest project, the acclaimed MOMENTO MORI with a stellar cast of some of Australia’s most awarded musicians.
AKA BAZ was formed by Aaron Flower in 2005 and has two albums to date. At the age of 21 Aaron was invited to play with the Vince Jones Band with whom he recorded with and toured nationally and internationally with for four years. He has since played as a sideman with other jazz legends like Mike Nock, Bernie McGann and Dale Barlow. In 2007 he won the National Jazz Guitar Awards and was awarded 6000.00, an ABC recording contract and an opportunity to perform at Stonington Jazz Festival in Melbourne.
Aaron ‘BAZ’ Flower (guitar)
Elana Stone (vocals, accordion)
Brian Campeau (vocals, guitar)
James Daley (vocals, mandolin)
Ben Hauptmann (guitar)
Zoe Hauptmann (bass)
Evan Mannel (drums)
“This music bristled with fun, imagination and surprise, and constitutes a fascinating project”. John Shand SMH
Support by Diamond Duck
SATURDAY APRIL 23rd
THE DAMIAN WRIGHT (Bandaluzia) TRIO – Modern Flamenco Guitar
“Damian Wright is a brilliant flamenco guitarist…Wright showed what a captivating solo player he is on his own “In Time”, and elsewhere his articulation of complex lines was fluid and dripping with conviction” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald.
Damian Wright is an ARIA nominated guitarist based in Australia. Damian’s flamenco ensemble BANDALUZIA won the Sydney Fringe Festival “Pick of the Festival” award and was recently invited to perform at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall to a sold out audience as part of Tedx 2014 as well as performing at The Sydney Festival amongst many others. Damian recently performed as a soloist at The Rajasthan International Folk Festival, INDIA and The XI XI International Music Festival, CHINA. In 2010 Damian received a development grant from the Australian arts council to study flamenco guitar in Spain with Pepe Justicia and was awarded a second Arts Council grant to produce a debut album due for release in late 2016.
Damian has recorded with RASA DUENDE & THE TRANSLATORS on ABC/Universal and Jazzgroove Records and his compositions have been played on ABC radio national and Classic FM.
Featuring DAMIAN WRIGHT (Flamenco Guitar), Jazz bass legend STEVE HUNTER (Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Dale Barlow) & percussionist JAMES HAUPTMANN (James Morrison, Vince Jones, Bluejuice).
SATURDAY 16th APRIL
Just what is a Fat Yahoozah? Is it perhaps a large friendly wookie-like creature? Maybe it’s similar to a Big Kahuna? Or maybe it’s a loud, fun and somewhat silly band with a powerful horn section, rollicking rhythm section and a splash of vocals who play a conglomeration of styles from around the world like Klezmer, Afrobeat, Ska and Mariachi, and have played at some of Sydney’s most popular venues like The Basement, Camelot, Lazybones, 505 and Newtown Festival to big dancing audiences?
Yeah alright, you got it, it’s the band smile emoticon
Sydney-based Fat Yahoozah’s seven talented, seasoned and versatile musicians have played with popular groups such as The Bakery, Mister Ott, Sirens Big Band, On The Stoop and Watussi. Bandleader, trumpeter, vocalist and award-winning composer Ellen Kirkwood created the band with a burning desire to make music for people to party to, that includes grooves from her favourite styles from around the world. The music of Goran Bregovic, the Amsterdam Klezmer Band, Fela Kuti, Mariachi El Bronx, the Crusty Suitcase Band and many others have influenced Ellen’s musical creations for this band.
Fat Yahoozah released their debut album “I Don’t Care” in July 2015 to a sold out crowd at popular and vibrant Lazybones Lounge, in Marrickville. They have also played at some of Sydney’s most exciting music venues, such as The Basement, Camelot Lounge, Venue 505 and the Sly Fox, and have also performed at Newtown Festival, Yackandandah Folk Festival, Jazzgroove Summer Festival and Dungog Festival.
