Hurricane Fred blows into Merimbula

Hurricane Fred who will be appearing at the Down South Jazz Club.
Hurricane Fred who will be appearing at the Down South Jazz Club.

On Thursday, April 18 the Down South Jazz Club has a treat in store for members and visitors when they bring to the stage of Club Sapphire 'Hurricane Fred', an upbeat, rollicking, entertaining blend of New Orleans spice, classic American songbook, blues, Latin and swing with a touch of Gypsyesque mystique.

Whether you're after a high energy swinging time or a smooth Latin feel of Cuba, reggae from Jamaica or calypso from Trinidad 'The Fred' say they will deliver providing a night of enjoyable happy music that will not fail to get your feet tapping and your hips swaying.

The band comprises Richelle (Bootsie) Booth on sax, flute, clarinet and steel drum, Nigel Date on guitar, Stan Valacos on bass, Dan Holland on piano and Adam Barnard on drums, and features the beautiful voice of Sara Jeanne to bring an even greater flexibility and add that extra special spice on top.

Bootsie Booth has two degrees in music with 34 years professional experience in performance, having started playing in clubs and concert halls at the age of twelve. She has played with or supported many notable musicians and bands throughout Australia, Europe and the USA.

Sara Jeanne O'Connor (known by her stage name of Sara Jeanne) was born in Melbourne to Irish parents and is now based in Sydney. She is a respected vocalist and will transport you back to a more romantic era with her smoky vocals and classic style. She is also a swing dancer and appreciates music that fills a dance floor. Sara is well known for singing with the Velvet Set, the Black and White Big Band, the Hollywood Honeys, the City Gents and No Brakes, as well as headlining at many venues around Sydney.

Nigel Date on guitar is a freelance professional guitarist based in Sydney with more than 30 years experience. He works with some of Australia's best jazz musicians. He has performed at festivals and concerts in Australia and overseas, made TV appearances, radio shows, countless weddings, bars, cafes, corporate gigs, residencies and recording sessions. He is known for being an accompanist for singers, violinists, horn players and other guitarists.

Dan Holland on piano is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. He currently leads his own jazz ensemble and performs regularly as a pianist alongside some of Australia's most respected and well-known artists. Apart from many performances around Sydney, Dan has also performed widely internationally, the most well known venue being Ronnie Scotts in London. In between his commitments, Daniel enjoys a busy teaching schedule.

Stan Valacos has accompanied The Jugalug String Band with other appearances over the last decade including with George Washing Machine, John Morrison's All Stars, Sancha and the Blue Gypsies and the Geoff Bull Jazz Band. He has appeared at festivals across Australia, in the USA, and toured Europe in 2008 with the Society Syncopators. Stan also plays 7-string guitar in a Brazilian Band called 'Performing Brazil'.

On drums will be Adam Barnard. Adam, being the son of the late drummer Len Barnard and the nephew of well-known trumpet player Bob Barnard, has kept up the family musical tradition and has been involved in jazz, jug and rhythm and blues groups, playing with the Mudsteppers Jug Band, Mic Conway, King Biscuit Blues Band and currently with the Radium Club Hepsters. Adam has also appeared with Jugalug String Band, playing washboard and traps.

This will be an outstanding night of exceptional jazz. Cost is $15 for jazz club members and $20 for visitors with music commencing at 7.30pm. Bookings can be made with Aileen/Kevin Walsh (64959853), at, or will be available on the night at the door. The Club Sapphire bistro opens at 6pm with its extensive menu.