Australian Jazz Musicians

Here are the background and contact details for some Australian jazz musicians.

 

  • Peter Allen

    Peter Allen

    Location: Victoria

    Contact:

    Instruments: Banjo, guitar


    Peter Allen (Plectrum Pete) Banjo/guitar Born in Geelong, Victoria. Started playing in bands at 18 years old with Melbourne jazz groups including: Frank Johnson’s Fabulous Dixielanders and Owen Yateman’s Jazz Band. Following Peter’s move to Sydney he played with bands of Tom Baker and Graeme Bell All Stars. “Plectrum Pete” is the (slightly) more extroverted banjo playing alter ego of mild mannered Peter Allen, one time Qantas steward. Peter’s over-seas trips provided access to some of the world’s leading jazz bands and he has performed with (amongst others) the Dutch Swing College Band, the bands at The Red Garter in New York and San Francisco and at Nottsberry Farm in California. Peter plays a Vegavox Deluxe instrument circa 1929.

  • Bob Barnard

    Bob Barnard

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 0410 438 149

    Instruments: Cornet, trumpet & vocals

     


     

    “Barnard rightly enjoys the reputation as one of the best mainstream trumpeters in the world”.
    Dr. Clement Semmler, pioneer of Australian Broadcasting, The Bulletin (August 1990).

    Bob Barnard, Australia’s highly acclaimed cornet/trumpet player, gained experience at an early age in Melbourne in the late 1940s with the local brass band, his mother’s dance band and older-brother Len Barnard’s South City Stompers.

    During the 1950s he worked in Sydney with the Ray Price trio and the Port Jackson Jazz Band and in Melbourne with Kenn Jones Powerhouse Band and the Max Collie band and freelanced regularly. After moving to Sydney permanently in 1962 as a founder member of the Graeme Bell All Stars and extensive recording and studio work he formed his own band in 1974. It toured Australia, Europe and the US regularly, held long residencies at Sydney hotels, restaurants and clubs and was featured at regular jazz festival and concert engagements in Australia and overseas.

    Bob maintains a well-deserved international reputation and currently tours the US, Europe and Australia as a featured soloist to the worldwide respect and admiration of the top jazz musicians, audiences and critics. His extensive recording activities over many years include some of the world’s greatest jazz stars.

    Bob Barnard was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1990 for his enormous contribution to Australian jazz. Other awards include the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal (1977), the Australian Jazz Critics Award (1990, 1991, 1992), an Advance Australia Award (1991) and two Mo awards as jazz performer of the year (1993, 1997). He has been inducted into the Montsalvat Hall of Fame (1988), the Australian Legends of Jazz (1991), the Australian Jazz Hall of Fame (1993), and in 2008 was made an Honorary Life Member of the Victorian Jazz Archive.

  • Dan Barnett

    Bob Barnett

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 0411 480 288

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Web: www.danbarnett.com.au

    Instruments: Trombone, vocals


    Sydney based Singer trombonist Dan Barnett began his musical life as a Trombonist studying with greats such as James Morrison, Conrad Herwig, Bruce Paulson, Dan Barrett, Don Burrows, George Golla and Steve Turre. He quickly developed a love for singing and has since studied with much respected Sydney teacher Patricia Oertel and with the legendary Mark Murphy, Mike Campbell and Miles Griffith (U.S.A.) Dan has worked with James Morrison, Tom Burlinson, Barbara Morrison (U.S.A.), Bob Barnard, Rhonda Birchmore, Kevin Hunt and The Australian Art Orchestra”.

    Dan has performed at Thredbo, Manly, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne Festivals, River Festival (Brisbane), Jazz in the Domain, Darling Harbour Jazz Festival,

    Wyndham Estate, Lleuwin Estate (W.A.), A.F.I. Award Nights, Lord Howe, Hamilton and Hayman Islands and on Tours of Thailand, Europe, Taiwan and the

    U.S.A. Dan was a finalist at the prestigious 2006 London International Jazz Vocal Competition and in 2007 toured Brazil as part of Jazz Festival Brazil to rave reviews.

    Dan has three C.D’s under his own name. The Right Track, Point of No Return featuring his big band on the La Brava Music Label and Little Green Men on Vitamin Records.