Ellen Kirkwood – trumpet, vocals
Ruth Wells – saxophones
Simon Ferenci – trombone
Serge Stanley – bari sax and accordion
Dave Sattout – guitar
Jess Dunn – double bass
Evan McGregor – drums
WEDNESDAY 6th APRIL
THE EAST POINTERS & THE MAE TRIO
INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED FOLK ENSEMBLES THE EAST POINTERS (CANADA) & THE MAE TRIO (MELBOURNE)
THE EAST POINTERS
Ontario guitarist Jake Charron and 7th generation Prince Edward Island musicians Tim (fiddle) and Koady Chaisson (banjo) make traditional music seem ridiculously hip. An adrenalised, roof-rattling, performance monster, the trio’s excellent new release Secret Victory, penned mostly in Australia in early 2015, features the beautiful songs, free-wheeling, feisty instrumental jigs, stomps, reels and heart-breaking harmonies have made them torchbearers for a new wave in traditional music.
Even before releasing Secret Victory, The East Pointers knew they were onto something, having accepted the 2015 Music P.E.I. New Artist of the Year, and Roots Traditional Recording of the Year awards. They were also nominated for Traditional Instrumental Recording of the Year at the 2015 East Coast Music Awards. For a band barely together 18 months, they are in demand live, returning to the UK and Australia in late 2015 and again in early 2016 after extensive touring in Canada.
“The East Pointers, a three-piece jigs-and-reels band from Canada, have this way of over-revving their engine to implosion point and then, just before the musical catastrophe eventuates, they re-lease the handbrake and their machine screams off with heart-stopping momentum.You see it as much as hear it, because at that exhilarating moment when banked-up pressure converts into raw artistic energy,” (The Australian, January 2015)
THE MAE TRIO
Incorporating stellar three-part harmonies, complex arrangements and lyrical sophistication, these youngsters are on a rapid rise. Recipients of the Folk Alliance Australia Youth Award, the prestigious Maton Class Act Award and the NFSA Folk Recording of the Year for their debut album Housewarming, The Mae Trio have made a colourful splash globally including international performances from Celtic Connections to Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, MIDEM Festival in Cannes and Americana Festival in Nashville, not to mention a string of shows at Australia’s leading festivals from Port Fairy Folk Festival to Blue Mountains Music Festival.
Maggie Rigby (banjo, ukuleles, guitar, marimba and vocals), Elsie Rigby (violin, ukulele and vocals) and Anita Hillman (cello, bass and vocals) started playing together in 2011, and the last year has seen the band burst onto the international scene.
It is a rare treat to experience such unique instrumentation and spine-tingling harmonies, and The Mae Trio promises bucket-loads of both. http://themaetrio.com
“spine-tingling harmonies” –The Scotsman
“The Mae Trio has made a meteoric mark on the national acoustic music scene” – Rhythms
SATURDAY APRIL 2nd
FANTASTIC LOCAL ARTIST MORGANA OSAKI presented her debut single launch at The Church Of Groove.
A hauntingly beautiful and stunning young lady, Morgana is simply captivating when perched behind her ‘weapon of choice’ … the Harp. And marrying a seamless fusion of contemporary songwriting with electro atmospheric dynamics, with her musical partner and counterpart, the ‘one man powerhouse -organic/electronic maestro’ Fox Control, the pair deliver lavish electro/orchestral arrangements, looped/shifting basslines, underpinned by exacting production values and copious digital editing and mixing. Their music walks the less travelled yet golden path, paved by the likes of Massive Attack, Bjork and Florence and the Machine.
‘With the style of a young Bowie, the grace of a swan and the lyrical venom of a serpent, we are witnessing the birth of a truly special young artist, in the true sense of the word ‘classic’. Co-manager and music industry veteran Grant Walmsley
Born in Japan, and living between two countries, the cities of Sydney and Melbourne as well the surrounding communities of Byron Bay and the Japanese town of Kanazaou Bukio, have provided the unique canvas for Morganas dynamic, diverse and rich creativity. Walking through her home towns temples and graveyard she cherishes vivid memories of running over a giant red bridge stretching over a lake filled with coy and turtles. Speaking fluent Japanese she regularly revisits her homeland. Juxtaposed in her music is the influence absorbed from her dula dwellings in these iconic Australian environments.
