Australian Jazz Bands

Here are the background and contact details for some Australian jazz bands


  • Benny's Boys

    Bennys Boys

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 9948 6802

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Members: Trevor Rippingale Leader and reeds; Stan Kenton bass; Allan Jones drums; Ken Crawford piano; Geoff Douglas vibes

    Seven Comes Eleven

    “Seven Comes Eleven”


    Benny’s Boys is a smooth swing sextet (or quintet/quartet if required) in the style of “The Benny Goodman Sextet” and “Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five”. Includes clarinet/saxes/flute/vocals, vibraphone, guitar, piano, string bass and drums. Issued two CDs, the second of which made the final four of the inaugural national “Bell Jazz CD Awards”.

    Public and private concerts in Fiji for the Australian Ambassador and for Alliance Francais’ “Bastille Day Celebrations in Sydney. Jazz festivals in Cairns, Noosa, Gold Coast, Thredbo and Manly. Concerts for the Sydney Jazz Club, Jazz Action Societies in Sydney and the Gold Coast, the Canberra Jazz Club, the NSW Heritage Society and corporate and private functions in Sydney’s CBD hotels.

  • Jugalug String Band

    Jugalug String Band

    Location: New South Wales


    Email: Click here to send an email


    Members: Phil Donnison, Stewart Binsted, Marcus Holden, Adam Barnard, Stan Valacos

    String Bands were all the rage in the 1920’s and 1930’s, particularly in rural areas where stringed instruments were popular and more affordable than brass instruments. The bands were quite unique in their approach and their style of music ranged from polkas and waltzes to jazz, blues and novelty music.

    Often the instruments were cheap home-made and found instruments and included kazoos and harmonicas, washboards and washtub basses. With the inclusion of a jug as the bass instrument, they became jug bands and performed, on street corners, in dance halls, bars, jook joints and at parties.

    Several popular bands were recorded and the music released on 78rpm records. Many of these recordings have been re-mastered and are available again today to provide us with a fascinating musical insight into those times.

    The Jugalug String Band plays a repertoire of music based upon the styles of these early string bands. The music is fun and exciting and many of the bands’ instruments are unique, dating back to the early part of the twentieth century.

    Phil Donnison plays National ukulele, National guitar, National steel guitar, kazoo, nose flute and handles the vocals. Phil also performs with Mic Conway’s National Junk Band and has played with The Old Blokes String Band, The Original Sweaty Palms Orchestra, The Gladesville Sheiks, The Stovepipe Spasm Band and The Emancipated Rampart Footwarmers Jug Band. He and Stewart also performed with Tiny Tim.

    Stewart Binsted plays tenor banjo, National guitar, ukulele and jug. Stewart has played with The New Wolverine Jazz Orchestra since its inception and has a background in Jug Band music and Jazz. He and Phil established The Emancipated Rampart Footwarmers Jug Band in 1963 and they later formed The Gladesville Sheiks featuring Nat Oliver.

    Marcus Holden plays the violin, strohviol, mandolin, National tenor guitar, and the musical saw. Marcus also plays with Mic Conway’s National Junk Band and his own group, The Fiddlers Feast. He performs with Diesel and the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. He is an arranger and recording engineer and has a background in Classical, Jazz, Country and Irish music.

    Adam Barnard plays washboard and traps. Adam has kept up the family musical tradition and has been involved in Jazz, Jug and Rhythm and Blues groups, playing with The Mudsteppers Jug Band, Mic Conway, King Biscuit Blues Band and currently with The Radium Club Hepsters.

    Stan Valacos plucks, strums, slaps and bows the double bass. He is in great demand and performs regularly with George Washingmachine, Ian Date, Bob Barnard and Geoff Bull. He has played with Tom Baker, was outstanding in the Straight Back Fellows and won gold with The Young Olympians.

  • New Wolverine Jazz Orchestra

    New Wolverines Jazz Orchestra

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 9948 6802

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Members: Trevor Rippingale: Reeds & vocal, Geoff Power: Cornet, Trombone & vocals; Jim Elliott: Trombone & Reeds; Peter Locke: piano; Graham Conlon: Guitar & Banjo; Harry Harman: Tuba & Bass; Neil Macbeth: Drums & Vocals.


