Sirens Big Band, Sydney’s 17-piece super-collective, perform big band music, but not as you’ve seen or heard it before – jazz melds with Middle Eastern, Latin and African grooves, including original offerings from composers within and outside of the band. This is exciting, danceable music presented by some of Sydney’s finest musicians. Led by bassist Jessica Dunn, the ensemble also features Ellen Kirkwood (JRMA winner, Captain Kirkwood, Mister Ott, Fat Yahoozah), Loretta Palmeiro (Spyglass Gypsies), Lauren Benson (That Red Head), and Milan Ring (Milan, Spit Syndicate, Alphamamma).
With five years under their belts, they’ve performed at many major festivals across Australia including Sydney Festival (2011, 2012), Brisbane Festival, Darling Harbour Jazz and Blues Festival, Canberra’s Capital Jazz Project and SIMA International Women’s Jazz Festival, which saw them performing a concert with New York baritone saxophonist, Claire Daly. Sirens have been a part of the prestigious Bundanon Trust residency program and have released their debut album, Kali and the Time of Change, to critical acclaim.
Part of this very special concert will involve Sirens premiering new music in conjunction with Egyptian born, Arabic oud virtuoso, Mohamed Youssef. Trained as a classical pianist from a young age, Youssef migrated to Australia in 1990 where he studied jazz at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Attached to the richness of the Egyptian culture and the traditional Arabic music, Youssef has developed a strong passion for the oud and has been performing and teaching for over 15 years.
“The Sirens are… all-funky and all-embracing in their influences… It is a combination you won’t get anywhere else and they are one of Sydney’s - if not Australia’s - treasures” John Hardaker - AustralianJazz.net
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Saxophones – Loretta Palmeiro (lead), Rebecca Grubb, Ruth Wells, Harrison Harding, Sophie Unsen
Trombones – Rose Foster (lead), Emma-Rose Riley (trombone/congas), Rosie Woods, Rosie Marks-Smith (bass bone)
Trumpets – Claire Hollander (lead), Ellen Kirkwood, Lisa Gori, Heather Prowse
Rhythm Section - Jessica Dunn (bass), Milan Ring (guitar/vocals), Emma-Grace Stephenson (piano), Lauren Benson (drums/vocals)
Special Guest – Mohamed Youssef (oud)