Artists’ Bios

Find out more about the artists at the 2019 Mussel Festival

Duo Novo

Sat 9 March
12pm – 1pm

Laid back and fresh like a Rio breeze, Duo Novo play classics from popular Brazilian artists of the 1960s and 70s. Guitarist from Australia’s leading Latin band San Lazaro, Oscar Poncell brings the bossa, which Jolene Moran colours with contrasting Portuguese and English lyrics.

With a repertoire tributing the work of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the duo also perform songs from Jorge Ben Jor, Os Novos Bainos and smoked paprika spiced jazz standards. Duo Novo appeared as a part of Melbourne International Jazz Festival’s 2018 Jazz Out West Program and often frequent the stages of Melbourne bars and festivals.

Noriko & George

Noriko and George 

Sat 9 March
1.15pm – 2.15pm

George and Noriko break all the rules. The duo brings something unique, something un- expected. Known as the Japanese Blues Cowboy & the Tsugaru shamisen player. George’s lightning fast blues licks & growling harmonica enhanced by Noriko’s percussive sounds of the shamisen (Traditional Japanese banjo) has morphed into a kind of bluegrass hard country blues with a Japanese twist.

The Adam Rudegeair Trio ft. Chelsea Wilson

Sat 9 March
Set one: 2.30 – 3.15pm
Set two: 3.30 – 4pm

Chelsea Wilson is a singer, songwriter, producer, broadcaster and DJ. She has graced stages in Japan, the UAE, Indonesia, Thailand, France, and made her UK debut at Glastonbury in 2015. She is the Stonnington Jazz Festival’s Artistic Director. Adam Rudegeair is a Melbourne-based pianist and songwriter. His major projects include his jazz trio, a robo-funk outfit called Lake Minnetonka, and an ongoing collaboration with Australian Jazz legend Bob Sedergreen. He has hosted the PBS Black Wax show for over nine years.

Adam and Chelsea met as PBS radio broadcasters and through their mutual love of jazz, sci-fi and wine became friends and musical collaborators. They have performed together across Australia.

Joined by Ben Christensen on bass and Thom Martin on drums, this show is not to be missed.

Paul Williamson’s Hammond Combo

Sat 9 March
Set one: 4.20 – 5pm
Set two: 5.20 – 6pm

Paul Williamson’s Hammond Combo has been one of the most popular bands on the Melbourne scene over the last decade, enjoying long-running residencies at the George Hotel, the Esplanade Hotel and the Rainbow Hotel. They play jazz built on a solid foundation of Rhythm & Blues.

Paul Williamson (tenor & baritone saxophone, vocals) has played jazz, R&B, blues and rock with Vince Jones, Dire Straits, The Black Sorrows, Men At Work & Deep Purple.

Tim Neal plays the Hammond B-3 organ giving the band its authentic sound. Tim worked with Bobby Previte’s Bitches Brew Project at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and with Festa, Jim Kelly, Banana Oil, the Feelin’ Groovies, Fiona Boyes, Checkerboard Lounge and his own trio.

Mike Jordan (drummer, vocals) has worked in many jazz settings, with artists including Brian Brown, Judy Jacques and Tony Gould. He has a Masters in Jazz performance and is currently studying for his PhD.

The Senegambian Jazz Band

Sat 9 March
Set one: 6.20 – 7pm
Set two: 7.20 – 8pm

Since their inception in 2015, The Senegambian Jazz Band have fused Afro jazz, deep world beats and funk to create awe-inspiring rhythms and melodies. With influences from Gambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana and Australia, the five-piece share their outstanding talent and flair, channelling over eight thousand years of African musical traditions, transporting the power and beauty of ancient sounds, rhythms and melodies to euphoric audiences across Australia.

Underpinning their unique sound is the Kora, a traditional West African stringed instrument, played by the band’s front man & vocalist, the phenomenally talented Amadou Suso, direct descendent of the world’s first kora player, Koriang Musa Suso. As a music maker, or ‘jali’ by birthright, Amadou embodies the griot traditions of the Mandinka of West Africa. Known widely as the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the kora’, Amadou fulfils his ancestral duties to share the culture of his people through an intoxicating contemporary mastery of the African harp.

A must-see live act in Melbourne, The Senegambian Jazz Band never fail to enchant their audiences with an elaborate and joyful sound that sees fans losing themselves in the music and dancing the night away.

Quarter Street

Sat 9 March
Set one: 8.20 – 9pm
Set two: 9:20 – 10pm

Quarter Street take you back to the heart of classic salsa. Inspired by the raw sounds of New York in the 1970s, the Quarter Street revisit an era where the music of the streets resonated with the voice of the people.

Formed in early 2011, Quarter Street combine the fresh energy and skills of well-known, established musicians. A dynamic live band with driving rhythm and a heavy horn section, this vibrant group of talented Melbourne musicians are quickly making a splash in Australia’s music scene.

