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Bernie McGann (1937-2013)  
Bernie McGann
Bernie McGann
Bernie McGann - The passing of an Australian Jazz Legend
Australian has lost a unique, world class jazz talent, saxophonist Bernie McGann, who died on Tuesday 17 September 2013 from complications following heart surgery. He was 76.
McGann is a legend in Australia and would undoubtedly have been more widely renowned had he been based in the USA.
He turned his back on life as a full time working musician, preferring to work as a postman in Bundeena and practise his music amongst the trees of the national park.

     Read more...here .

Dave Brubeck (1920-2012)  

Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck dead at 91 (Dec 6, 1920 – Dec 5, 2012)
Dave Brubeck, best known for his recording of "Take Five", was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered to be one of the foremost exponents of progressive jazz.
He wrote a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mother's attempts at classical training and his improvisational skills. His music is known for employing unusual time signatures, and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities.

Between Music and Medicine  

Robert Gupta
Between music and medicine
Robert Gupta - TED Talk April 2012

When Robert Gupta was caught between a career as a doctor and as a violinist, he realized his place was in the middle, with a bow in his hand and a sense of social justice in his heart. He tells a moving story of society’s marginalized and the power of music therapy, which can succeed where conventional medicine fails.

Edwin Duff (1928-2012)  

Edwin Duff
John Edwin Duff dies (4/6/1928 - 9/7/2012)
EDWIN Duff, one of numerous young ''Poms'' who emigrated to Australia and carved out a successful singing career - in his case, widely considered the doyen of the country's jazz singers - has died of a stroke in a nursing home in Vaucluse, Sydney. He was 84. An irrepressible talent, he sang with orchestras and with jazz bands, in coffee lounges, nightclubs, on cruise ships, in the United States and on Australian television, accompanying some of the great jazz personalities of his age. It was a career that continued into his old age, a loved and admired figure.

Graeme Bell (1914-2012)  

Graeme Bell
Death of an Australian Jazz Legend
On Wednesday June 13th 2012 we lost iconic Australian jazz pianist, composer and band leader, Graeme Bell. He died of a stroke aged 97. His band, The Australian Jazz Band, was one of the earliest bands to present Australian jazz to UK and Europe in the 1940s. In recognition of his valuable service to jazz music he was made an M.B.E. in 1978 and was presented with the Order of Australia in 1990 for "service to music, particularly jazz".

What is a mistake?  

Stefon Harris at TED
  There are no mistakes on the bandstand

In November 2011 jazz musician Stefon Harris was one of the presenters at the prestigious TED conference. He explored the proposition "There are no mistakes on the bandstand". What is a mistake? By talking through examples with his improvisational Jazz quartet, he walks us to a profound truth: many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don't react to them appropriately.

View on the TED website or via YouTube

Buying a CD - the licence and your rights?  
  I Bought a CD, not a Licensing Agreement
Can the licence for personal use of the digital data on the CD I bought work in my favour? Not Likely! Read this short and clever article on the hypocrisy of the music industry. (more..)


RIAA - For INTERNAL Use Only  
  RIAA - For INTERNAL Use Only
The Recording Industry Association of America is a group which represents the recording industry distributors in the United States. Much like AMCOS/APRA in Australia it participates in the collection, administration and distribution of music licenses and royalties. In the eyes of some the RIAA goes too far in safeguarding the copyright of artists (more..)

New Jimi Hendrix  album  
New Jimi Hendrix album to be releases on 8th March 2010
A new Jimi Hendrix album featuring a host of unreleased studio material is to be released on March 8, 2010.
Tracks featured on 'Valleys Of Neptune', which is produced by Hendrix's stepsister Janie, along with John McDermott and Eddie Kramer, include covers of Cream's 'Sunshine Of Your Love' and Elmore James' 'Bleeding Heart'.
Jimi Hendrix
The tracklisting for 'Valleys of Neptune' is...
'Stone Free'
'Valleys Of Neptune'
'Bleeding Heart'
'Hear My Train A Comin’'
'Mr. Bad Luck'
'Sunshine Of Your Love'
'Lover Man'
'Ships Passing Through The Night'
'Red House'
'Lullaby For The Summer'
'Crying Blue Rain'

Rest in peace, Su Cruickshank  

Su Cruickshank
  Australia's "Queen Of Jazz" dead at 63
On the night of Tuesday 8th Dec 2009 we lost one of Australia's great entertainers. Our mate, iconic singer, comedienne, actress and all-round entertainer Su Cruickshank passed away aged 63 in Newcastle after battling a long illness.

