Ronnie Taheny at the Gov

 

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It was great to play a gig with Ronnie Taheny, a great SA export who has been touring the world singing her songs, bringing a bunch of positivity and clever social comment. We played the Gov on Jan 31. I met Ronnie many years ago when we were both studying at Brighton TAFE, before I went to Uni. She has been working with the amazing Jarrad Payne for maybe 10 years, so through him we got to reconnect, and work together. The hardest part was learning all the words…

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Swing Dance Camp 2014 with the Atlantic Street Band

 

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Now that was another interesting gig playing for all the swing dancers. Great to reconnect with Tom Bastians on clarinet and tenor.

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Moose and Squirrel at the COMA fundraiser

Moose and Squirrel and Radiohead Project

Was great to play with Jamie Mensforth and Jarrad Payne in Moose and Squirrel the other day as part of COMA’s yearly fundraiser. The group plays purely improvised music with a focus on grooves. I had never played with Jamie before but it was really enjoyable trying to figure out where he was taking the music. And Jarrad was truly superb—moving seamlessly form rhythm to rhythm.

Thanks to Logan Watt for loaning me his Rhodes. Great keyboard!!!!

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Carols By Candlelight in Elder Park

Just played piano for Carols by Candlelight in Elder Park. This is about my 15th year in this chair. Certainly an interesting gig—you never know which artists are prepared and which ones are going to make you use all of your skills to figure out what they have just done so you can follow them. Samantha Jade was on the money and surprisingly The Collective were solid singers—I didn’t know who they were. It was interesting watching them rehearse—a couple were really serious and got it all right while one was goofing off a bit and didn’t nail it—but he probably got away with it as the girls in the audience were screaming.

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James Morrison and the ASO

I had a surprise gig last friday night with James Morrison and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. James had been looking over the repertoire for the gig and realised he needed a piano player for some of the tunes, so I got a call from the ASO to do it.

Always a bit stressful taking extra jobs on with minimal preparation, but it was worth it on many levels—Ben Northey was conducting (so excellent)—and the rhythm section was one of Sydney’s best—Gordon Rytmeister on drums, Phil Stack on bass and Carl Dewhurst on guitar. What a privilege to play with them! But as always James was on fire as a player and an entertainer.

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Radiohead gig

That was one truly fun and terrifying gig. Thanks heaps to the really solid crowd that turned out to see us—the room looked pretty full and the audience seemed to like out take on the music. I tried to post a bit of video here but it was too large so check it on youtube @  http://youtu.be/Yh_Q8SQuLCY

A few choice responses via facebook:

“Possibly one of the best gigs I’ve been to. Music to move the soul”

“You and Radiohead make a very good combination! One of the most wonderful gigs I have seen, so beautiful!”

“Was a great night of awesome, inspirational arrangements of amazing music!”

“Loved it so much!!!”

Also bumped into a guy at the airport last night who saw the gig and he had pretty nice stuff to say.

Shucky darn, warms the cockles of your heart..

 


 

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JazzSA Youth Superbands Dec 8

This Sunday, Dec 8, the three JAZZSA Youth Superbands will be playing at Norwood live.

I have directed the 1st Big Band this term and they are playing so well! The players are all under 21 and are drawn from High Schools and Adelaide Uni. As per usual we are playing a program of original music I have written and arranged for the band. We have a couple of tunes that I arranged for the band 5 years ago, but have adapted due to changes in the line-up, as well as some other tunes from the Marmalade Circus repertoire which I have developed into Big band charts.

We will be on a bit after 7pm, but get there early as the other 2 bands are sounding great under the direction of very experienced leaders, Steve Eads and Dave Winnall. Doors open at 4:30.

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Last Musica Viva in Schools tour with Marmalade Jam

We just finished our last tour for Musica Viva in Schools, 31 concerts in Central QLD (starting in Longreach) and Brisbane. We had some beautiful concerts in tiny country schools, lovely shows in big schools and a few that we may prefer to forget, but overall it was a great way to finish with Marmalade Jam. Thanks to John, Susan, Shireen and Marty for a great 12 years.

In our time we have played well over 400 shows across Australia and in Singapore, discovering plenty of beautiful places in often remote locations. What a privilege this ‘job’ has been.

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Radiohead project Dec 1 at The Promethean

Not far now til we finally perform our Radiohead project. Many months of listening, culling, contemplating, arranging and rehearsing have gone into this one.

This will not be a world music/latino take on the music, but rather a respectful exploration of the music with a 21st Century jazz palette in hand.

Features Shireen Khemlani on bass, Jarrad Payne on drums, James Brown on guitar and Susan Ferguson on vocals for a few tracks.

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Johanna Allen’s Sydney and Melbourne shows

I am thrilled to playing with Johanna Allen at Dizzy’s in Melbourne and Slide in Sydney this November. I helped her develop this show and wrote the arrangements (with her) for the CD which we made in Melbourne last year.

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