Sergio Botero’s voice is pure street salsero, a worthy inheritor of the tradition defined by Hector Lavoe and Rubén Blades. Conguero Luis Poblete, and brothers Cesar and Cristian Saavedra on baby bass and timbales round out the core group. Like many Latino-American migrants to Australia, their parents fled the coups and revolutions of the 70s and 80s, raising their children to the sounds of the contemporary Spanish language superstars. Cuban brass virtuoso Lazaro Numa adds a taste of Havana to the mix of classic Puerto Rico & New York styles. The boys have brought together an impressive unit of Melbourne’s finest Latin and Jazz musicians to light up turntables and dance floors worldwide.

Vox Chops

Sun 10 March
12pm – 12.30pm

Lovers of vocal jazz harmony, Vox Chops present an a cappella performance encompassing barbershop, swing, doo wop and contemporary R&B.

Under the baton of Jolene Moran, Vox Chops have impressed audiences with their vocal prowess at The Boite Singers’ Festival, Sydney Rd Street Party and sold out shows at the Spotted Mallard and Wesley Anne Hotel.

Not your usual choir, this is a must see.

The Sugarfoot Ramblers

Sun 10 March
Set one: 12.45 – 1.30pm
Set two: 1.45 – 2.15pm

The Sugarfoot Ramblers are a group of young Melbourne musicians who have studied and played contemporary jazz styles, but also share a love of traditional jazz. After time in New Orleans, Travis Woods and Daniel Berry decided to form this band to explore the classic traditional jazz repertoire. The Sugarfoot Ramblers are Travis Woods (trumpet), Chris Vizard (trombone), Brennan Hamilton-Smith (clarinet), Matt Hayes (banjo), Hiroki Hoshino (bass) and Daniel Berry (drums).

The group has performed around town regularly over the years including appearances at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Moomba, Newcastle Jazz Festival, Stonnington Jazz Festival, Bellingen Jazz Festival, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, The Paris Cat, Fitzroy Pinnacle and Uptown Jazz Cafe.

Travis says, “We love the music of Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton, as well as local legends and personal heroes, The Red Onions and The Hoodangers. So that’s the music we enjoy playing in this band.”

Sun 10 March
Set one: 2.30 – 3.10pm
Set two: 3.30 – 4pm

Australia’s preeminent band in the bebop style, BopStretch are an ensemble of abundant enthusiasm. Performing the music of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, and other giants of the 1950s New York jazz scene, BopStretch brings to the table both effortless virtuosity, and a conspicuous musicality. Band members include Eamon McNelis on trumpet (Flap! – Winner of 2010 Wangarratta Jazz Award), James Sherlock on guitar (Kristen Beradi Duo, Winner of the Ike Isaacs International Guitar Competition), Phil Noy on alto saxophone (The Bamboos, The Hoodangers) Sam Bates on drums (Christine Anu Band, Mark Fitzgibbon Trio), and Ben Hanlon on bass (The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra).

BopStretch perform weekly, on Wednesday evenings at Uptown Jazz Café in Fitzroy. Their nine-year residency is one of the longest running in Melbourne. They’ve performed at White Night Festival, The Wangarratta Jazz Festival, The Stonnington Jazz Festival and The Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

The Royal Jellies

Sun 10 March
Set one: 4.20 – 5pm
Set two: 5.20 – 6pm


This eight-piece snaps a hyper-coloured homage to the polyphonic sounds of an era when jazz was king. Modern Melbourne meets the New Orleans old school – frontline horns duke-it-out while the rhythm section cooks up raucous grooves in a neo-vintage stew of pop hooks, traditional jazz and straight-up song-writing.

Formed in Melbourne, Australia 2010, The Royal Jellies (formerly The Royal Jelly Dixieland Band) have performed an extensive number of shows both locally and abroad. They supported Australian songstress Claire Bowditch on her national tour of Australia, and have played at a number of festivals including Sawahlunto World Music Festival (Indonesia), Woodford Folk Festival, St Kilda Festival, Noosa Jazz Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Melbourne’s White Night, and the Launceston Junction Arts Festival.

Horns of Leroy

Sun 10 March
Set one: 6.20 – 7pm
Set two: 7.20 – 8pm

Bringing the flavours of New Orleans to Fitzroy, this punked-out seven piece raucous street band take brass band vibes to a whole new level. From humble beginnings, the band has evolved from playing the streets of Melbourne to some of the biggest festivals and stages across the country.

Taking sounds from a range of musical influences, their debut record will be a fresh culmination that highlights all there is to dig about this band.

Whether you love them for their New Orleans inspired street parties or their raucous stage shows, Horns of Leroy always deliver and have earned themselves a reputation to match.