  • Laurie Bennett

    Laurie Bennett

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 0407 915 236

    Instruments: Drums


     

    Born in Sydney into a musical family Laurie started playing drums for local dances and weddings with his father Harry’s band when he was fourteen. He discovered jazz and was working professionally by the time he turned eighteen. He worked at the Mocambo coffee lounge and the famous El Rocco, in show bands with his brother Ken’s band (including tours throughout Australia and Calcutta, India) and freelanced widely.

    Entertainment was booming and nearly all Sydney pubs and clubs had bands. In 1964 Laurie travelled to New Zealand with the Graeme Bell All Stars and the Frank Ifield Show and, as a result, was invited to the UK to back singer Ifield. After a year of travelling around England, Ireland and Scotland he returned home to join an organ trio with Col Nolan and John Nicol for a long engagement at the Motor Club in Sydney where famous visiting jazz artists sat-in regularly, including Mel Torme, Kai Winding and Art Blakey. He later worked at the Old Push and the Col Nolan quartet with Bob Bertles and Dieter Vogt and its Asian tour for Musica Viva.

    During the 1970s-80s Laurie worked with Don Burrows’ Wentworth Supper Club quartet, including a highlight playing with Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis. He led a band for a long residency at Soup Plus, was with Bob Bertle’s Moontrane, played and recorded with Richard Ochakski’s Straight Ahead, the Col Nolan Quartet and led a band at the Orient Hotel.

    In addition to organising Jam Session concerts for the Jazz Action Society and groups for Jazz Festivals throughout Australia Laurie has played with Galapagos Duck and in bands led by Don Burrows, Jack Grimsley, Judy Bailey, Ray Price, Graeme Bell, John Nicol, Bob Henderson, Geoff Bull, Bob Barnard, Errol Buddle, Carol Ralph, Chuck Yeates, Nancy Stuart, Noel Crow, Bernie McGann and Peter Boothman, was a long time member of Geoff Harvey’s midday TV show band and has backed numerous local and international jazz and cabaret performers.

    Laurie Bennett’s current group, featuring first class professional musicians, is available for all events, concerts and functions.

  • Stewart Binsted

    Stewart Binsted

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 9948 4884

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Instruments:Tenor banjo, guitar, ukulele

    Between the devil and the Deep Blue Sea

    “Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea”


     

    Stewart Binsted has a background in Jug Band music and Jazz and plays tenor banjo, guitar, ukulele. Stewart played with the New Wolverine Jazz Orchestra since its inception and toured in America with them several times. He and Phil Donnison established The Emancipated Rampart Footwarmers Jug Band in 1963 and they later formed The Gladesville Sheiks, a hot jazz band featuring Nat Oliver.

  • Alan Davey

    Alan davey

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 0418 502 028

    Website: www.aldavey.com.au

    Instruments: Trumpet, trombone and vocals.

    Wild Man Blues

    “Wild Man Blues”


     

    “Alan Davey is a very highly regarded Jazz trumpeter in Australia. He also sings and plays trombone as well. With 25 years as a professional Musician/Entertainer in Sydney, he is highly sought after as a Jazz Soloist, Big band lead trumpeter and session musician. After playing in the 50 piece 3rd Military District band in Melbourne for 3 years, he successfully auditioned for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music jazz course.

    He commenced the course in 1986 and was tutored by many greats, including Don Burrows, James Morrison, Judy Bailey, Roger Frampton and Mike Nock. Since completing the course he has been a very successful freelance musician on the Sydney scene, playing in many jazz groups, backing many big names in the cabaret scene, recording sessions and playing lead trumpet in many big bands.

    Jazz wise, his main influences are Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Maynard Ferguson and Harry James. Al also leads his own jazz ensemble, ‘the monSTARS’ in which he has recorded and featured at the following : Wangaratta Jazz Festival Moruya Jazz Festival Manly Jazz Festival Sydney Jazz Action Society Concert Central Coast Jazz Club Concert Wollongong Jazz Festival”

  • Jim Elliott

    Jim Elliott

    Location:New South Wales

    Contact: 02 9895 0715

    Instruments: Trombone, Clarinet, Alto, Tenor & Bass Saxophone

    Stars Fell on Alabama

    “Stars Fell on Alabama”


    Jim Elliott came to prominence in the 1980s as the trombonist with the Harbour City Jazz Band. His credits include playing in such groups as: Adrian Ford Big Band, Café Society, Mell-O-Tones and a 20 year veteran of the New Wolverine Jazz Orchestra. He currently co-leads a duo with Paul Baker on banjo and Jim on bass saxophone.

