Louise Blackwell started as a young actor in Geoffrey Rush’s MAGPIE THEATRE, including the acclaimed 1986 Adelaide Festival production of THE SMALL POPPIES.
She spent some years in Adelaide and Sydney performing in many theatre, television and musical productions, such as SATC’s ESSINGTON LEWIS: I AM WORK,
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE at Q Theatre, telefilm THE HARP IN THE SOUTH and DAD AND DAVE: ON OUR SELECTION.
In Melbourne she joined her sister Lisa Blackwell, Mary-Jo Kelly, Marian Crawford and Mairead, Shelagh and Deirdre Hannan ( the Xylouris Ensemble) in the vocal band FRIENDS AND RELATIONS; a mix of traditional Irish and Greek songs, which gained quick status as one of the best vocal bands around at the time….
She studied arts at university and also sang with various musicians such as Mark Simmonds on saxophone, Diane Peters on harp and Ben Winkelman on piano. She went to Barcelona to record a vocal composition HERBARIUM, written by Javier Navarette, Oscar nominated for his music in the film PAN’S LABYRINTH.
Louise gained a scholarship to Lumière University in Lyon, France, to study French literature and cinema studies. She then moved to Paris to do a Bachelor in Cinema Studies, where she started singing Irish traditional songs in the Irish pubs of Paris and joined groups such as GULF STREAM, playing Paris, Bretagne and Switzerland.
She studied jazz vocal with two renowned jazz singers in Paris, both originally from the United States, Sara Lazarus and Michelle Hendricks, and started singing jazz in Paris. She collaborated with pianist Vincent Bourgeyx, playing her first Paris jazz gig at L’OGRESSE Marionette Theatre, then went on to play at clubs such as SUNSIDE, LES SEPT LEZARDS, LE FRANC PINOT and CAFÉ UNIVERSEL…working with many great musicians including Pierre Christophe on piano, Gildas Boclé, Manuel Marchès and Chris Jennings on bass, and Karl Jannuska and Mourad Bennhamou on drums.
In Paris she recorded three CDS :
- THE BLUE LOU QUARTET (2001) with Vincent Bourgeux on piano, Gildas Boclé on double bass and Karl Jannuska on drums.
- SEA IS TURNING (2007), original songs written by Lisa Blackwell and Christopher Barnett, featuring Vincent Bourgeyx on piano, Karl Jannuska on drums and Chris Jennings on double bass.
- PARIS HOP (2014) with Vincent Bourgeyx on piano, Gildas Boclé on double bass and Karl Jannuska on drums
Back in Adelaide, she collaborated with Bruce Hancock on piano, John Aué on bass and Yuri Markov on drums as well as Gary Isaacs on guitar to perform in concerts and Adelaide Fringe Festivals and Cabaret Fringe events, namely with her sell-out shows TAKE ME BACK TO PARIS at the 2011 Adelaide Fringe, and PARIS HOP at the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Festival.
For the 2016 Adelaide Fringe, Louise performed A NIGHT IN PARIS with Mark Ferguson on keys, Julian Ferraretto on violin, John Aué on double bass and Gary Isaacs on guitar. A very successful show, they did an encore performance at the Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival in June, a Bastille Concert at LA BOHEME in July and toured it to Melbourne in September at The PARIS CAT Jazz Club and LOMOND HOTEL.
They have performed yearly Fringe seasons of their ever-evolving show entitled A NIGHT IN PARIS I & II and FROM PARIS WITH LOVE from 2016 to 2021. Playing at various venues such as GLUTTONY, Nexus Arts, St. John’s Anglican Church, Stirling Fringe, Fringe at Marion Cultural Centre, Mount Gambier Fringe and most recently at QUEEN’S Theatre for the 2021 Adelaide Fringe where they won the Advertiser Pick of the Fringe for Music award.
In 2018 they won a Fringe Weekly Music Award for A NIGHT IN PARIS which included a CD release and video clips.
French shows and events include Masters of Impressionism Exhibition at Art Gallery of South Australia, Alliance Française French Market, Adelaide Festival Centre’s French Festival, Bonjour Barossa French Festival at Seppeltsfield, yearly Bastille Day gigs at La Bohème and now the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Onkaparinga Arts, The Parks Theatre, Adelaide Cabaret Fringe, Trinity Sessions.
They have been on 3 tours to Melbourne playing at Alliance Française, Paris Cat Jazz Club, Lomond Hotel and Open Studio.