As a youngster and during a sojourn around the National Park region of Goonengerry, Morgana came across a fellow who played the harp and who in fact had quite a collection of these not so ordinary instruments. He gave her a small Celtic harp, (which she has to this day). After failed attempts at procuring some mojo from the violin and the piano, it was this Celtic Harp which would become the instrument and vehicle upon which, the essential and heavenly Morgana Osaki has been delivered.
An ‘old soul’, and true bohemian, this teenage ‘ethereal punk’ listens to Tom Waits and Nick Cave, purely to soak in the devilish narrative and lyrical content made manifest by those magnificent growling voices. Illustrating just another wonderfully unorthodox and surprising glimpse of her esoteric tastes, it’s really hard to fathom that this young and vibrant soul with the insatiable wanderlust has only travelled around the sun 18 times.
Most of Morganas songs are derived from a feeling, like a colour. ‘It’s not necessarily for an audience, they don’t go into exact and specific detail, I’m far more abstract… I want the listener to find their own meaning, and to not necessarily know what I’m thinking about. “I think songs should either convey a feeling or a narrative’
SUNDAY MARCH 20th
BANDALUZIA FLAMENCO return by popular demand to THE CHURCH OF GROOVE on SUNDAY MARCH 20TH, with Special guests from SPAIN the amazing FRANCESCA “LA CHIKKA” (flamenco dance), ANDREJ VUJICIC (percussion) from acclaimed ensemble PUERTO FLAMENCO & flamenco singer OLAYO JIMENEZ!! Also featuring DAMIAN WRIGHT (flamenco guitar), JESSICA STATHAM (flamenco dance) & JAMES HAUPTMAN (cajon).
BANDALUZIA is an acclaimed modern flamenco ensemble led by ARIA nominated guitarist DAMIAN WRIGHT. In 2014 Damian was invited to perform as a solo artist at The Rajasthan International Folk Festival, INDIA and in 2015 performed at the XI XI International Music Festival, Hangzhou, CHINA. Bandaluzia was recently awarded “The Pick of the Sydney Fringe” at The Sydney Fringe Festival and performed to a sold out Sydney Opera House Concert Hall as an invited artist to TEDX Sydney 2014. Bandaluzia has headlined The International Gypsy Music Festival, Sydney, The Global Carnival and is on Musica Viva’s national touring program. Known for their powerful performances, unique sound and explosive displays of dazzling musicianship and virtuosity that has made Bandaluzia a great success at festivals and theatres across Australia. Featuring Dance Australia Magazine’s “Most Outstanding Dancer of 2013” and co- winner of “Best Dance Show” at The Adelaide Fringe 2014 JESSICA STATHAM (flamenco dance), Freedman fellowship winner and National Jazz Awards finalist BEN HAUPTMANN (Katie Noonan, Gurrumul, Lior etc….) on Mandolin & brilliant percussionist JAMES HAUPTMANN (James Morrison, Vince Jones, Bluejuice…etc).Bandaluzia are also highly revered for their ability to mix elements of other genres into their performances, whether being the rich harmonies of Jazz, the exotic melodies of the Orient or the infectious rhythms of South America. An experience that ignites the senses with the grace of Flamenco.
“Bandaluzia is winning high praise for its unique Australian interpretation of the powerful music and dance form….with their thrilling blend of passion and virtuosity”. Gabrielle Wilder , SMH
BALTIC BAR MITZVAH & THE RADUGA TRIO
Sunday 19th February
BALTIC BAR MITZVAH are a combination of the most eclectic and raucous musicians in the village, Baltic Bar Mitzvah presents a ruthless fusion of musical genres to reinvigorate the soul. Steeped in the traditions of Western cultures, twisted by the globalisation of the contemporary world, then bottled with a label of class. Release your inner gypsy, grab your instrument and join the dance floor. Shake your booty, stomp your feet and celebrate life with Baltic Bar Mitzvah
THE RADUGA TRIO is a folk band with unique raw sound. Gypsy Jazz, Russian, Balkan, Klezmer, Breton, Tango and originals. Raduga means “Joyous Arch” in Russian. featuring Nina Kharakoz – piano accordion, Diane Lenham – clarinet, saxophone, Uke and tap dance.
John Maddox – acoustic bass, kazoo,vocals
“I felt like I was in an eastern European dance hall when Raduga played on my morning radio show in Newcastle.
