Live members at community event

Live at the Village members joined a community event on Saturday Feb. 25th.   Mara Kiek, Brett Hirst and Llew Kiek performed for a Rotary event at Katoomba which is part of a global effort to eradicate polio.  It’s a very impressive project that’s been going for about 25  years and now the disease remains endemic in just four countries Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.  


Michelle Nicolle and Bellyache Ben!

Live has just had a great week.  Friday night a very classy concert by the Michelle Nicolle Quartet.  Here is Rogers and Hart’s Lover (3’58) the second song in the show, from her CD The Loveliest Night (an ABC Recording).  06 Lover  The great thing is that while a fair bit of the repertoire are classics, the way that Michelle, Geoff Hughes (guitar), Tom Lee (bass) and Ronny Ferella (drums) perform them is very modern.  You wouldn’t hear these arrangements with Tony Bennett, with all due respects.

Here is a short video put together by Peter Karp Photography of the wonderful night…

On the Saturday morning before Michelle, Live at the Village presented a bluegrass gig at the Town Plaza Arcade in Springwood.  This is one of our free community shows and we do them as often as we can.   Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys were joined by Gary Daley, the very cool Osama Moustafa on drums, Llew Kiek and from time to time other talents taking their morning coffee at Zacs – including Janet Saunders and Gary Stowe.  Great musicians and a great community event.

According to Zac, over the two hours of music there were at least 60 people present at any one time.  The baristas at the hole in the wall style cafe which spills into the arcade know all of the regulars names and preferences.  It’s a great space.

My final comment on Bellyache Ben and co.  Sydney Conservatorium of Music graduates are choosing to do bluebrass!    A music born from Celtic settlers in America sitting around after hard days work, playing and playing.  Some got really good.  Zoom to the 1970s and some young baby boomers embraced it – they didn’t all have the musicianship of the greats of bluegrass but they did ok, and audiences loved it.  NOW we have highly skilled young musos who have the musicianship and embrace the culture.

Michelle Nicolle Quartet

Jazz standards such as So In Love will feature in the Michelle Nicolle Quartet’s concert at the first Live at the Village event for 2012, on Friday 17th February at 8pm.

“Australian Jazz singing doesn’t come any better than this….” The Weekend Australian.

Her voice is crisp, her delivery warm, at times very playful and always impressive. Autumn Serenade, You Made Me Love and a couple of songs from Simple Minds and The Reels are in the concert program.

Known for her ability to get right to the heart of a song, as well as being an in the moment
improviser Michelle Nicolle comes reocommended by international jazz musicians including Lloyd Swanton and the jazz great Kurt Elling who described her as “really cool!”.

She has also won three Mo Awards (the Australian Entertainment Awards) and the National Jazz Award.

With Geoff Hughes playing guitar, Ronny Ferella on drums and Tim Lee on bass, Michelle has performed at festivals and events from Tokyo to Turkey to Finland, and across to Australia.

Live at the Village are thrilled to be able to present one of Melboune’s greatest jazz singers, with her excellent band. It is so rare to hear our southern cousins.

In the band’s unique style the quartet’s most recent CD, The Loveliest Night, on the ABC Jazz Label, is a gorgeous collection of standards and we will hear some of them at the Springwood concert. Don’t miss this great night!

Tickets are on sale now from The Turning Page Bookshop, Springwood or by phone on 4751 5171.

In the meantime you can sample her songs on her website at


Sanctuary – An hour long work in 6 parts. By Gary Daley

Live at the Village commissioned the composer Gary Daley to write a new music work and the November 2011 premiere was in Springwood at Live at the village and at the Parramasala Festival.

The music uses a hybrid of traditional and folk sounds with a jazz and classical basis.   Appalachian folk meets Indian percussion.

The Sanctuary Ensemble

  • Gary Daley – Accordion, Piano & Loops
  • Paul Cutlan – Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
  • Tunji Beier – Percussion
  • Lucky Oceans – Pedal Steel Guitar
  • Brett Hirst – Double Bass
  • Ollie Miller – Cello
  • Mirabai Peart – Violin
  • James Daley – Mandolin
  • Jess Green – Guitar and Vocals

Snippets from the Sydney Morning Herald  review by John Shand…

On the unique combo of instruments and music styles: “All these elements improbably cohered”

On one movement:  “Numenous had an improbable lushness… capped by a gorgeous violin solo from Peart”

“Ocean’s pedal steel guitar was ideal for implying homely refuge, his sound warm and inviting”

Welcome to our blog!

Live at the Village  presents concerts featuring the best (mainly) Australian composers and musicians working in world, jazz, and contemporary  music forms.

The concerts are held at Springwood in the beautiful Blue Mountains, just over an hours drive from the centre of Sydney, Australia.

Some musicians featured to date have included Tina Harrod, The catholics, Mara!, Luke Webb, The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra with Kristen Berardi, The Jonathan Zwartz Quartet, Lior, Lily Dior, Spike Mason, The James Valentine Quartet and the Gary Daley Trio.

Coming Up in 2012

1. Classic Jazz Songs                                                                                                                         The Michelle Nicolle Quartet                                                                                                             Friday, 17th February 2012 – 8.00pm

2. CD Launch                                                                                                                                          Mara! And The Martenitsa Choir                                                                                                  Saturday, 31st March 2012 – 8.00pm

3. Gypsy Jazz                                                                                                                                       The Date Brothers With Daniel Weltlinger                                                                                             Friday, 20th April 2012 – 8.00pm

4. Indian Music and Jazz                                                                                                            Sandy Evans Indian Project                                                                                                                  Saturday, 23rd June 2012 – 8.00pm