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Evelyn Duprai

Tim Rollinson

29/3/2017 Donny McCaslin Group One Night Only in Sydney

With three Grammy nominations and twelve albums to his name, saxophonist Donny McCaslin is widely regarded as one of jazz’s most innovative artists and band leaders. In 2014, David Bowie  made a visit to hear McCaslin and company at the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village. Soon after, Bowie began corresponding with McCaslin, forming a new collaboration and friendship that transpired through the recording of Blackstar until Bowie’s passing. Now McCaslin has released the much acclaimed album Beyond Now, which documents “David Bowie’s Last Band” and features an exceptional group of musicians.
“Replacing Michael Brecker in Steps Ahead back in the 90s, and making an especially telling contribution to the orchestral sweep of Maria Schneider’s Orchestra, McCaslin has led a string of small bands of distinction. The most recent, with keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Mark Guiliana had already become one of the signature bands of the day, playing a free-wheeling, grooving form of electric jazz, before being heard by Bowie in a tiny New York bar and thence providing the instrumental muscle behind his final recording, with the singer plugging into the band’s ‘intensely responsive metabolism’” -  (New York Times)
The Basement Wed 31st May 2017

29/3/2017 Gregory Porter Returns to Sydney

Gregory Porter, the Grammy winning Jazz, soul, and gospel singer, returns to Australia after a sell-out tour last September!
Celebrating Take Me To The Alley (2016), the much-anticipated follow-up to his sensational 2013 Blue Note debut Liquid Spirit; the charismatic Californian will be here to breathe life, vitality, fun, and excitement into the musical genres he has loved from boyhood; ever since Nat “King” Cole entered his heart.
 It is this passion and dedication that has led Gregory Porter to sign with Blue Note Records, collaborating with renowned musicians including Van Morrison and Stevie Wonder, building and broadening his audience of music lovers internationally.
Enmore Theatre Wed 12th April 2017

29/3/2017 Influential Guitarist Bill Frisell in Sydney

Guitarist and composer Bill Frisell is a revered musician and Grammy® award-winner whose career spans more than 35 years and 250 recordings. Recognised as one of America’s most vital and productive performing artists, this bold and inventive musician has stayed true to jazz, but that hasn’t prevented him from trying his hand at avant-garde, noise, bop, folk, country, bluegrass, rock, blues, American popular music and even classical music.
Frisell is a twelve-time Best Guitarist winner in the Down Beat Critics Poll (including 2013), a four-time Guitarist of the Year at the Jazz Awards (including 2013) and has collaborated with artists and ensembles as diverse as Sting, Rickie Lee Jones, Elvis Costello, Bono, T-Bone Burnett, Marianne Faithful, Paul Motian, Ron Carter, Eberhard Weber, John Zorn, Dave Holland, Lucinda Williams, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Brian Eno, Paul Simon, The Frankfurt Ballet, BCC Symphony Orchestra and The Los Angeles Philharmonic.
In concert, Frisell is joined on stage by vocalist Petra Haden (The Decemberists, Beck, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age), bass player Thomas Morgan (Paul Motian, Dave Binney Quartet, Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet) and drummer Rudy Royston (Branford Marsalis, Dave Douglas, The Mingus Big Band).
The concert includes music from Bill’s latest Grammy® nominated release, When You Wish Upon a Star – featuring his interpretations of classic American cinema music from Hitchcock’s Psycho through to Ennio Morricone ‘s score to Once Upon A Time In The West, via Nino Rota ‘s music for The Godfather.
“Bill Frisell is the most innovative and influential jazz guitarist of the past 25 years.” The Wall Street Journal
“Frisell is a revered figure among musicians – like Miles Davis and few others…” The New York Times
York Theatre Seymour Centre 3rd June 2017-03-29

29/3/2017 Kenny Barron to play The Basement

Kenny Barron is unrivalled in his ability to mesmerise audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and dynamic rhythms.
Spotted by Dizzy Gillespie when still in his teens, Barron has illuminated the jazz world for over five decades, working with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz and Roy Haynes.
Named by Los Angeles Times as "one of the top jazz pianists in the world", Barron has received nine Grammy nominations, six Best Pianist Awards from the Jazz Journalists Association, and consistently won jazz critics and readers polls in Downbeat, Jazz Times and Jazziz magazines. He was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame in 2005 and as an NEA Jazz Master in 2010.
With deep respect for the jazz tradition and irrepressible warmth and creativity, this unforgettable performance will feature works from Barron's most recent Grammy-nominated release, Book of Intuition.
Thursday 1st June 2017