  • Allan English

    Allan English.

    Location:New South Wales

    Contact: 0431 278 469

    Instruments: Saxophones & Clarinet

    Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

    “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”


    Allan English started playing music on Radio shows (pre T.V. in Australia) as a teenager in the 1950s. Later worked on T.V. shows & T.V. movies in Jazz, Blues/Soul & Comedy bands from the 1960s onwards.

    He held long residencies in clubs & hotels in Sydney as well as Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Melbourne & Adelaide. Worked in clubs in England & Wales in 1969 -1970. Appeared at Jazz Festivals at Manly, Moruya, Kiama, Dubbo etc. Played on overseas cruise ships at various times and worked in pubs and wine bars with a Jazz policy such as the Windsor Castle Hotel, East Sydney Hotel, Emma’s Hotel, Norfolk Hotel, Evening Star Hotel, Wynyard Hotel, Strawberry Hills Hotel and French’s Tavern.

    Allan has freelanced regularly and worked with musicians such as Bob Barnard, Graeme Bell, Nat Oliver, Mike Hallam and was in the first Jazz band (led by Bill Haesler) to play at Sydney’s Soup Plus. The band had a residency, and played every Friday night.

  • Harry Harman

    Harry Harman

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 4392 7771

    Instruments: Tuba, bass

    I’m Not Rough

    “I’m Not Rough”


    Born in Melbourne Victoria, began on guitar in1946,settled in Sydney in 1949.

    Began playing Tuba in 1952, and formed the Paramount Jazz Band, the group that made their debut in 1953 at the opening of the Sydney Jazz Club, a club that he Co-founded as a venue to encourage support from Jazz lovers and Musicians.

    During the mid 1950’s he established a Jazz school to help young players develop an interest in Traditional Jazz by providing guidance and support from established players.

    Joined the Port Jackson Jazz Band in 1956, but returned to the Paramount Band in 1960. Became a member of Graeme Bell All Stars in 1962 playing Tuba, Bass and Banjo until moving to Newcastle in 1976.

    After returning to Sydney in 1981, he joined the Eclipse Alley Five in 1982 and was a founder member of the New Wolverine Jazz Orchestra in 1984, he is still playing with both of these groups

    He has been a Jazz presenter on local FM radio for the past 17 years, and he, and Graeme Bell are Co-Patrons of The Sydney Jazz Club.

    In 2010 he received the OAM for Service to the performing arts as a Jazz Musician and as a mentor of emerging artists.

  • Bob Henderson

    Bob Henderson

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact:0409 908 690

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Instruments:Trumpet & Flugel horn


    Bob Henderson was born in Sydney Bob grew up in country New South Wales and learnt cornet in a Municipal Band when he was ten. He played trumpet in dance bands in the ’60s and ’70s, he played jazz, rock and country with leading bands in the Newcastle club and cabaret scene working with many top Australian and International artists.

    Bob played in theatre and touring shows and worked regularly in television and recording bands, also studying classical trumpet for several years.

    Graeme Bell invited Bob to join the All Stars in 1979 and during the 1980s and ’90s they performed extensively throughout Australia and overseas, recording numerous albums.

    As a freelance professional musician for many years he has performed with name bands including the Warren Daly Big Band, Don Burrows, the Bob Gibson Orchestra, the Ed Wilson Big Band, Len and Bob Barnard, Col Nolan, George Washingmachine, Tom Baker, Marie Wilson, Janet Seidel, the Mell-O-Tones Orchestra, the Café Society and the Ozcats.

    He leads his Band on private and corporate gigs and has a successful Saturday gig at Tailors On Central in Sydney.

  • Peter Johnson

    Peter Johnson

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 9817 5933

    Website: www.riversidejazzband.webuda.com

    Instruments: Clarinet, bass clarinet, banjo & vocals

    MidnightChooChoo

    “Midnight Choo Choo”


    Peter, born in England was smitten by jazz at about age ten. He met Sidney Bechet in France (Juan Les Pins, not far from Antibes) in France in 1957. He formed his first (jug) band in Canada in 1962, playing banjo and kazoo. After marrying his Australian wife in Canada, he came to live in Australia in 1974.

