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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 2, 2018

The humanist and rebellious French duo Madeleine & Salomon –  Clotilde & Alexandre are bringing their beautiful musical collaboration to Australia.
‘Madeleine & Salomon’ is the meeting of two artists with well-established musical visions: the vocalist and flautist, Clotilde Rullaud, and pianist and multi-instrumentalist, Alexandre Saada. It’s one of those shows that to describe it, merely doesn’t do it justice, it has to be seen to be fully appreciated. It perfectly combines beauty and purpose.

Together, their show ‘Madeleine & Salomon’ embraces with ardour the feminist American songbook, covering it with loving-kindness tinged with minimalistic music and with a deep and incandescent chant.

Their album ‘A Woman’s Journey’ reveals a graceful and unexpected reinterpretation of a humanist and rebellious repertoire, from Nina Simone to Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday to Josephine Baker. Madeleine sings, Salomon sits at the piano. Madeleine & Salomon is a duo with a natural elegance, with “less is more” at its essence.

Long-term friends, they discovered during a tour of Asia in 2014 that they shared a common musical aesthetic and decided to form the duo Madeleine & Salomon. The pair took advantage of the Melbourne Recital Centre’s invitation in June 2015 to rethink the American Songbook in their original fashion and record their ‘A Woman’s Journey’. This homage to American female protest singers is enriched on stage by free improvisations inspired by dreamlike short films.

‘A Woman’s Journey’ was named ‘Best Album 2016’ by the French National Radio France Musique and by Jazz Magazine and Citizenjazz.
Tickets for all dates are on sale now.

Madeleine & Salomon tour dates March 2018 
Friday 9 March – NEW VENUE! Annandale Creative Arts Centre
 81 Johnston St, Annandale, Sydney, 8pm -10pm
Tickets at door, $20 cash on the night

Saturday 10 March – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli

Sunday 11 March – Doo Bop Jazz Bar, Brisbane clotilde-rullard/

Monday 12 March – Doo Bop Jazz Bar, Brisbane clotilde-rullard/

Wednesday 14 March – Jazzlab, Melbourne

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 1, 2018

Cymru’s rock ambassadors, STEREOPHONICS, will make a welcome return to Australia for a run of much anticipated shows this April, marking their first Australian tour since 2013.

Stereophonics are heading out in support of their latest album, Scream Above The Sounds, launching with a show at the Sydney Opera House on April 26, then onto Brisbane’s Tivoli on April 28, Melbourne’s Forum on April 30 and HQ in Adelaide on May 3 before wrapping up the tour in the west with one night at Fremantle Arts Centre on May 5.

Renowned for delivering consistently superb, dynamic live shows led by the raw vocals of Kelly Jones, during their current European tour Stereophonics have been treating fans to scorching sets showcasing Scream Above The Sounds tracks live for the first time, interspersed with timeless favourites such as: ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, ‘Superman’, ‘The Bartender and the Thief’, ‘Mr Writer’, ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’, ‘Dakota’ and ‘Have A Nice Day’.

Tickets for all shows go on sale at 11am this Wednesday, March 7.

My Live Nation members can be among the first to secure tickets during the pre-sale beginning at 2pm Monday, March 5.

For complete tour and ticketing details, visit:

Stereophonics first stepped into the spotlight with the release of their debut album, Word Gets Around, in 1997.

The band soon followed that up with their first UK #1 album, Performance and Cocktails, in 1999 and subsequent #1 albums Just Enough Education To Perform (2001), You Gotta Go There To Come Back (2003), Language. Sex. Violence. Other? (2005), Pull The Pin (2007) and Keep The Village Alive (2015).

Stereophonics founding members, frontman Kelly Jones and bassist Richard Jones, along with guitarist Adam Zindani and drummer Jamie Morrison, will be joined on tour by long-term associate, keyboardist Tony Kirkham.







My Live Nation pre-sale: 2pm March 5 until 5pm March 6

For complete tour and ticketing information, visit: &

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - March 1, 2018

A stellar double header that has two legendary guitar virtuosos between them, is heading to our shores in June 2018.   Grammy-nominated Extreme, one of the most successful rock acts of the late 80s & 90s, and hard rock’s original supergroup Mr. Big will be touring capital cities mid-year to showcase their exceptional musical prowess.