Their sound is hypnotic, their mood mesmerising and their spirit, pure fun.” .
(Jill Emberson ABC radio Newcastle)
Sunday 17th January
After his sold out performance in early 2015, 3 times ARIA Award winning musician JOSEPH TAWADROS brings his project ‘ANGEL’ to the THE CHURCH OF GROOVE!!
For this very special concert Joseph joins three of Australia’s finest virtuosos; his prodigiously talented brother James Tawadros on percussion, celebrated jazz pianist Matt McMahon and soulful clarinetist Dimitri Vouros in their much loved ANGEL suite.
“Joseph Tawadros has a gift for infusing sadness with beauty and vice versa. He writes fragile melodies in which notes hang in the air long enough to ache as well as beguile. His instrument, the oud, is tailor-made for milking the anguish from a tune. Its cello-like range reaches from sumptuous bass to arcing treble and its fretless nature allows for sighs and cries in the movement between notes. His brothers playing had charm and imagination, soloing on req, achieving an improbable range of sonic possibilities.” JOHN SHAND, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
“One of the most impressive musicians to emerge in Australia…with a dazzling technique dispensing hair raising tempos… His writing displays a real depth of emotion…reveling in a zest for life and celebration.”
– The Australian
SATURDAY 2nd JANUARY
THE ADRIAN MEARS & ANDREW DICKESON TRIO
Established as one of the greatest Trombonists in the European Music Scene today ADRIAN MEARS has recorded with The Vienna Art Orchestra, Mcoy Tyner (John Coltrane), Carla Bley to name a few, with hundreds of compositions and vast international touring Adrian is a much in demand artist.
‘His solos explode with emotion’ Suddeutsche Zeitung, Germany
ANDREW DICKESON (drums) is one of Australias most prolific and accomplished musicians, He has performed with many great International touring artists as well as the cream of the Australian jazz Scene.
Adrian Mears and Andrew Dickeson started playing together in their hometown of Newcastle in their very early teens and have continued a strong musical relationship since then.
They will be joined by stellar bassist Brendan Clarke for one night only – playing a mixture of original music and some great jazz tunes.
Saturday 12th December
THIS DECEMBER five of Australia’s leading jazz and Indian musicians present KAPTURE, a moving musical tribute to South African freedom fighter, Ahmed Kathrada (Nelson Mandela’s cell mate)
A special concert weaving an extraordinary kaleidoscope of colour, rhythm and melody. Their soulful melodies, breathtaking improvisations, hypnotic grooves and stunning percussion solos celebrate the fusion of jazz and Indian music in a unique and sublime way.
Featuring internationally renowned saxophonist SANDY EVANS, SARANGAN SRIRAGANATHAN, a virtuoso much loved for his mesmerizing voice and enchanting sitar playing, acclaimed tabla player BOBBY SINGH, jazz double bass master BRETT HIRST & the great TOBY HALL on drums . They have played to rave reviews at the OzAsia Festival, Parramasala Festival, Live At The Village, SIMA, Camelot and Sunday Live for the ABC. Their first CD ‘Kapture’ was released on Rufus records in 2015 to critical acclaim.
‘I found myself entering a kind of trance and feeling as if I could listen for hours and be absolutely absorbed by the intricate rhythmic and melodic patterns.’ Roger Mitchell, Ausjazz Blog June 2010.
SANDY EVANS is widely recognised for her outstanding abilities as a musician and composer. Sandy was awarded an OAM in 2010 and received the Inaugural Bell Award for Australian Jazz Musician of The Year, as well as many APRA, ARIA and Mo Awards. Over the past decade, Sandy has performed in Australia, India and Europe with many jazz and Indian musicians who share an interest in developing a meaningful fusion of Indian and Western ideas.
SARANGAN SRIRAGANATHAN is an extraordinary artist whose music evokes ultimate peacefulness and eternal joy. Perfection of tone and execution come as spontaneously to Sarangan as the free and unfettered flow of his ideas. His performances have earned global accolades at some of the world’s most famous venues and music festivals, such as the Queen Elizabeth Halls, Sydney Opera House, Womad Music Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
ARIA Award winner BOBBY SINGH was born in England, and spent much of his youth in India studying tabla. Under the guidance of Aneesh Pradhan, Bobby was nurtured into a mature, internationally renowned tabla virtuoso. He is well known for his work with artists like Circle of Rhythm, Rasa Duende, Jeff Lang, Slava Grigoriyan DHA and the electronic/fusion group “The Bird”.
