Katie Yap, Viola

Katie Yap, Viola

Katie is a violist embarking on a many-faceted career. She has recently been appointed Associate Principal Viola with Orchestra Victoria, and in the last few years has been a part of programs such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Emerging Artist Program, the Australian World Orchestra, the Australian National Academy of Music, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Academy, among many others.

She has always had a passion for creating her own music, composing casually through university and more recently, exploring improvisation in many forms. Katie has been involved in many recordings, both classical and popular, most recently of folk artist Packwood’s mammoth four-part album, Vertumnus.

Her love of music stems from its capacity to communicate to many different kinds of people, across languages and cultures.

Talia Browne, Percussion

Talia Browne, Percussion

Since she was 19 Talia Browne has been studying percussion with premier and renowned Sri Lankan born percussionist Ray Pereira.

In 2002/03 Talia traveled to Ghana, West Africa to study intensively with the Nii Tetty Tetteh and the KUSUN Ensemble. After 6 months of intense training in West African percussion, Talia returned to Australia to further her studies with Ray Pereira, playing with the African Ensemble ‘Owusu’ from 2003-05.

In 2008 in Talia joined the Afro-Pop band Keshie, since the start of the project they have graced such stages at festivals around Australia including St.Kilda Fest, Head lined at Yakandanda Folk Festival, Food Bowl Festival, ShepArton Arts Fest, Healsville Fest, MOOMBA Melbourne, and the Tasmainian Taste Festival NYE two years running.

In 2009 she was invited to tour with the band “Decoy” in New Caledonia, Noumea. Then again 2012, with original Techno outfit Rex ‘N’ Chappo playing side by side with renowned Jazz musicians; bassist Phillp Rex and Saxophonist Ian Chaplin.

Talia has travelled to Sri Lanka twice to study Sri Lankan rhythms and most currently the 2012/13 Summer festival season saw Talia playing with either her original alt-pop band Zikora or afro-pop band Keshie at such festivals as Queenscliff Music Festival, Port Fairy Folk festival, The International Harp Congress, Anglesea Music Festival and the local annual Yarraville Festival.

Benjamin Calderazzo, Fender Rhodes / Hammond Organ

Benjamin Calderazzo, Fender Rhodes / Hammond Organ

Coming from a musical family, Ben studied piano, guitar & theory until settling predominately as a jazz guitarist, playing with successful acts Hot Club Swing and Shandelle Cooke, also releasing albums with both. He also plays latin percussion with big bands and smaller ensembles and is a composer, having contributed music for short films as well as pioneering his own original soul/gospel outfit Bamboozle.

Ben is also the recipient of the Young Composer Award at the National Jazz Convention. He teaches at the esteemed Kardinia International College and is very much in demand for sessions, recordings and gigs, Ben has devoted his life to music and pours his heart and soul into every thing he does.

Jerome Smith, Bass

Jerome Smith, Bass

Jerome Smith, born in New York City, grew up in Harlem. Raised on soul and country & western music by his father T.J; a sax player from South Carolina. Steeped in gospel music by his mother Lenora, a devout Baptist and choir singer from Georgia. From the age of 7 Jerome knew he was destined to play bass. His exposure to music was vast and constant. His influences are wide ranging.Growing up just blocks away from the Apollo Theater, he saw the greatest performers there and studied Vaudeville, Tap and comedy.

After years of the public primary school music curriculum and a few years at Riverdale Country School, where he met William Galison and began playing bass guitar in his band, Jerome developed his own special style.

By age 15, he landed a gig with Kathie McDonald and was off to San Francisco. That was the beginning to a long, colorful career of touring and recording.

He was soon working with groups like The Manhattans, The Persuaders, Eddie Floyd, and Rufus Thomas. He co-wrote and recorded as a member of the New York rock group “Body Bag” which led to work with Mick Jagger, followed by gigs with Divinyls and then Keith Richard. Jerome moved to Sydney Australia 1996 where he worked with Bridie King, Billy Thorpe, Jackie Orsaczky, Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss.

After moving to Melbourne in 2001, Jerome formed his next original band “Ronimo”, which has performed at many different venues and festivals including The Melbourne International Blues festival, Wangaratta Jazz Festival and a few times at the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival.

He was also musical director for “Rock for The Roses” charity event for Cystic Fibrosis, where he and his mates Tex, Don And Charlie, The Screaming Jets, The Kelly Gang, and Rose Tattoo all donated their time and talent out of respect for Jerome and dedication to humanity and such a worthy cause.

Jerome has a number of projects that suit many different venues and occasions. Jerome’s music is a diverse and irresistible collection of old and new, blues, rock, funk, dance, and even the occasional dash of reggae, R&B and Jazz.

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