Extreme became one of the most prosperous bands of the early 90’s when the biggest hit of their career, “More Than Words”, rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991.  The track was lifted from their double platinum selling second album release, Extreme II: Pornograffitti (A Funked Up Fairy Tale).  “Hole Hearted”, also on this album, reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.  While these ballads were Extreme’s biggest commercial hits, they were not indicative of the bands trade mark heavy rock style which makes up most of their sound.  Decadence Dance and Get The Funk Out are heavier tunes that are more representative of them and which also made it into the Billboard Hot 100.

Extreme have sold over 10 million albums worldwide since their formation in 1985.  They’ve released six studio albums, a greatest hits set, and a recent live DVD.  The band had initially described their music as ‘funky metal’, but it would evolve much more in the mid-90s by blending classic rock influences with post-grunge and alternative rock.  The band’s popularity is fuelled by guitar mastermind, Nuno Bettencourt’s signature style, Gary Cherone’s resonant vocals and socially conscious lyrics, Pat Badger’s rock-solid bass, and the hard-hitting Kevin Figueiredo on drums.

Formed back in 1988, Mr Big forged its place in rock history combining trademark “shredding” musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies.  The well-respected group stood out from the rest due in part to their skilfull musicianship.  Mr. Big produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres – be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included “Alive and Kicking,” “Just Take My Heart” and the chart-topping ballad “To Be With You” (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991), propelling the band to huge international success and multi-platinum record sales.

Their ninth recent album release Defying Gravity showcases the best of what Mr. Big has to offer.  Several of the band members are well respected virtuosos within the music industry.  Billy Sheehan has won many ‘Best Bass Player’ awards in numerous magazines, including an unprecedented 14 years in a row from Player Magazine.  Paul Gilbert is recognized as one of the top guitarists of his generation.  The veteran American band, fronted by lead singer, Eric Martin, continue to be a touring force playing to sold-out shows around the globe.

Tickets on sale on Wednesday March 7th at 10.00am (local time)
Check local venues for ticket details

For full concert information, please visit:


Friday 1st June 2018
Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
Tickets available from:

Sunday 3rd June 2018
Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tickets available from:

Wednesday 6th June 2018
Forum Theatre, Melbourne
Tickets available from:

Thursday 7th June 2018
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Tickets available from:

Friday 8th June 2018
Metro City, Perth
Tickets available from:

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Posted in Blog, Special Features    //    Post Date - February 28, 2018

Yamaha Music Australia
has announced it’s second annual Great Start Grant – a nationwide initiative that will see one school awarded a $50,000 music grant, plus an exclusive performance from Dami Im, Australia’s X-Factor winner and most successful Eurovision entrant.

With the potential to help foster creativity and build social connections, Yamaha is searching for Australian schools in need of a helping hand to get their Music Performance Program off the ground. All they have to do is explain why they deserve it the most! last year Apollo bay College was the recipient of concert band instruments, a prize which has made a significant difference to that school’s music program and the kids who play in it. This year, the prize has a broader prize base in regard to the type of instruments offered.

The $50,000 Great Start Grant includes:
• $45,000 worth of Yamaha instruments — equivalent to 42 brand new Yamaha instruments/equipment
• 1 day of training from Peter Wardrobe —Yamaha’s Education Specialist
• A launch concert at the winning school from Dami Im
• PLUS: Consolation prizes worth $2,000 in value shared between another two schools

We asked Australia’s leading band expert and Yamaha’s Education Outreach Clinician Dr Rob McWilliams a few key questions about the Great Start Grant

What could the $50,000 grant do for the music department of a school?
The grant will enable a school who has all the other necessary elements to make best use of this giveaway (fully supportive administration, committed teaching staff, student interest, appropriate physical plant (classroom space, etc.), and all that is missing is the available funding to get the equipment.  This is where Yamaha steps in and completes the picture with the grant!

What comments are you hearing from students, parents and teachers at Apollo Bay P-12 College, which has already benefitted from this program?
The Yamaha Giveaway that Apollo Bay P-12 received was slightly different in that it was a grant of concert band instruments (this year’s grant is geared to a more “commercial” music type of program).  However, the impact is very similar in that it has given many students in the Apollo Bay area a special opportunity to learn an instrument and participate in a school concert band.  The whole school and broader community has been excited and grateful for what this grant has brought to them.