She was given the unofficial title 'The Queen of Jazz' after hosting the Midsummer Festival of Jazz in Sydney's Domain for many years.
On Wednesday 16 December 2009 many musicians who have worked with Su over the years got together to pay tribute to her great life and work in the Jazz Dungeon at Adamstown, Newcastle.

Unreleased Jimi Hendrix Music  

Jimi Hendrix
Unreleased Jimi Hendrix Music On The Way
In an interview with Gibson about their new Jimi Hendrix-inspired guitar, Jimi’s sister Janie noted that there is still a decade’s worth of unreleased music and video to come from the legendary guitar player.
Janie Hendrix, the president and CEO of Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix, said she wants to
release new material every 12 to 18 months for the next ten years.

Mobile phone Rngtones and Copyright  
  Mobile phone Ringtones and Copyright
Is a mobile phone's ringtone infringing copyright every time it rings?

ASCAP which represents U.S. artists and songwriters, was suing AT&T and Verizon in a New York federal court and claimed that the mobile phone carriers were publicly performing the song when it enabled the ringtone to be downloaded by a music fan.
They contended that every time a mobile phone’s ringtone begins playing, copyright infringement starts happening since others can hear the song, essentially arguing that a mobile phone is a portable concert hall.
But U.S. District Judge Denise Cote wrote that “ASCAP has not shown any infringement of its members’ rights by the playing of ringtones in the public from Verizon’s customer’s telephones.” She ruled that “ASCAP has failed to raise a question of fact that the downloading of a ringtone from Verizon to a customer’s cellular telephone is a public performance of a musical work,” ....

Youtube and Copyright  
And Another Music Copyright Issue
You've probably noticed how the music industry worldwide has come down heavily on people illegally downloading music from the internet but you can go to Youtube.com and upload or download almost any music you like without anyone's permission. So I guess it's not surprising that a criminal investigation against Youtube has been launched in Germany on behalf of German music rights holders ... more


The choir that makes it rain  
  The choir that makes it rain
The Slovenian choir Perpetuum Jazzile, consisting of both female and male singers, performs jazz and popular music under the directorship of Tomaž Kozlevčar. Here they performed live at Vokal Xtravaganzza 2008 in October 2008.
In the introduction of this amazing performance of Toto's Africa the choir simulates a thunder storm with their hands and feet and in the songs members of the choir provide bass and drums using their voices in beatboxing style... View the video.

Tony King - Turning Wine into Water  
Turning Wine Into Water
Australian musician and composer Tony King's album
"The Wine Music" is made entirely of sounds produced by wine-related objects. He used wine barrels, bottles, glasses, and wine itself to produce beautiful ethereal tones which were sampled and played via a keyboard on his original work and some classics and he, no doubt, did some additional wine sampling to encourage the creative impulse.
Tony discovered that, although there is clean water metres underground in Ethiopian villages, people are dying after consuming contaminated water. He decided to give all the donations from those who download The Wine Music album for free towards getting a well dug. If you would like to help Tony to turn wine into water in this way and enjoy some gorgeous serene music in the process visit his website http://www.winemusic.biz/

Dame Vera Lynn storms into the top 20!  

Vera Lynn
  Dame Vera Lynn becomes the oldest living artist to make it into the Top Twenty.
At the age of 92, she entered the albums chart with We'll Meet Again - The Very Best of Vera Lynn.
The album was released to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the declaration of war. Entering the charts at number 20, she overtook U2, the Stone Roses and Eminem...
Dame Vera Lynn storms into the top 20!


Bobby McFerrin - the pentatonic scale  
The power of the pentatonic scale
Is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined? Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment? At the World Science Festival 2009 Bobby McFerrin beautifully demonstrated the Power of the Pentatonic Scale. Hosts John Schaefer, Jamshed Barucha, scientist Daniel Levitin, Professor Lawrence Parsons and Bobby McFerrin
provided live performances and cross cultural demonstrations to illustrate music's note-worthy interaction with the brain and our emotions. At the event "Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus", on June 12, 2009, Bobby McFerrin demonstrated the power and the universal nature of the pentatonic scale, using audience participation.

