We have assembled a mighty array of Sydney musicians, led by Jonathan Zwartz to back our Song of Songs singers
Apart from being known as one of the major players on the Australian jazz landscape, having played with Pharoah Sanders, Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Andy Bey, Nigel Kennedy, Larry Goldings, Mike Nock, Barney McAll, Andrea Keller and Julien Wilson, double bassist Jonathan Zwartz is also a composer and songwriter. His debut Album of original compositions ‘The Sea’ was released in 2009 and won two prestigious Bell awards. His follow up CD entitled ‘The Remembering and Forgetting of the Air’, won best jazz album in the Australian Recording Industry (AIR) awards. Jonathan has a Masters in Music from the Australian National University, an Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies from the NSW Conservatorium and completed a graduate diploma in screen composition at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 2012. In 2015 commenced composition and orchestration studies with Nigel Westlake, John Peterson and Chris Gordon. Jonathan co-produced a ten part series on jazz for ABC TV entitled ‘The Pulse’, which has been rescreened many times since the series’ release in 2000. He has composed Music for the documentary ‘To Spring From The Hand’ (2014) ‘Ka-Ching, a Pokies Nation’ (ABC, 2015) and a number of short films. Jonathan has been an APRA Ambassador since 2010.
Ben Hauptmann is prestigious guitarist based Sydney, Australia. Winner of the 2010 Freedman Jazz Fellowship and 2nd place winner in the National Jazz Awards at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz 2007. Ben has shared the stage with a diverse range of artists including Mavis Staples, Joss Stone, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Donny Benet, Jack Ladder, Bandaluzia Flamenco, Katie Noonan, Lior, Bluejuice, Micheline Van Hautem, Justine Clarke, James Morrison and Tal Wilkenfeld. Internationally he has performed throughout the UK, France, USA, Indonesia, China, Japan, Singapore, Belgium, Turkey, The Netherlands and New Zealand as well as many major Australian music festivals including The Big Day Out, Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Pyramid Rock Festival, Homebake, Woodford Folk Festival, Splendor In The Grass, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival and the Adelaide International Guitar Festival. Ben wrote the ‘Lead Work’ column for The Australian Guitar Magazine for over 10 years and teachers at the Jazz Music Institute in Brisbane. Ben has contributed to over thirty recordings including the 2015 ARIA winning ’The Gospel Album’ by Gurrumul Yunupingu, he has released two albums under his own name and co-produced multiple others.
A gifted child prodigy, Bill commenced piano at age 3, and was the youngest student to study piano at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music (Australia), playing 7th Grade pieces by the time he was 7 years old. At age 8, he received a four year private scholarship to study piano under Albert Landa, and after high school, completed an Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies with Merit in 1987. By the time he was 15, he had already performed in Bartok Festivals, Piano Competitions, and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” as solo pianist, going on to perform Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass”, as well as gigs around town with the “pop” bands of the moment. He started to frequent famed music spots in Sydney such as the Basement and the old All Nations Club to check out the music scene he would soon be a big part of. Around this time he started playing Electric Bass, which he occasionally plays at the same time as the piano, but usually not. Shortly after his studies, he founded the group “The Storytellers” which played a combination of Bill’s original material and electric jazz covers (Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny) – the 4 piece group did many live gigs as well as many Gospel music festivals around Australia. Some of Bill’s tunes from this group can be found on his new album, “Falling”. Bill has recorded six albums to date, including a new album for the record label Instinctive Travels called “Around The World” (see the CD page). He has also co-written and played on the newest Dale Barlow record for the same label entitled “Hopscotch”. In between all of his own recordings Bill plays on other people’s albums…. He has arranged, produced and played on many albums (piano and bass) from gospel, jazz, country, R&B, pop and beyond. The latest stand out recording is the track “Paper Aeroplanes” from Kasey Chambers’ new album, “Wayward Angel”. Other notable recordings are: “De-Classified” by Leon Gaer and Tom Ferris; “Accentuate The Positive” with Mark Rivett & Emma Pask: “New Shadow” by Felicity, “The Way The World Is” by Tamara Stewart, and “Deeper & Deeper” by Geoff Bullock (with the Prague Symphony Orchestra); “Little Victories” and “Wild At Heart” by Beccy Cole; Most recently “Jazz” albums “Beautifully Mad” by Tony King and Kris Ralph (Makin’ Whoopee), “Face the Music” by Anthony Warlow; “Unspoken” by Adrian Cunningham, and “Bright Window” by Rachel Gaudry. Bill is responsible for many television commercials as well as recording for Australian TV dramas such as Wildside for the ABC, Young Lions on Channel 9, and live tv appearances. He has also recorded music for documentaries and film scores including “The Night They called It A Day”, “A Man’s Gotta Do…” and many others. Bill has played with international artists such as the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Shew, William Gallison, Kitty Margolis, Rob McConnell (Boss Brass), the Velotti Batiste Jazz Ensemble (Italy), Andre Crouch, and Doug Cameron, among others. He has performed with many diverse Australian popular artists such as Tina Arena, Glen Shorrock, Barry Leef, Marcia Hines, Daryl Braithwaite, James Reyne, Ross Wilson, James Morrison, Gina Jeffreys, Vanessa Amorosi, Jon Stevens, Jenny Morris, Sharon O’Neill, Mark Williams, Erana Clark, Steve Clisby, Louise Perryman and Emma Pask to name but a few. He has done supports for Dionne Warwick, Thelma Houston, Julio Iglesias, and US saxophone player Steve Lacy. He has played with Radio NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and recorded with the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
“For all his aptitude, accomplishment and love for the instrument, Hamish Stuart is always playing the music rather than the drums. Long may I look at a concert bill and have my eyes light up when I see Hamish Stuart’s name.” – John Shand, music critic for The Sydney Morning Herald and author of Jazz – The Australian Accent.
There aren’t many styles drummer Hamish Stuart hasn’t mastered, and the list of musicians he’s played with and who are now his fans is even longer. Now, with his first ‘solo’ album ‘Someone Else’s Child’ Hamish Stuart proves he has a gift for composition as well. As Australia’s much-loved and respected ‘rhythm king’, Hamish called upon an extraordinary family of world class musicians to help out with this project including Chris Abrahams, Dave Symes, Ben Hauptmann, the late Jackie Orszaczky, Tina Harrod and Phil Slater among many others. A gorgeous exploration of texture and mood ‘Someone Else’s Child’ is testament to one of Australia’s greatest, and most humble, musical talents. Hamish Stuart and friends will launch ‘Someone Else’s Child’ with a series of special shows in December.
“This project started with a phone call from Shane Fahey suggesting I take some recording time at Megaphon Studios in return for some equipment rental that had been accruing. This was followed by another suggestion from my good friend and long-time rhythm section partner Dave Symes to in fact write some music of my own. Really what you hear here is some simply sketched musical ideas and a strong understanding between the musicians of what I was trying to produce. I am truly grateful for their interpretation and their care. The first session took place on the 25th of February, 2003, just after the invasion of Iraq. Someone Else’s Child was the first tune I brought to the studio. Jackie Orszaczky- after being asked to sing the melody with Tina Harrod- wrote the words, and brought them to the session. From then until the last session on the 12th of January 2008, a lot has happened in my life and those closest to me. For me the music speaks of this time… perhaps like looking through a photo album of the recent past. And you? I hope this music resonates for you in one way or another.”