Apollo Bay P-12 trumpets

What are the benefits of being involved in a large school band?
The benefits of involvement in learning musical instruments are wide-ranging and significant.  More and more research points to the unique benefits of instrument learning as they relate to brain development.  It turns out the brain is uniquely active in many different places when we undertake this activity.  Playing an instrument also engages our emotional selves in a significant way – music is often considered the “language of emotions” and this is such an important part of growing up and understanding the human condition.  Furthermore, involvement teaches and develops many very important “life skills” such as empathy with others, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, and so on.

Also many studies on academic achievement show that students who have been involved in music achieve, on average, at a higher level.  A primary school in England that was considered a “failing” school in 2010 on just about every objective measure (achievement, attendance, academic standards, etc.) responded by adding music into their overall curriculum wherever they could, as well as giving every child music lessons, etc.  The result was a complete turnaround such that that school now *exceeds* national averages on all of the objective measures!

What advice would you give to someone who would like to play music but is not sure about what instrument they should choose?
I would advise speaking to an “expert” in the field of music instrument teaching & learning (e.g. a music teacher) as well as doing some actual exploration or “trying out” on some possibilities.  Students can be more or less suited to particular instruments based on their personalities, musical aptitudes, physical attributes, etc.  What we do know is that there is a suitable instrument for everybody!

What advice would you give to a child who has started to learn an instrument but is struggling and believe they’re not making progress in their music playing journey?
Hang in there!  It is part of the learning process to experience learning “plateaus” at various times when you just don’t seem to be making progress, etc..  These are usually followed by more rapid improvement “spurts” so you just have to keep at it.  The benefits are well worth it!

How important is it to begin learning with a quality instrument?
This is really important as a poor quality instrument will hamper progress and also tend to suffer breakdown, lack of durability, etc.  If you invest in a good quality instrument at the start and take appropriate care of it, it is not unusual to get close to the price you paid if you do need to sell, upgrade, etc.  This means it’s a “no brainer” to make a wise choice of an appropriate, decent quality instrument throughout your instrument learning journey.  Once again, seek expert advice and be *very* wary of instruments sold online (unless you can verify that they are appropriate quality/condition) or in stores where their main business is non-music items – e.g. groceries, etc.

There are many reasons why someone would join a school music program … the social aspect, learning for fun, learning with a career in music as the goal … What realistic goals should students set themselves to begin with?
Just set out to do your best, enjoy yourself, and learn at your optimum pace.  The most important key to practice is *regularity* – a little bit often is always better than larger chunks too spread out.  Most people who learn instruments will not make a living as performing musicians, but they can have a lifelong participation and enjoyment of it and get all the same benefits as anyone else.

What’s the main criteria for the school which will be chosen for the major prize? What factors do you take into consideration?
Applications that demonstrate that the other key components (supportive administration, excellent teaching staff, physical plant, student interest, etc.) will be considered more favourably.  Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of experts, including outside of Yamaha, to choose the winning school.  There are also two “consolation” prizes for the next closest candidates.

Victorian schools wishing to apply must complete the online application by March 16th. For full details please visit

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - February 27, 2018

We’ve drawn our winners for the Rodrigo Y Gabriela meet and greet competition and they are:

James Huckson

James Reinhardt

Jemma Davey

The Rodrigo Y Gabriela tour begins on March 9 at Womadelaide. Here are the national dates:


Presented by Gaynor Crawford & Chugg Entertainment
 Friday 9th March – WOMADelaide
 Saturday 10th March – Forum Melbourne (18+)
Tuesday 13th March – Astor Theatre (18+)
 Thursday 15th March – Enmore Theatre (All Ages)
 Friday 16th March – The Tivoli (18+)

For more information go to:

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - February 23, 2018

Dynamic Music is delighted to announce a new partnership as the exclusive Australian distributor of Meinl Cymbals & Percussion, effective Monday April 2nd 2018 .

“We are proud to represent such a progressive and innovative company and one of the great global names in percussion. We look forward to working closely with you all to provide the best possible outcomes for your business and the future growth of Meinl products in Australia.”

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - February 13, 2018

The 2018 Bluesfest line up has been rounded out with the last-minute addition of celebrated Soul singer Leon Bridges and a handful of other gifted artists.