Violinist Julian Ferraretto has been in demand as a soloist and ensemble player both in and out of the UK Jazz scene and in Australia.
UK collaborations include arranging and performing with Neil Cowley, Eska Mtungwazi and Carleen Anderson, as well as performances with Natacha Atlas, The Urban Soul Orchestra, Stuart Townend and Wigmore Hall’s creative ensemble Ignite.
- Wigmore Hall
- Queen Elizabeth Hall
- Royal Festival Hall
- North Sea Jazz Festival
- London Jazz Festival
- Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- Barbados Jazz Festival
- Copenhagen Jazz Festival
Julian has performed constantly since coming back to Australia, as a member of THE BAKER SUITE and countless ensembles around Adelaide. He recently played with Johanna Allen for her show EUROMASH at the Melbourne Recital Centre. His own compositions performed with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for the GRAINGER SERIES: HAVE VIOLIN WILL TRAVEL. He is a major collaborator on the upcoming musical event LOST AND FOUND ORCHESTRA at Elder Park for the 2018 Adelaide Festival of Arts. A regular WOMAD artist, concerts with his wife Liz McCall….the list goes on
Composer/arranger/pianist Mark Simeon Ferguson was born in Whyalla into a musical family and raised in the lower North. As a pianist he has performed with artists including Rufus Wainwright, Lady Rizo, Mark Murphy, Ray Vega, Beccy Cole and Peter Combe. He has been Musical Director for Johanna Allen, Camille O’Sullivan, Rhonda Burchmore, Rachael Beck and the Closing Gala of the 2017 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and the 2018 Adelaide Festival Centre’s Walk of Fame Gala.
Mark’s commissions for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra include the Bush Concert (which was performed by the SSO in the Sydney Opera House in 2017), Herman and Rosie and Gospel Messiah. He has composed two song cycles for the SA Public Primary Schools Music Festival and is currently composing music for an opera for Singular Productions. In 1999 he completed a Master of Music at the University of Adelaide (where he now lectures) and he was also a semi-finalist in the National Jazz Awards. Mark also leads Marmalade Five (an original children’s group with his wife and three children), Marmalade Trio, Marmalade Circus (which performed at the Sydney Festival in 2002) and Marmalade Jam (with annual Australian tours for 13 years with Musica Viva in Schools).
Coming from a musical family, Josh was drawn to the drums at a young age. He was involved with numerous ensembles throughout primary and high school, including performances with James Morrison, Don Burrows and Grace Knight.
In 2005, Josh completed his Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, Adelaide. Whilst undertaking his Bachelor, he was awarded the Elder/Helpmann Award for most outstanding drummer, and was a member of the University of Adelaide Big Band 1. In 2006, Josh completed his Honours in Music (Jazz Performance), for which he received First Class Honours and was awarded the Elder/Helpmann Award for most outstanding Honours graduate. He also received a Helpmann Award nomination for his outstanding results.
Since then, Josh has established himself as one of Adelaide’s leading drummers. He has performed in concert with leading national and international jazz artists, including George Garzone, Jamie Oehlers and Paul Grabowksy (with whom he performed at the Adelaide Festival Centre for the launch of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts) and at a masterclass assisting Joel Frahm. Josh performed as part of the support act for the Brad Mehldau Trio at the 2009 Adelaide East End Jazz Festival, and works regularly with Adelaide’s leading musicians.
In 2012, Josh was awarded a JUMP scholarship and undertook a mentorship in New York with jazz drumming legend, John Riley.
John Aué is a fulltime bass teacher and lecturer in Jazz Studies at the Elder Conservatorium (since 2000). He began his career in Adelaide as a guitarist, bass player, arranger and vocal group singer and moved to London in 1976, where he regularly performed with the Ronnie Scott Quintet, Ray Ellington Quartet, the Ballet Rambert and many others. Apart fromlive performances, work also included BBC Radio broadcasts, ITV shows and commercial studio work. He returned to Australia and made Sydney his home in 1983. He has played with many of the jazz luminaries such as Don Burrows, James Morrison, George Golla, Judy Bailey and many more. Also became involved with musical theatre, TV (The Midday Show) and education (Sydney Grammar School, Australian Institute of Music).
Since 1999, he has been active in Adelaide’s jazz, theatre, recording and cabaret scene. He completed a Master of Music degree in composition at the University of Adelaide in 2010.