BRETT HIRST is one of Australia’s most in demand bass players and with has performed and recorded with such outstanding Australian and international artists as Mike Nock, Mark Isaacs, Lior, Katie Noonan, James Morrison and Vince Jones.
TOBY HALL is one of the most highly regarded Australian drummers, featuring on over 30 Australian CD’s. He works with many of Australia’s finest jazz and contemporary musicians live and in the studio, including Don Burrows, James Morrison, Sandy Evans, James Greening, Bernie McGann, Dale Barlow, Paul Grabowsky, Mike Nock, Lloyd Swanton, and Vince Jones.
JAZZGROOVE MOTHERSHIP ORCHESTRA Vs JAMES MULLER
Thursday 26th November
One of Australia’s most celebrated musicians, James Muller teams up with Australia’s leading jazz orchestra for an exciting new project. The ‘Mothership’ is delivering a new program that promotes new Australian music played by cutting edge Australian musicians in collaboration with one of the worlds leading arrangers. Since its inception in 2003, the ARIA nominated and 2012 Australian Jazz Award winning Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra (JMO) has gained a reputation as one of the world’s most exciting and innovative independent jazz orchestras. Comprising 17 members playing 5 saxophones, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, guitar, piano, bass and drums,‘The Mothership’ represents many of Australia’s finest young improvisers and beams out a supernova of energy and sound.The JMO is on a mission to blur the boundaries between jazz, rock, classical delivered through the dynamic, rhythmic and textural context of a jazz orchestra.
Australian guitarist James Muller is one of the most exciting and innovative musician on the Australian music scene today. His distinctive sound, coupled with masterful improvisation and breathtaking virtuosity, has made him one of the most respected and most significant young musicians in the country. Few people have lit up the Australian music scene so brightly and so quickly. Muller is the recipient of numerous accolades including the coveted ARIA award, the highest acknowledgement in the Australian recording industry.
“James Muller is a mountain of guitar virtuosity… All the things that are the most effective in jazz, rock, blues and country guitar emerge naturally at the right time at the right place and it can give the listener shivers.”
– John Clare (Sydney Morning Herald)
SEE THE JMO promo clip here: https://youtu.be/BC9PdlRa3og
THE STRING CONTINGENT
Thursday 29th October
Renowned acoustic chamber-folk trio THE STRING CONTINGENT
The String Contingent combine their diverse musical backgrounds in Celtic folk, classical, jazz and contemporary into melodic, evocative, exciting and poignant musical discussions, or ‘trialogues’. Over the past five years and four albums, Australi…ans Chris Stone (violin) and Holly Downes (double bass), with Scotsman Graham McLeod (guitar) have consistently challenged the traditional roles of their instruments to reach ‘the upper echelon of instrumental exploration, arrangement, composition and performance’ (Tony Hillier, Rhythms Magazine). This approach has resulted in a musical ethos that showcases the individuality of each musician and eclipses genre, featuring bowed bass melodies, percussive violin and tight guitar grooves.
“…brings to mind the bluegrass records of Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer … with elements of Bach, Kronos Quartet and sometimes a splash of Philip Glass … they are incredibly skilled …’ Lira Magazine
Their latest album, Facets, is a collaborative expansion of this ethos, creating new pieces with some of Australia’s most revered performer-composers. The resultant music received a 4-star review in The Weekend Australian and showcases the skills of their guests and the stylistic flexibility of The String Contingent, seamlessly shifting through baroque, classical, jazz, Indian, Celtic and Balkan elements. Fresh from an extensive tour of Finland, Sweden, England and Scotland, The String Contingent are bringing their live performance to Newcastle; a joyful combination of precision, refinement and beauty, balanced with visceral energy and drive that is not to be missed.
Sunday 13th September
After a their sold out performance earlier this year BANDALUZIA FLAMENCO return to THE CHURCH OF GROOVE, NEWCASTLE with Special guest flamenco dance legend JOHNNY TEDESCO.
