Each year, the Koonya Garlic Festival features a sensational line up of musicians, showcasing some of Tasmania's best local and regional talent.
2019 Festival Musos
Danny Healy: The Gypsy Three-o
Saxophonist Danny Healy learnt his craft while training at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. During this time he was given the opportunity to learn from and gig with some of the Australian Jazz greats, including bassist Geoff Kluke and pianists Tony Gould and Bob Sedergreen. Danny has a wide range of musical influences from Dexter Gordon to Stravinsky and is both a dedicated instrumentalist and composer.
Healy has performed as a solo artist as well as part of projects for the Mona Foma (MOFO) Festival in Tasmania. His own project, titled 'Duke Deconstructed' was commissioned for the synaesthasia event at MONA and continues to evolve to this day. For another MOFO, Healy spent a series of days playing under and on Bridges around Hobart for 'The Bridge - a tribute to Sonny Rollins' as well as performing new arrangements of Rollins tunes with his trio.
In 2013 Danny Healy toured and recorded with the Tom Vincent Quartet. He released both his Trio Album and a Live recording of ‘Duke Deconstructed’ in July of that year and also toured with The Violent Femmes in late December After a further three year adventure, living and performing in China and Vietnam, he returned to Hobart. Since this return he has rekindled musical relationships and formed a series of new projects, mainly concentrating on Jazz from the 1920's - 50's..
Healy is also the founding member of the Gypsy Three-o (Three-o). His trio performs weekly at The Den in Salamanca.
Covering the repertoire of Django Reinhardt and traditional Jazz, The Gypsy Three-o provide a warm and inviting atmosphere for your event. Toe tapping tunes and old favourites are given a gypsy twist. Featuring Ben Brinkhoff on Double bass, Danny Healy on Clarinet and Jamie Pregnell on Guitar, these seasoned musicians regularly hone their skills busking at local markets and performing at music venues around Hobart www..dannyhealy.com
Hannah May Singer-songwriter pianist, Hannah May is a rising star among Tasmanian audiences. Her songs shaped in soulful style have been compared to songwriter greats Suzanne Vega, James Taylor and Carole King.Hannah May is bursting with talent, enthusiasm and positive energy. We need more like her in the music world. – Brian Ritchie, Curator for MOFO, Violent Femmes Hannah May has absorbed influences from both folk pop and jazz music and her eclectic approach makes for entertaining sets of sensitively constructed and thought provoking material often with a strong underlying rhythmic groove. Her performances major credits include performing alongside Clare Bowditch as part of her Winter Secrets tour in Hobart, backing vocalist for Damon Albarn (Blur) tour of Australia (Palais Theatre and Sydney Opera House) and touring the USA with the ARIA-nominated Southern Gospel Choir. She has supported Ian Moss, from Cold Chisel, and worked and sung with artists including Monique Brumby,Bobby Flynn and Wes Carr, Daniel Champagne and The Audreys. Hannah May is currently recording her debut album, The Little Things with engineer, Stewart Long, producer Rob Long and arranger/pianist Matt Boden. The album is slated for a 2018 release. She is also a vocal and songwriting coach at The Voice Academy in Salamanca teaching and mentoring young performers and writers. For information please clink on ‘contact page.’ www.hannahmaymusic.com.au
The stragglers is a three piece country folk & bluegrass outfit, guitar, banjo & violin and lots of vocal harmonies.After coming to Tasmania on tour from Victoria, THE STRAGGLERS car broke down, and they never left. This female three-piece band deliver ratbag bluegrass and booze-soaked country-folk, they have been busy with festivals since their southern immigration including; Falls, Dark Mofo, Cygnet and Panama. www.thestragglers.bandcamp.com
The Porch Syndicate
Tony Waller, Hamish Pike, Rachel Page, Pete Gilbert & Jo Bethlehem. The Porch Syndicate is an eclectic group of musicians and mostly parents, who are united in their love of music. They have also confronted the reality that it is hard to see live music when you have a family and children. So the answer was to form a band; avoid late night pub gigs, drag the children along and invite families craving some good honest folk based music.
The Porchies as they are colloquially known not only fill this niche, they make some great music, with mostly originals from guitarist and singer Tony Waller. He is joined by Hamish Pike on Fiddle, Rachel Page on Cello, Pete Gilbert on drums and Jo Bethlehem on vocals. The bands sound draws influences from numerous genres, including bluegrass, country, blues and Australian folk.
This eclectic ensemble have been making some great music and sharing it with people at a variety of Tasmanian festivals this summer. There have been rumours that the garlic farmers of Koonya may also be immortalised in the great tradition of Australian rural folk songs! So fill your bags with garlic and your hearts with some fine music from The Porch Syndicate!