For more of Bobby McFerrin and the science behind this program, please view the full "Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus" event video at http://www.worldsciencefestival.com/video/notes-neurons-full

Unknown Mozart compositions found  
  Two new Mozart pieces discovered
Two previously unknown compositions written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart have been recently discovered and authenticated by the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg.
They have been identified as compositions of the young Mozart. The two pieces for piano are to be presented to the press on August 2. They will be performed by clavichordist Florian Birsak on Mozart's own fortepiano at the family's old Salzburg residence. ....more

The Duke on a US coin  

Duke Ellington is first African-American to solo on U.S. circulating coin
Ellington, the composer of classics including "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" appears on the "tails" side of the new D.C. quarter. George Washington is on the "heads" side, as is usual with U.S. quarters.

The coin was issued to celebrate Ellington's birthplace, the District of Columbia....more

Louie Bellson (1924-2009)  
Louie Bellson (1924-2009)   Louie Bellson (1924-2009)
One of the last great drummers of the big band era whose twin bass drums and high-energy performance provided the powerful rhythmic foundation of orchestras ranging from Benny Goodman to Duke Ellington, died on February 14th 2009.
High profile Australian drummer Gordon Rytmeister, like so many other drummers was heavily influenced by the great Louie Bellson.
Here is Gordon's tribute to Louie Bellson.

Gordon Rytmeister

Beethoven and the Illuminati  
  Beethoven and the Illuminati
How the secret order influenced the great composer.
When Beethoven was 10 years old he was taught organ and composition by Christian Neefe. As an Illuminatus, an important part of Neefe's duty was to covertly inculcate promising young people in the ideals of the order, then to recruit them when they came of age.
Beethoven was as promising as young people get. So did Neefe inculcate this student? Surely he did. Was Beethoven recruited to the order? ... (more)

The legendary Frank Ifield  

The Frank Ifield Story - in his own words
He's not only one of Australia's most talented, famous and successful exports, has world-wide #1 hits to his credit and is still receiving awards today but for many of the latter years he has been discovering, fostering, and mentoring some of Australia's finest young talent and tirelessly promoting Australian country music wherever he can.
This is the story of Frank Ifield in his own words...


Frank Ifield

Music and the Mind  

Grey Matters - "Music and the Mind"
This video is part of a series of lectures on subjects in the realm of neuroscience from the University of California and San Diego. This one presented by Aniruddh Patel PhD, of the Neurosciences Institute, discusses what music can teach us about the brain, and what brain science, in turn, can reveal about music.

Aniruddh Patel PhD

All about the cello  

Cellomar - The Cello Page
This is a most informative website containing lots of interesting facts about the cello. It includes the history, composers and performers, musical excerpts, anecdotes, and info on how the cello is constructed.

The illustration (right) is Norman Rockwell's painting of an old man playing cello while a young girl dances.

The Cello Page

The Musical Universe  

Is music the very essence of the nature of things?
Well known and widely respected music therapist, pianist, and founder of Nordoff-Robbins music therapy in Australia, Enid Rowe, shares her thoughts on the proposition that music is an essential element of everything in the universe. She discusses this notion from a historical perspective with reference to the beliefs of great medieval thinkers.

Enid Rowe - The Musical Universe
Enid Rowe

Music Education for the 21st Century  

A lecture delivered by Richard Vella on October 23 2007
Does music education need to significantly broaden its approach in order to meet the requirements of the 21st Century music industry? Eminent Australian composer, Chair and Professor of Music, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, Richard Vella, discusses this question in an excerpt from his inaugural lecture which he delivered at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music on October 23 2007.
Published with the kind permission of Richard Vella


The musical brain from abc.net.au

Oliver Sacks on the musical brain
Dr. Oliver Sacks plays Chopin mazurkas on his piano in New York. Sometimes he hears them in his head, note perfect, without the piano. How can we 'imagine' music so powerfully and why does it make such an impact emotionally?
ABC Radio's Robyn Williams interviews Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks
Oliver Sacks

THE SHAPE OF MUSIC from seedmagazine.com

Physics & Math - THE SHAPE OF MUSIC - by Dmitri Tymoczko
Roughly 2,500 years ago, Pythagoras observed that objects, such as the anvils he purportedly studied, produced harmonious sounds while vibrating at frequencies in simple whole-number ratios. More complex ratios gave rise to more dissonant sounds, which indicated that human beings were unconsciously sensitive to mathematical relationships inherent in nature.

What your musical taste shows! from www.theage.com.au

Musical key to unlocking teenage wasteland - by Kate Benson
"DOCTORS should ask their teenage patients what type of music they prefer to determine if they are at risk of developing a mental illness or committing suicide, researchers say..."