    Playing clarinet he formed the Riverside Jazz Band in 1976 and hasn’t stopped playing since. Along the way Peter has been a member of Greg Enlglert’s Ozz Jazz, The Peoria Jazz Band, The Old Blokes String Quintet and The Robbers Dogs Jazz Band.

    He has also provided small groups for new Woolworths store openings in NSW and also has organized up to 20 trios for Bunnings hardware stores for Anzac Day for several years.

    Peter leads his own trio, quartet and larger groups when required. They perform at private functions as well as at pubs, clubs, weddings, divorces and shopping centres.

  • Neil Macbeth

    Neil Macbeth

    Location:New South Wales

    Contact: 02 9314 5866

    Instruments: Drums


    Began playing jazz with kindred spirits at Sydney University and was a foundation member of the Black Opal Jazz Band. In the early 1960s he spent time in Melbourne as the drummer with Frank Traynor’s Jazz Preachers at the Melbourne Jazz Club and other gigs.

    On his return to Sydney he rejoined the Opals and has played with a great variety of other groups. Since 1986 he has been a member of the New Wolverine Jazz Orchestra and has toured with that band in the U.S plus festivals at Edinburgh and Brecon.

    He is still with the NWJO and a smaller group, Sydney Swing.

  • Geoff Power

    Geoff Power

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 0419 290 565

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Web: gnjmusic.customer.netspace.net.au

    Facebook: Geoff Power

    MySpace: Geoff Power Jazz

    Instruments: Cornet, trombone, Tuba and vocals.

    In A Persian Market

    “In a Persian Market”

     


    Geoff (cornet,trombone,tuba,vocals) is one of Australia ‘s finest young Traditional Jazz musicians, having played with musicians of the calibre of Bob Barnard, Tom Baker, James Morrison, Don Burrows, The New Wolverine Jazz Orchestra and many others. He has appeared as a featured soloist at festivals and jazz clubs throughout Australia, Europe and the USA.

    His debut CD, “Aspects Of Power’, was nominated for an Australian Recording Industry Award ( ARIA ) in 2000 under the “Best Jazz Album” category. His band, Geoff Power’s Classic Jazz, appeared at the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival in Davenport, Iowa, Bix’s birthplace, in July 2005.

    Geoff is also greatly interested in jazz education, and has many years’ experience working with school jazz bands and musicians.

  • Carol Ralph

    Carol Ralph

    Location: New South Wales

    Email:Click here to send an email

    Instruments: Vocals

    Your Mother’s Son In Law

    “Your Mother’s Son in Law”

     


    “Carol Ralph is considered by many musicians and fans to be a fine traditional singer of blues and gospel tunes. She is equally at home in more mainstream settings and enjoys different styles of music. Carol is in great demand at festivals throughout Australia, and usually performs as a featured singer, with a love of life, people and singing adding to her great stage presence. Hers is a natural talent and although her favourites include Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Mahalia Jackson, Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughan, obvious influences are not evident to listeners.”

  • Trevor Rippingale

    Trevor Rippingale

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 – 9948 6802

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Instruments: Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Vocals


    Trevor Rippingale plays clarinet, saxophones and flute. He’s worked in many of Australia’s best-known jazz and dance bands, and in groups ranging from Johnny O’Keefe and the Dee Jays in the 50s, to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra more recently. He’s played theatre-pit and studio work, leads the internationally recognised New Wolverine Jazz Orchestra, and has recorded and toured with his own and other groups around Australia, the USA, UK, Europe, Thailand and the Pacific.

  • Alan Solomon

    Alan Solomon

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 9876 2476

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Instruments: Reeds & Flute

    Front Page Rag

    “Front Page Rag”

     


    Alan Solomon is one of Sydney’s leading reed players who began his musical career playing flute in a school band.

    His early influences came from hearing jazz & swing band recordings on radio.

    He subsequently became prominent in the Dance Hall and Club scene during the 1960s & 70s.

    One of his early traditional jazz jobs was with the Zenith Jazz Band, but since that time he has worked with various groups including Bob Barnard and Geoff Power. He formed his own “All Star” group during the early 2000s, subsequently releasing two excellent CDs.

    Alan toured Australia and New Zealand with the great American clarinettist Peanuts Hucko, and is currently a member of the popular big band the Mell-O-Tones.