Ali Hart and Caitlin Vertigan
Ali Hart is one of Tasmania’s most varied and accomplished performers, serenading piano bar patrons in Hobart, Melbourne and San Francisco, adding her musical voice through guitar, piano, flute, saxophone, bass, vocals and vocal arrangements on recordings and live performances in the same cities. She has performed up and down the California coast, taking the stage of the Blue Note directly after Dizzy Gillespie and was invited back to the stage after Manhattan Transfer, while her performances in Minneapolis and surrounding areas have given her a wide experience of international and local audiences.
In Australia, Ali was a long time band member as backup vocalist and vocal arranger with Christine Sullivan, and other Melbourne bands playing with the likes of Ricky Edwards, Simon Patterson, Jeremy Alsop, Angus Birchall (John Farnam), Virgil Donati, Kim May, Darren Ferrugia and Kelly Santin. Since settling permanently in Tasmania Ali has composed for, musically directed and played a lead on-stage role or in the band for local musical productions.
Cait Vertigan is a Tasman Peninsula based musician, who is known for her powerful vocals combined with melodic song writing. With a background in blues, and jazz, she spent her formative musical years in the Hobart scene playing at many popular venues before switching styles and concentrating on a stripped back acoustic sound that focuses on melody and lyrics. She has supported Renee Geyer, Jenny Morris, and Monique Brumby during their Tasmanian performances and since joining forces with Ali in 2016, the two have created a sound that explores a range of genres and styles with perfect harmonic accompaniment.
Teresa Dixon A velvet landscape, oceanic; coloured blue, yellow, and orange by the waning evening light. Accept no substitutes, for this image is nothing less than home for Teresa Dixon, a Hobart based multi-instrumentalist with the earth in her veins. Teresa sings songs of visceral sadness, careful optimism, and the things we do to pull ourselves together, get up, and get on with it. She has recently returned to Tasmania after a tour celebrating the release of her debut solo album "Bass Strait", now available on Bandcamp, Spotify and itunes. www.teresadixon.bandcamp.com
Paul Gerard Flamenco Guitar .Jules Witek all things percussive
The music of the Paul Gerard Duo explores the beautiful rhythms of Spain.
The Spanish art form known as Flamenco has its roots deep in Andalusia – Spain’s southern region. It is said by many an aficionado that as an observer you don’t really see flamenco, you feel it.
Paul Gerard has been playing guitar professionally for over thirty years. Flamenco/ Spanish guitar became his passion after being introduced to the provocative rhythms by his mentor Fernando Da Costa, who was taught by the internationally known flamenco guitarist Nino Ricardo. Paul’s interest in flamenco led him to complete a Bachelor of music in Composition.
Paul’s music includes his arrangements of Spanish classics such as Concerto de Aranjuez and Ravels Bolero to his own compositions based on his extensive knowledge of Spanish music. Paul performances are a journey through Europe.
Their music truly reflects the spirit, the moods of Life - on occasions, gentle and smooth, at other times pulsing, exuberant and harsh; ordered and restrained, or improvised and brand new in that moment. As with Life, the music of The Paul Gerard Duo has been shaped by the influences upon its members and is changed, constantly, by the events and people it encounters.
For the past four years, these two accomplished musicians have been taking listeners on journeys to a very different world - that of Spanish/jazz fusion.
While they might use the term Spanish/jazz fusion to describe their sound, the musical influences upon the Duo have been so much more - to name a few, we can add classical, African, modern flamenco, Latin, rock, blues, folk and even Tibetan meditation to the more traditional flamenco and jazz ancestry. As a result, an Paul Gerard original might begin its journey in Spain, dance its way through Latin America and come to rest in the rhythms of West Africa
Martin Tucker playing the African Kora
Martin plays the West African harp- lute . Plucking 21 strings of fishing line stretched over a cowskin and gourd resonator his mesmorising improvisations are based on a structure of old Mandinka melodies with origins dating back to the 12 century Malian empire. His repetoire explores the various tunings and styles used by the modern day ‘Griot’ caste of musicians found in Mali Sene-Gambia and Guinea today.’
Mathew Dames & Anna Talbot
Matthew Dames and Anna Talbot perform a variety of Celtic, Americana and contemporary folk songs. A delicate blend of vocal harmonies, indicate guitar work and dynamic Bodhran creates a sonic fusion not to be missed. The pair recently returned from Great Britain, where they performed in sessions from Dingle to Galway and gigs in Matthew's hometown of Cambridge. In 2018 Matt and Anna will be performing at the Cygnet Folk Festival and are planning another tour of Great Britain soundcloud.com/matthew-dames-music/never-any-good
The Unknown consist of Calum Waller on guitar, Fergus Page-Brown guitar and Reuben Page-Brown drums. This dynamic trio .describe their music as some where between rock and Indi pop.. Their influences include Midnight Oil, Foo-Fighters and Nirvana. They are making a name for themselves with some really interesting originals that reflect a maturity well beyond their age range of 9 to 13.
The Unknown took out a prestigious award at the 2019 Cygent Folk Festival. These cute as a button musos punch far above their height!