A study found that teens who listened to pop music were more likely to be struggling with their sexuality, those tuning in to rap or heavy metal could be having unprotected sex and drink-driving, and those who favoured jazz were usually misfits and loners.

Wynton Marsalis from wyntonmarsalis.org

Wynton Marsalis website - frequently asked questions.
Wynton's answers to the questions on this page contain some really interesting, even valuable, information not only about himself but also his insights into jazz as an art form, the musician's role as part of the jazz continuum, advice to young players, etc.

Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis

Yogi Berra from allaboutjazz.com

An interview with Yogi Berra on Jazz

Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra

World Of Music from classicalconvert.com

World Of Music (a map of the world in music)

World Of Music
Music Map

Dear Audience...  


When requesting a song from the band, just say “play my song”, or “it goes something like this”, then hum a few bars. We have a chip implanted in our heads with an unlimited database with the favourite tunes of every patron who ever walked into a bar, and all songs ever recorded, so feel free to be vague, we love the challenge.

If we do not remember exactly what tune you want, we’re only kidding. Bands know every song ever recorded, so keep humming. Hum harder if need be… it helps jog the memory.

If a band tells you they don’t know a song you want to hear, they either forgot that they know the tune or are just putting you on. Try singing a few words for the band. Any words.

If one member halfway knows part of a chorus, the rest of the band will instantly learn the entire song by osmosis. Knowing this, if the band still claims to not know your song, it helps to just keep requesting the same song every time there is a break per set, followed by the phrases, “AW COME ON!” and “YOU SUCK!” Exaggerated hand gestures expressing disapproval from the dance floor are a big help as well, such as thumbs down, or your middle finger. Put-downs are the best way to jog a band’s memory. This instantly promotes you to the status of “Personal Friend Of The Band.”

Entertainers are notorious fakers and jokesters and never really prepare for their shows. They simply walk on stage with no prior thought to what they will do once they arrive. An entertainer’s job is SO easy, even a monkey could do it, so don’t let them off the hook easily. Your request is all that matters.

If a metal band had played at the club a few weeks ago, the next band that follows will automatically know every metal tune the previous band ever played, even if the current band is a country or blues band. It’s the law. Feel free to yell “AC DC or SLAYER!!” to a band that plays strictly originals or jazz for example. Conversely, Deadheads may yell for Grateful Dead tunes at a dance or metal band.


When an entertainer leans over to hear you better, grab his or her head in both hands and yell directly in their ear, whilst holding their head securely so they cannot pull away. This will be taken as a n invitation to a friendly and playful game of tug of war between their head and your hands.

Don’t give up! Hang on until the singer or guitar player submits. Drummers are often safe from this fun game since they usually sit in the back, protected by the guitar players.

Keyboard players are protected by their instrument, and only play the game when tricked into coming out from behind their keyboards. Thought difficult to get them to play, it’s not impossible, so keep trying. They are especially vulnerable during the break between songs.


The best time to discuss anything with the band in any meaningful way is at the middle of the song when all members are singing at the same time (such as a multi harmony part). Our hearing is so advanced that we can pick out your tiny voice from the megawatt wall of sound blasting all around us.
Musicians are expert lip readers too. If a musician does not reply to your question or comment during a tune, it’s because they didn’t get a good look at your mouth in order to read your lips.

Simply continue to scream your request and be sure to over emphasize the words with your lips. This helps immensely. Don’t be fooled.

Singers have the innate ability to answer questions and sing at the same time. If the singer doesn’t answer your questions immediately, regardless of how stupid the question may seem, it’s because they are purposely ignoring you. If this happens, immediately cop an attitude. We love this.


If you inform the band that you are a singer, the band will appreciate your help with the next few tunes, or however long you can remain standing on stage. Just pretend you’re in a Karaoke bar. Simply feel free to walk up on stage and join in. By the way, the drunker you are the better you sound, and the louder you should sing.

If by chance you fall off stage, be sure to crawl back up and attempt to sing harmony. Keep in mind that nothing assists the band more than outrageous dancing, third and fourth part harmonies, or a tambourine played out of tempo. Try the cowbell. They love the challenge. The band always needs the help and will take this as a compliment.


Remember to allow enough time to make it from the stage to the bathroom in case of an emergency. On stage accidents are bad form. The band will carry on.


As a last resort, wait until the band takes a break and then get on stage and start playing their instruments. They love this. Even if you are ejected from the club, you can rest assured in the fact that you have successfully completed your audition. The band will call you immediately the following day to offer you a position.

See you at the next gig – The Band





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