BANDALUZIA is an acclaimed modern flamenco ensemble led by ARIA nominated guitarist DAMIAN WRIGHT. In 2014 Damian was invited to perform as a solo artist at The Rajasthan International Folk Festival, INDIA. Bandaluzia was recently awarded “The Pick Of the Sydney Fringe” at The Sydney Fringe Festival and performed to a sold out Sydney Opera House Concert Hall as an invited artist to TEDX Sydney 2014. Known for their powerful performances, unique sound and explosive displays of dazzling musicianship and virtuosity that has made Bandaluzia a great success at festivals and theatres across Australia. Featuring Dance Australia Magazine’s “Most Outstanding Dancer of 2013” and co- winner of “Best Dance Show” at The Adelaide Fringe 2014 JESSICA STATHAM (flamenco dance), Freedman fellowship winner and National Jazz Awards finalist BEN HAUPTMANN (Katie Noonan, Gurrumul, Lior etc….) on Mandolin & brilliant percussionist JAMES HAUPTMANN (James Morrison, Vince Jones, Bluejuice…etc).Bandaluzia are also highly revered for their ability to mix elements of other genres into their performances, whether being the rich harmonies of Jazz, the exotic melodies of the Orient or the infectious rhythms of South America. An experience that ignites the senses with the grace of Flamenco.
“Bandaluzia is winning high praise for its unique Australian interpretation of the powerful music and dance form….with their thrilling blend of passion and virtuosity”
Gabrielle Wilder , SMH
“Damian Wright is a brilliant flamenco guitarist…Wright showed what a captivating solo player he is on his own “In Time”, and elsewhere his articulation of complex lines was fluid and dripping with conviction” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
“The opening piece, Oceania (Wright) exemplified how the singings primal rawness contrast with the guitars lyrical refinement, while Statham’s dancing bridged the two, from the graceful elegance of her arm movement to the furious rhythmic precision of her footwork….Hunter gave a rapturous solo introduction to Khyal (Wright) before slipping into another groove with Hauptmann behind
another dazzling improvisation by Wright.” John Shand SMH 17/09/12 John Shand
Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd August, Sunday 23rd August (Matinee 1:30pm).
The Speakeasy by The Smokin’ Chops
Friends and lovers enjoyed a journey to rediscover the halcyon nights of the 1920’s and 30’s Prohibition Era Nightclub at The Unorthodox Church of Groove, 3 Tudor Street, Newcastle West as the critically acclaimed Smokin’ Chops Jazz Quintet presents their latest radio play jazz cabaret, The Speakeasy.
The last Smokin’ Chops Cabaret, The Boulevard of Blood and Dreams, which premiered at the Newcastle Jazz Festival in 2013, went on, after its Newcastle theatrical season, to win Best Production in the Special Theatrical Event, Professional Category of the 2013 CONDA (City of Newcastle Drama Awards).Once again The Smokin’ Chops Jazz Quintet has been invited to present a cabaret, The Speakeasy, for the 2015 Newcastle Jazz Festival, Saturday 29th August at Newcastle Jockey Club. This time however the cabaret will enjoy its theatrical season prior to the Newcastle Jazz Festival at the unique Unorthodox Church of Groove on Saturday 15th, Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd with a Sunday matinee on 23rd August.
The Story….The Speakeasy is a riotous assemblage of clichés from Prohibition movies, punctuated with rapid one liner insults where no character is spared. The descent into mayhem is reminiscent of a Marx Brothers world, but the music is primarily the music of the golden age of jazz, the Prohibition Era, and more specifically, the music of Fats Waller. This cabaret provides jazz lovers with the magical opportunity to hear their favourite jazz in its cultural context.
By imposing thirteen years of Prohibition, US politicians managed to turn disorganised crime into organised crime with criminal gangs controlling a proliferation of illegal drinking establishments called speakeasies. Our cabaret tells the story of one fictitious speakeasy’s struggle to free itself from mob control.
