The last 18 months, since the bushfires, have been difficult for everyone. For those in the arts it's been a time of cancelled gigs and uncertainty punctuated with periods of nothing.
What do musicians do when there are no gigs?
For Nethercote musician Paul Dion it was time to retreat to the shed and vent his creative streak on the canvas with oil painting but after a couple of months, the need to produce music was driving him back to his flute, the various saxes and piano.
The multi-instrumentalist, jazz lover and ex-Opera Australia singer admits there have been some dark days but also some positives from the various lockdowns.
"The time out has given me a chance to focus on practise with no deadline," he said.
"It's been an opportunity to take practise into the realms of experimentation, an opportunity to refocus and connect with other musicians around the world digitally," Dion said.
Now he is looking forward to bringing his specially curated band of jazz musicians together for the Down South Jazz Club on Thursday, August 19.
"The program will be varied with re-imagined jazz standards, some new works, early swing, modern and even a little bit funky," Dion said.
Featuring Paul Dion (reeds/keys), Victor Rufus (guitar), Phil Dick (bass) and Steve Richards (drums), the group comprises Dion plus three Canberra musicians.
For internationally renowned improvising guitarist Victor Rufus it will be his first appearance for the Down South Jazz Club. A boy from the Blue Mountains, Rufus has an AMusA in classical guitar and BMus (Hons) in jazz performance from the ANU. He has played at numerous festivals, for local and national gigs and studied with some of the most revered jazz guitarists in New York, and has performed in Europe and Australia.
Phil Dick is a much sought-after musician in the ACT and has played in many bands including the CBR Big Band in 2017, being one of the guest musicians for In2Deep with their album launch in December 2020, and in January this year was part of a swing band Rhythm Capital opening the jazz year for the Canberra Jazz Club with Jazz at Jamison at Canberra's Southern Cross Club.
Steve Richards has been the drummer for Angela Lount and the Fedoras on their last two appearances, complementing the band with his very easy, professional style of drumming. Steve is a versatile drummer who studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Andrew Dickeson before spending a number of years working with international artists on cruise ships. He is active in the jazz scene playing regularly with Canberra's top musicians, and backing touring artists.
Tickets cost $15 for members, $25 for visitors and music starts at 7.30pm. Bookings by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form on the WhatsOn page on the DSJC web site or call Aileen or Kevin Walsh on 02 6495 9853.
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