  • Lawrie Thompson

    Lawrie Thompson

    Contact: 0413 317 717

    Instruments: Drums


    Born in Melbourne – he studied piano before taking up drums and eventually leading the Southern City Jazz Band.

    In 1963, Graeme Bell invited him to join his famous “All Stars” in Sydney. Upon returning some years later from England, Lawrie worked accompanying international artists in Bill Burton’s Orchestra. After a stint with Galapagos Duck, he joined the Don Burrows Quartet, touring Japan and Asia and recording the award winning album ‘Don Burrows Live at the Sydney Opera House.’

    Over the following two decades, Lawrie toured USA, Europe and Asia many times with the famous Bob Barnard Jazz Band, with John McCarthy, Chris Taperell, John Costelloe and Wally Wickham The band recorded many albums including a happy session with the Kenny Ball Band titled ‘The Bulldog and the Kangaroo’. Another album by the band was cut with visiting tenor legend Bud Freeman, on which Lawrie and Bud played a duet – the only other drummers known to record in duets with Bud were Dave Tough and Cliff Leeman The following years saw Lawrie working on daytime television in the Mike Walsh and Ray Martin Midday Show bands, yet still being able to play jazz dates and tour.

    A highlight was being on the road with the great jazz icon Billy Eckstine – a memorable experience. While currently playing with Bob Henderson’s Quartet, Lawrie leads ‘The Ozcats’, a 9 piece hot band similar to the great Bob Crosby Bobcats, and is often seen in Sydney’s leading New Orleans and Mainstream styled bands.

  • George Washingmachine

    George Washingmachine

    Location: New South Wales

    Email: Click here to send an email

    Web: www.washingmachine.com.au

    Instruments: Violin, Double Bass, Guitar, Vocals


    “Singing and fiddling aside, George is a multi-instrumentalist – proficient on double bass, guitar or anything with strings! George is also a sought after MC – and has hosted Jazz in the Domain several times, as well as The Darling Harbour Jazz Festival and presented concerts at The Thredbo Jazz Festival and the Taronga Park Zoo New Year’s Eve Party. George has also worked in TV and radio. You may have heard George as the voice behind the recent Banana Boat campaign, or his fiddle playing & scatting on the Uncle Toby’s campaign. George is also a composer in his own right.

    He recently composed the music for the Qantas Business Class Lounge commercial and has written everything from Rock and Roll Nursery rhymes for Mr Squiggle to music for the Bell Shakespeare Company. To top it all off, George can also bring years of acting experience to your event. George’s acting gigs include guest roles on TV shows like Chances and A Country Practice. He also worked in theatre, playing Guildenstern in Neil Armfield’s production of Hamlet – where he shared the stage with Richard Roxborough, Geoffrey Rush, David Wenham, Jacqueline McKenzie,and a host of other acting luminaries.

    Many moons ago, George even took over the role of Jake Blues from Russell Crowe in the official tribute to the Blues Brothers, produced by Paul Dainty.”

  • Frank Watts

    Frank Watts

    Location: New South Wales

    Contact: 02 4324 7696

    Instruments: Piano

    Tea For Two

    “Tea For Two”

     


    Frank grew up in Brisbane where his first exposure to jazz was at high school dancing classes ( Benny Goodman small-group recordings were used for quicksteps and foxtrots). Teddy Wilson was a revelation.

    Further exposure to jazz consisted mainly of radio programs ( Rhythm Unlimited on ABC with Eric Child and Bob Rodgers on commercial radio pre-Elvis), plus the occasional jazz concert at the old stadium by visiting Sydney bands and the more occasional visit by overseas stars.These influences were supplemented by recordings from the sparse array available in Brisbane at the time.

    Migration to Sydney was inevitable and resulted in invaluable experience playing in suburban halls, pubs, clubs and on cruise ships. Frank has filled the piano chair with several Sydney bands including those of Paul Furniss, Eric Holroyd, Mike Hallam and The Eclipse Alley Five (Sydney’s longest running band).

    Frank moved to the Central Coast in 1996 and often appears with various bands at the Central Coast Leagues Club for the Central Coast Jazz League’s concert on Sunday afternoons.

    Frank currently works with the Mike Hallam Hot Six and Hot Five groups at venues across Sydney as well as various Jazz Festivals. This combined with casual music jobs keeps him more than occupied.