29/1/2017 Aussie Divas Sing for First Lady of Song

Seven of Australia's best female singers come together in a concert at The Sydney Opera House to pay tribute to the Queen of Jazz, the late Ella Fitzgerald, otherwise known as ‘The First Lady of Song’. The 'Sophisticated Ladies' event, will feature Lady Cool, Amanda Easton, Joy Yates, Evelyn Duprai, Liza Ohlback, Dahlia Dior, and Liz Tobias who will return to her homeland from the US especially for the show. It will be held at The Studio with a matinee and evening performance on Saturday May 6.
Presented by The Satin Sound Lounge, this concert follows a sold out event in 2015 paying tribute to jazz legend Billie Holiday. That show, ‘Ladies Sing the Blues’ was the Opera House debut for the production team, which is comprised of Sydney-based singers Tamarind Elkin and Amanda Easton. Their aim is to put on events combining music and charity.
2017 marks 100 years since the birth of Lady Ella (April 25,1917), one of the greatest influences on singers of all races and genres, and a 13 time Grammy Award winner with more than 40 million album sales. Having famously beaten a disadvantaged childhood and troubled teenage years to achieve international success, it is fitting that the concert will raise awareness and funds for Lifeline. Lifeline is a nationalcharityproviding all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Performing under the moniker 'Lady Cool', Tamarind Elkin has performed her jazzy take on pop and rock classics all over Australia. She has also graced stages in musical and cabaret shows internationally and wanted to present this concert to raise funds for Lifeline because of her own experience with depression.
"From my experience of having suffered depression, music can feel like a saving grace and a lifeline. Jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald have brought meaning to my life and its an honour to perform her music, alongside my wishlist of singers, in the venue that is our country's cultural icon," Elkin said.
According to US-based Adelaide-born Tobias:“When I was 14 years old, my singing teacher sent me home with a cassette tape of Ella Fitzgerald in concert with the Count Basie Orchestra. I wore the cassette ribbon out within just a few days. Ella is the reason I'm a jazz singer today. The very least I can do for her is fly back to my home country and sing her praises to my fellow Aussies!”
The two hour show will feature popular jazz standards from the Great American Songbook, with each artist performing individual sets with a live band. It will feature classics like ‘Lady is a Tramp’, ‘Mac the Knife’ and ‘Cheek to Cheek’. The event will culminate in a finale featuring all the artists performing together on stage.
'Sophisticated Ladies' will be held on Friday May 6 at 2:15pm and 8:15pm at The Studio at the Sydney Opera House. Tickets are $79/$69 (concession) plus booking fees and are available from the Opera House. $5 from every ticket goes to the Lifeline charity. Sydneyoperahouse.com.au
Sophisticated Ladies: A Tribute to 100 Years of Ella Fitzgerald
The Band
Double Bass: Elsen Price
Piano: Tim Bruer
Guitar: Tim Rollinson
Drums: Tim Bradley
The Vocalists
Dahlia Dior
Dahlia began her international career at Paris' Olympia and prominent international clubs… also studied at London’s RADA. Dahlia graduated with Masters in Musicology, from Macquarie University, Sydney, performed
with Ray Charles, Matt Monroe, Blood, Sweat and Tears… “A consummate performer; an
astonishing singer, with commanding theatrical presence”.   Show Biz critic Brad Syke. www.dahliadior.com
Amanda Easton
Amanda has toured Australia as well as Europe and Asia, with her own theatrical pop garnering national TV and radio airplay. With 5commercial releases under her belt, she has also performed alongside artists like Richard Clapton, Marcia Hines, Wendy Matthews and Powderfinger.   www.amandaeaston.com
Liza Ohlback
Winner of 3 Chain Awards from the Australian Blues Awards in 2013 for her album Trouble Goin’ Down, Liza has a voice that can ‘howl, growl or soothe your furrowed brow’ (99.3fm). She is a constant performer at major venues and festivals and has toured with artists like John Paul Young, Tony Neville (Neville Brothers), Paulini and Regina Velasquez.   www.lizaohlback.com
Evelyn Duprai
Performing as a soloist both locally and abroad with Australian Jazz Legend James Morrison since 06, and more recently with James’s Motown Blues ensemble at festivals around Australia. Evelyn has recently channeled her passion and performance experience into a book entitled ‘Beyond Your Voice’, which was a number 1 bestseller in the Voice Category on Amazon in its first month of publication. www.evelynduprai.com
Joy Yates