    Recipients of the USA’s “Goldkette Foundation Award”, and four times finalists Australian “Mo” Awards. Issued ten CD’s, three of which were released in the USA. Seven tours of the USA (East & West Coasts & the Mid-west). Festivals in Edinburgh (Scotland) and Brecon (Wales) and a concert in Soho, London.. Featured artists at the annual conventions of “International Association of Jazz Record Collectors” (Chicago), and of the “American Federation of Jazz Festival Directors” (Davenport, Iowa).

    Played Australian Jazz Festivals and clubs in Canberra, Manly, Darling Harbour, NSW Southern Highlands, Melbourne, Brisbane, Thredbo, York (WA), Adelaide, Wagga Wagga. Jazz tours of Queensland, Victoria and NSW. Public concerts for Sydney’s “Jazz In the Domain” and “Jazz On the Rocks”.

    This 8-piece group includes 5 multi-instrumentalists and three vocalists, and re-creates the Chicago and New York styles of classic hot jazz and swing music of the 20s to 40s. Smaller versions of the band form THE JAZZ RIPPERS. Both groups sample the repertoires of jazz-era greats including Beiderbecke, Morton, Armstrong, Ellington, Waller, Noone, Clarence Williams, and of swing-era greats including Goodman, Shaw, Herman, Berigan and Bob Crosby and also highlight original compositions of Australian jazzmen including Grahame Bell, Ade Monsburgh, Roger Bell, Bud Baker, Dave Dallwitz, Frank Johnson and David Basden.

  • Robbers Dog Jazz Band

    Robbers Dog Jazz Band

    Location: New South Wale

    Contact: 02 9810 3956

    Email: Click here to send an email

    MySpace: Robbers Dog

    Members: Jack Wiard, clarinet; Majella Turner, vocals; Cliff Parsons, plectrum banjo; Tim Brosnan, double bass; Bill Haesler, leader – washboard.

    The Robbers Dogs, a name taken from an Australian colloquial expression, was formed as a trio by clarinetist Rod Lawlis in 1970. It became a quartet later that year and, until the early 1980s, entertained audiences in Sydney’s inner-city area at pub residencies in The Rocks, the CBD, Balmain and Camperdown and for picnics, harbour cruises, dances, parties, weddings, wakes, clubs, corporate events and jazz club functions.

    In March 1984, Rod reformed the group and, with the addition of a singer, it re-entered the Sydney scene with a weekly Rozelle pub job, a long residency at the Riverview Hotel in Balmain, miscellaneous gigs, festival and concert appearances. In February – April 1996, the band played at the Fortune of War Hotel in The Rocks. It returned to the Fortune in April 1997, alternating fotnightly with the Balmain pub job until September 1998 when it became a Sudnay afternoon fixture, and is still entertaining the locals and passing tourists.

    When Rod Lawlis died in late 2000 Bill Haesler, a founder member of the 1970 quartet, took over and appointed Jack Wiard as musical director.

  • Shirazz


    Location: Melbourne, Victoria

    Contact: 0412 525 094

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Members: Matt Dixon (trombone/vocals); Adrian De Fanti (reeds/vocals); Travis Woods (trumpet); Michael Hanley (banjo/vocals); Alistair Robertson (double bass); Mike Di Cecco (drums)

    Shirazz plays classic trad jazz as it was meant to be played. With hot solos, driving rhythms and tight arrangements, a set from Shirazz is a step back in time, to a jumping New Orleans dance hall where fast, hot tunes intersect with swinging standards and laid-back Louisiana street beats. With notes of original tunes and re-imagined pop classics, Shirazz should be enjoyed irresponsibly, and in excess.

    Shirazz was formed in 2009 although it took about a year for the band to find its feet on the Victorian festival circuit, and it wasn’t until early 2010 that the current line up was created. Since exploding onto the scene with roof-raising performances at the Echuca and Moe Jazz festivals in early 2010, Shirazz has been steadily gaining a reputation as one of Melbourne and Victoria’s must-have festival bands. Shirazz has performed at the Barham, Phillip Island, Grampians, Jamieson and Thredbo jazz festivals, and many Jazz clubs across Victoria. In 2010 they released their first full-length album – The Window – and plan to release their next album later this year. Keep up to date with Shirazz by joining their facebook page at or join the mailing list at

  • Sydney Swing

    Sydney Swing Jazz band

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 9451 4264

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Members: Kevin Goodey: clarinet & saxophone; David Stevens: piano; John Bartlett: bass; Neil Macbeth: drums.

    Sydney Swing is a quartet of experienced musicians who have all played with many jazz groups both here and overseas. They perform a happy blend of jazz classics and standard tunes mostly from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s featuring vocals from three group members.