Set in a sleazy 1930’s speakeasy called The Hot Spot, with the audience optionally dressing as gangsters, spivs and molls, the cabaret opens as a 1930’s radio theatrette presents a radio play of The Speakeasy. Lara Crane, journalist, interviews Thomas “Fats” Waller in a cell where he has been detained for non-payment of alimony (a frequent Waller occurrence). She questions him regarding the rumour that he was kidnapped by Al Capone for three days to play at a Mafia party (a reportedly true story). Waller avoids answering the question by telling a story about the only speakeasy that managed to accidentally free itself from gangsters. The imaginary curtain opens to reveal the Speakeasy and our story unfolds with the singers and musicians of the Smokin’ Chops Jazz Quintet acting the multiple characters, singing and playing whilst juggling various visual props and providing sound effects. The audience follows the clumsy attempts of a dissolute group of speakeasy musicians to survive when a violent gangster’s less than talented girlfriend is installed as their star .
The tradition in all our radio play jazz cabarets is for our five musicians to play most of the characters, with the addition of a guest leading lady singing and playing several roles. It is our pleasure to be joined in this production by our vivacious guest singer/actress Toni Beech.
Critics Opinion…. An audience is clearly having a good time when its members clap hands and tap feet in time with the rhythms of songs being performed by a jazz band as part of an amusing story. That happened frequently when I saw The Boulevard of Blood and Dreams… Ken Longworth, Newcastle Herald, 14th April, 2013.
Friday 14th August
Joseph Tawadros Quartet
Fresh from his highly successful tour of Europe, triple ARIA winning Australian musician and composer, Joseph Tawadros’ August 14th performance at The Church Of Groove is set to be one of his best yet.
Joseph will be joined by three of Australia’s most talented musicians, James Tawadros on percussion, jazz pianist Matt McMahon and double bassists Karl Dunnicliff for a celebratory performance of his ground breaking 11th album,
Permission to Evaporate.
From thrilling and furiously paced numbers to beautifully introspective and tranquil tracks, Permission to Evaporate draws its inspiration from a wide variety of styles and sounds from bluegrass to world, jazz to folk – all drawn together by Tawadros’ trademark virtuosity and lyricism and by the stunning musicality of the oud.
Don’t miss your opportunity to experience the magic of the Tawadros quartet live.
Friday 3rd July
A collaboration between acclaimed musicians Bobby Singh (Tabla), Adrian McNeil (Sarod) and Damian Wright (Flamenco Guitar), Rasa Duende’s first recording “Improvisations” (ABC/Universal) explores meeting points between Hindustani and Flamenco traditions through a deep understanding and engagement with both of these highly expressive music cultures.
Bobby Singh (Tabla):
Tabla player Bobby Singh, a disciple of the great maestro Aneesh Pradhan, is one of the most sought-after musicians on the Australian world music circuit.
Bobby has played with such luminaries as slide Guitarist Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Outside of the milieu of Indian classical music, Bobby has also formed many partnerships with some of Australia’s best known musicians. Crossing many styles of music from Drum & Bass with The Bird to Western Classical with Slava Grigoryan to Blues & Roots with John Butler & Jeff Lang.He has received a creative fellowship award from Australia Arts Council and is the first Indian musician to win an ARIA award with Djan Djan.
Adrian McNeil (Sarod):
He has undergone intensive training for more than twenty five years under Pandit Ashok Roy, Professor Sachindranath Roy and Dr. Ashok Ranade. He regularly performs in major concerts in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore and regional centres where his playing attracts critical acclaim.
He has made a number of recordings for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, released two solo recordings and has toured widely in Europe and Asia. He has a PhD in ethnomusicology and researches and publishes widely on Indian music, which including his authoritative and highly regarded book on the sarod tradition in India.
Damian Wright (Guitar):
Damian Wright is an ARIA nominated guitarist based in Australia. Damian’s flamenco ensemble BANDALUZIA won the Sydney Fringe Festival “Pick of the Festival” award and was recently invited to perform at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall to a sold out audience as part of Tedx 2014 as well as performing at The Sydney Festival amongst many others. Damian recently performed as a soloist at The Rajasthan International Folk Festival, INDIA . In 2010 Damian received a development grant from the Australian arts council to study flamenco guitar in Spain with Pepe Justicia and in 2013 was awarded a second Arts Council grant to produce a debut album due for release in late 2015.