Her international career includes a successful run with vocal group Bones in the UK, a period of progressive pop with highly acclaimed rock orchestra Esperanto, the formation of jazz-fusion band Pacific Eardrum with Dave MacRae, Jubilation the jazz gospel vocal ensemble, her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, and a critically acclaimed collaboration with daughter Jade MacRae for Bloodlines. http://www.joyyates-davemacrae.com/
Liz Tobias
Described by Quincy Jones as “a breath of fresh air on the world jazz stage”. Liz is the recipient of multiple International Jazz Awards including; the Jazz Voicingers Award (Poland), Jazz Voices (Lithuania) and the National Jazz Awards (Australia). Currently teaching in the USA, whilst pursuing a Doctorate of Music (on full
scholarship) from the New England Conservatory, and is an Artist in Residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  www.liztobias.com
Lady Cool
Named after ‘Lady Day’, Lady Cool has held stage in Australia, Europe,Asia and the U.S.A, including Radio and T.V appearances. Her debutE.P Chillaxing and Music Video DVD Simply Irresistible is available through Birdland Records. While performing the lead female role in Valentino The Musical in Manhattan, John Jordon a New York reviewer wrote “when she was not on stage I missed her.. ..simply beautiful was she”. www.ladycool.com.au
Ella, The First Lady Of Song, Turns 100.
From her humble beginnings, born of unmarried parents in 1917, The Great Migration of African Americans (from the South, to North & mid-West USA) gave Ella a fighting chance in life. Living in poverty and instability, her family’s dedication to the church and Sunday school was Ella’s initial formal musical training. Much like Billie Holiday, her first jazz influence was listening to the recordings of Louis Armstrong, with whom she later enjoyed a powerful lifelong famous ‘Ella & Louis’ collaboration.
Losing her mother at age 15, Ella set off at 16 to Harlem, where she began to sing on the street. Working for a bordello and association with the mafia had her arrested and placed in reformatory asylums for ‘Colored Orphans’. At age 17, she escaped the asylums in exchange for homelessness. That’s when, despite her dishevelled appearance, she made her singing debut and won 1st prize at Harlem’s famous Amateur Night at The Apollo Theatre. Moving from there to the Harlem Opera House and Savoy Ballroom, she recorded 150 songs with the Chick Webb Orchestra, and fronted the Count Basie, and Benny Goodman Orchestras. Though her ‘unkempt’ nature was unappealing to many, The New York Times later described her as a ‘diamond in the rough’.
Influenced heavily by working with Dizzy Gillespie in the new bebop era, Ella introduced to her performances what has famously become her signature...Scat singing.Of this she said, "I just tried to do what I heard the horns in the band doing.”Her 1945 Scat recording of Flying Home was described by The New York Times as "One of the most influential vocal jazz records of the decade’.
Touring 40 to 45 weeks per year in the USA and internationally, crowned her one of the world’s leading live jazz performers. In 1975, Frank Sinatra was lured out of retirement to perform with Ella in Las Vegas and on Broadway, where they grossed $100,000 in 2 weeks. During her rich and ever changing career, Ella made many film and television appearances, including the Frank Sinatra Show, and worked alongside greats: Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Sarah Vaughn, Karen Carpenter, Quincy Jones, and Australia’s Dame Joan Sutherland.
After being hospitalized for exhaustion in 1990, Ella performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Due to diabetes, she had both legs amputated below the knee, and spent her final days confined to a wheelchair with failing eyesight, in the garden of her Beverly Hills Mansion, surrounded by her loved ones at age 79. In the years since we lost Ella, multiple musicians have paid tribute to her music and legacy including Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, KD Lang, Queen Latifah, Roberta Flack, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder.
Ella was a supporter of many charities and in 1993 established the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. In 1958 Ella was the first African American female to win at the Inaugural Show. She won thirteen Grammy Awards including one for her famous improvised performance of ‘Mac The Knife’, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1967.
2017 marks 100 years since the birth of Ella Fitzgerald.
On Saturday 6Th May, seven of Australia’s Divas will pay tribute to the great ‘Mother Of Jazz’ at none other than the Sydney Opera House with proceeds going to Lifeline. Having influenced singers and musicians of all genres, we pay our deepest and sincerest respects to Ella and graciously thank her for paving the way. Her unique style, enchanting sound, combined with humility, humour, and generosity of spirit, is what is intoxicating about Ella. Her music played throughout the world, keeps her very much alive!
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