Touted by many as the new ‘Queen of Aussie Rock’, Nicole Hawkins, frontwoman and singer-songwriter of GRANDHOUR (who were recently crowned ‘Australian Independent Rock Artist of the year’), will captivate you with her emotive vocals. A blend of sensitivity, storytelling, power and raw emotion makes Nicole a vocalist who demands the attention of her audience.
As one of the country’s most talented emerging songwriters, there is a refreshing honesty in Nicole’s emotionally thoughtful lyrics, whether written from a place of heartbreak or hope. Nicole’s influences stem from artists such as Carole King, Jeff Buckley, Queen, Led Zepplin, INXS, Chris Cornell & U2 to name a few. Writing songs since the age of 12, at 18 she was selected as a winning songwriter for the International Year Of Tolerance National Songwriting Competition and her original song was included on a commercially released CD with the likes of Kate Cebrano & Died Pretty.
Nicole was immersed into the world of music at a young age with a father who is a Jazz musician. Her first instrument was piano, and although she began with the Suzuki ear training method and performed at the Sydney Opera House, Nicole didn’t continue with formal classical musical training, instead opting for guitar as her instrument of choice to accompany her songwriting; preferring the freedom of basic training and self-experimentation. Vocally, Nicole has worked with various teachers including David Jaanz and studied under Ken Taplin’s rock vocal method.
A born performer, Nicole has performed her original music in venues around Melbourne and supported the likes of Bic Runga, Shawn Mullins, Russel Morris, Dallas Crane, Karnavool, performed as backing vocalist with Christine Anu on National television and performed the Australian Anthem to a crowd of 35,000 people at the Drag Racing Nationals to a standing ovation. Although she loves recording in the studio, Nicole’s favourite place is on the stage performing – it is her happy place – whether performing on a large stage with a rock band or in an intimate solo or duo setting.
Nicole is currently recording the second album with her band GRANDHOUR and is working on a new duo project ‘DIAMOND & NIGHTHAWK’ which promises to display another side of Nicole’s songwriting and musical style.
What others have said:
“You can’t help thinking of some of the female legends of rock like Lita Ford or Pat Benatar when you hear Nicole sing”
- Black Velvet Magazine – UK
“[GRANDHOUR’S] sensational debut sits nicely alongside other female-fronted rock acts such as Halestorm, NR, RD & Benetar.”
– Mark Donnelly, Rocktopia
“Fabulous diverse vocals from Nicole Hawkins, a lady who has a set of pipes up there with the best of them.”
Born in New York City in 1971, Jack Jones arrived in Australia as a ten-year-old. Even as a youngster, Jack began showing an incredible talent with his guitar playing. At fourteen Jack was already playing professionally in both cover and original bands. At the same time, he was earning a reputation as a very accomplished and well-respected studio musician.
After heading back to the United States for several years to further study his craft, Jack eventually returned to Australia and joined the successful 90’s band ‘Southern Sons’ as lead singer/guitarist. With hits such as “Heart In Danger”, “Always & Ever”, “Hold Me In Your Arms”, “Waiting For That Train”, “I Can’t Wait Any Longer”, “Lead Me To Water”, “Silent Witnesses”, and “You Were There”. His vocal ability was highly praised by both fans and musical peers alike.
He not only enjoyed success in Australia, but in Asia, Canada, Germany, and pockets throughout Europe confirming he was a major talent worthy of recognition. He has toured and recorded as singer/guitarist with the likes of John Farnham, Glen Shorrock (Little River Band), Tina Arena, Tommy Emmanuel, James Reyne, Rick Price, Merryl Bainbridge, Graham Goble (Little River Band), Richard Clapton, Gary Garry Beers (INXS), Dweezil Zappa, Ahmet Zappa, Jeff Jacobs (Foreigner), Schuyler Deale (Michael Bolton, Billy Joel), Crystal Talefiero (Billy Joel), Deb Byrne, Kylie Minogue, Doc Neeson, Stoolz Roachman & the Idiot Sevilles, Renee Geyer, Bachelor Girl, Anthony Warlow and countless others…
Jack has featured in a number of CCEntertainment shows including “Whole Lotta Love” and “Beggars Banquet”.
Vanessa is a violinist, composer and arranger based in Sydney, Australia.
Having composed scores for numerous short films, Vanessa applied to undertake studies at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 2011. She completed the year with a Graduate Certificate in Screen Music and was shortlisted for the 2011 European Union Film Award. Vanessa’s diverse performing experience, including classical, rock, pop and world music, has influenced her compositional style. She likes to experiment with new sounds and textures to strike a balance between acoustic and synthesised instruments.
Vanessa started playing the violin at the age of 3, having won eisteddfods and scholarships including into secondary school and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she studied with Associate Professor Goetz Richter.
Vanessa is a versatile performer in both classical and popular genres. As a soloist and/or part of an ensemble, she has recorded numerous albums, soundtracks and TVCs. These include productions for the Sydney Theatre Company, NIDA and the Sydney Film Festival, films Gabriel and Happy Feet 2, and the game Soul Calibur V. She has also performed at live and televised events for such artists as Leona Lewis, Goldfrapp and Lior. Vanessa also enjoys playing contemporary classical music, having premiered new works by up-and-coming Australian composers.
Vanessa is currently being mentored by Australian film composer Antony Partos (Animal Kingdom, The Slap) of Sonar Music, as part of the Screen Music Mentorship awarded to her in 2012 by Women In Film & TV NSW. She is the recipient of the 2012 Johnny Dennis Music Award for Best Instrumental Piece, awarded by the Australian Guild of Screen Composers.
British born Ian Tilley arrived in Australia at the height of the 80’s music scene and in 1992 became the Sydney-based Bass player for Boom Crash Opera. Touring the region extensively and recording 4 Albums with the band before departing in 2016. Ian has also performed in CCE’s The Great Gig In The Sky, CCE’s 1976, Steve Balbis Black Rainbow, Jenny Morris and Jon Stevens.
Casper Tromp graduated in jazz piano at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam in 2012. He’s currently based in Sydney, Australia.
After a broad classical training on piano and recorder, Casper began improvising and writing his own piano music under the tutorship of Albert van Veenendaal. While studying his first degree – Industrial Design – he kept developing his improvisation and composing skills, plus organised international jazz festivals. Straight after graduating, he was accepted into the Amsterdam Conservatorium. During his 4 years there he studied and played an eclectic mix of jazz, classical, pop and world music. These influences inevitably found their way into his style of composing and playing.
Listen to his music and you’ll find that Casper combines the energy and spontaneity of jazz with the sounds of pop and modern classical. He draws a lot of his inspiration from Bebop, Ravel and Messiaen, plus the structure of industrial design. His pieces leave space for and inspire creative improvisation, while still telling a story and maintaining clarity.
Casper has had the opportunity to study jazz with a.o. Albert van Veenendaal, Hans Vroomans, Harmen Fraanje, Karel Boehlee and Kris Goessens, plus classical music with Daniël Kramer. He was in master classes by John and Gerald Clayton, John Beasley, David Linx and Danilo Rea. Apart from working on his own music with Black Tulip, Casper works as a freelance pianist with, among others, Lionel Cole, Gregg Arthur, Craig Scott, Cameron Reid and Hannah James.