“a stunning look at what can happen when two unlikely bedfellows mesh perfectly, thanks to some truly inspired playing.” Samuel Fell, Sydney Morning Herald.
Saturday 30th May
Pud Petal with Vanishing Shapes
Fabric Cordial is Bud Petal’s third album. The making of it was a two year adventure. Written in small German towns, cities of the Levant, and the inner west of Sydney, it sees Bud Petal create a unique blend of sounds and stories that range from Hamburg love songs, to parental longings for the Kibbutz, to the joy of returning home to Sydney.
Bud Petal’s music has been described as “cerebral art-folk”, “the music Lord Byron would be making had he lived in the 21st century and taught himself how to play the guitar”, “what you get if you mix love, politics, and surrealism”, and “the feeling one gets when drowning within a sea of smiles”.
Saturday 23rd May
BANDALUZIA is an acclaimed modern flamenco ensemble led by ARIA nominated guitarist Damian Wright. Bandaluzia was recently awarded “The Pick Of the Sydney Fringe” at The Sydney Fringe Festival and performed to a sold out Sydney Opera House Concert Hall as an invited artist to TEDX Sydney 2014. Bandaluzia has headlined The International Gypsy Music Festival, Sydney, The Global Carnival and is on Musica Viva’s national touring program. Known for their powerful performances, unique sound and explosive displays of dazzling musicianship and virtuosity that has made Bandaluzia a great success at festivals and theatres across Australia. Featuring Dance Australia Magazine’s “Most Outstanding Dancer of 2013” and co-winner of “Best Dance Show” at The Adelaide Fringe 2014 Jessica Statham, Freedman fellowship winner Ben Hauptmann on Mandolin & brilliant percussionist James Hauptmann.
Bandaluzia are also highly revered for their ability to mix elements of other genres into their performances, whether being the rich harmonies of Jazz, the exotic melodies of the Orient or the infectious rhythms of South America. An experience that ignites the senses with the grace of Flamenco.
Friday 8th May
ALTURAS with Special Guest Mauricio Hernandez
Alturas presents the much anticipated release of their 2nd CD, ALTURAS: sin palabras
Be transformed into a world of dark moody tangos with soaring jazz saxophone and piano solos.
Including some gorgeous pieces from Venezuela and Brazil with subtle embedded suggestions of tango.
Some favourite Piazzolla pieces as well as undiscovered masterpieces, all with references to tango.
Shot from a suit case – Photography Exhibition
Exhibition Opening Night 24th April 2015
Wednesday 22nd April
THE STRING CONTINGENT
This EVENT was CANCELLED
Due to bad weather hit by Newcastle and surrounding areas this performance by the String Contingent was cancelled.
The String Contingent will be returning to Newcastle in October 2015 and a new event will be scheduled for then.
We Thank You for your corporation and understanding through this time
Come witness the sweet sounds of The String Contingent as they stop in at The Unorthodox Church of Groove on their Australian tour to promote their new album ‘Facets’.
Rescheduled for October 2015
Details to come closer to.
The Smokin’ Chops
Saturday 28th March
The Smokin’ Chops were at The Unorthodox Church Of Groove to dance those hot heels off to some smokin’ jazz.
Nerds & Music with Grant Fraser and Crackers Carruthers.
Friday 27th March
Nerds & Music returned to The Unorthodox Church Of Groove for a night of entertaining folk music and sophisticated comedy.
7th February 2015
Tángalo are a Sydney-based tango quintet who perform a mix of original compositions and existing tangos.
Formed in 2011 by Emily-Rose Šarkova and Owen Salomé, Tángalo grew from a desire to create a greater awareness of tango culture in Australia, and the fierce desire to see more tango-dancing to live tango-music.
Tángalo use Violin, Guitar, Double Bass, Flute, Accordion, Piano and Voices to create a sound that is is beguiling and vividly personal. The dazzling instrumental lines and impassioned vocals reference both the poetic background of tango music, and something considerably more modern.
Friday 4th July 2014.
Suzie’s Generic Birthday Party with Finn
Friday 6th June 2014
Chaika from Sydney performed as part of their promotional tour to launch their new album “I Monti”
The Smokin’ Chops
Friday 2nd May 2014
Nerds and Music
Saturday 1st February 2014