Since arriving on the scene with his Grammy nominated album ‘Coming Home’ in 2015, Bridges has become one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed singers of his generation. With two sold out Australian tours under his belt, there is no doubt audiences here are hungry for more of his incredible talent.

He’s an up and coming rock star with the voice of an angel, who counts Ed Sheeran among his biggest fans, so it’s with great excitement that Bluesfest welcomes Ryan McMullan to the festival in 2018.

The huge voice of Clarence Bekker is heading back to Bluesfest in 2018! Bekker is a singer and songwriter of Soul and Reggae music; and a vocalist in Playing for Change. From 2009, he had toured the world with a message of peace through music in more than 300 concerts, including many celebrated performances at Bluesfest.

Tay Oskee won the Byron Bay Busking comp in 2017, so organisers are delighted to welcome him back with a spot on their line up in 2018. Tay is a multi-instrumentalist playing a variety of guitars, banjo, harmonica and percussion.  With a musical style that is wide and varied Tay can take you on a journey from chilled beach tunes to punchy riff driven roots music with distinctive multicultural influences.

She wowed everyone who saw her Busking Comp sets and went on to take the Grommet Busking Prize home in 2017, there is no doubt Molly Millington is a force to be reckoned with! Molly fuses country and folk with a little quirky pop to create dark, yet playful tunes

Music lovers from across Australia will visit the beautiful Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just outside Byron Bay over the Easter long weekend (Thursday 29th March to Monday 2nd April 2018) for the 29th Annual Bluesfest. During the Festival they will enjoy 12 hours of music each day on multiple stages, incredible food and market stalls and on site camping in a range of accommodation options.


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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - February 13, 2018

Wild Fearless and Free

Proudly produced and presented by Moreland City Council, Brunswick Music Festival has unveiled further shows, celebrations, collaborations and much more for their 30th Anniversary program spanning 4-18 March.

Here’s a couple of great sessions our readership are certain to be interested in:

Music Victoria Presents: Got Music? What Next? – March 5
Brunswick is the number one suburb for songwriters in Australia. So what do you do with all the songs you’ve written and rehearsed? Join Music Victoria and connect with key people from the local scene to find out. Hear from Brunswick-based music industry experts and get practical advice on how to get airplay, how to pitch for support slots, how to book gigs in local venues, how to get your records pressed and more. Gain behind the scenes insights from the folks who are making music happen in your neighbourhood!

Justin Rudge Venue Booker, The Spotted Mallard
Kate Duncan Creative Director, The Push
Paul Rigby Director, Zenith Records Pressing Plant
Simon Winkler Music Coordinator, Triple R
Tristan Ludowyk Label Director, HopeStreet Recordings
Vanessa Bassili Venue Booker, Howler

APRA AMCOS Presents: Songwriter Speaks – March 6
APRA AMCOS and Brunswick Music Festival invite you to join us for a very special Songwriter Speaks. In celebration of International Women’s Day, Ella Hooper (Killing Heidi/solo) and Mojo Juju will be discussing what it takes to write music that inspires, connects and endures.  Hosted by and celebrating these two uncompromising talents will be Triple R’s music coordinator and presenter Simon Winkler.

And ….

Brunswick Music Festival will celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March with a specially commissioned concert, Wild Fearless and Free (pictured above). With the assistance of the enigmatic and powerful voices of Australia’s most evocative singers, songwriters and musicians, Stella Angelico, Sophie Koh, Jessica Hitchcock, The Black Sistaz and Kathleen Halloran, the show brings thought-provoking lyrics, storytelling and the sheer beauty of song in its purest form to the Brunswick Mechanics Institute.

Songs of 3056, Brunswick Music Festival’s first ever retrospective, celebrates the sounds of Brunswick with special concert on Friday 16 March. Directed by Xani Kolac (The Twoks), the show will feature Thando, Joshua Tavares, Simon Burke, Kylie Auldist, Sal Kimber and Kavisha Mazzella performing a mix of songs written by local artists and repertoire performed at Brunswick Music Festival over the past 30 years. See why Brunswick is the number one home of songwriters in Australia.

For the two weeks of the festival, the Brunswick Mechanics Institute will be transformed into the Festival Hub and a key festival venue. Head down to catch free performances from Audrey Powne (The Do Yo Thangs), Lisa Crawley, Adam Rudegeair or to just soak up the atmosphere in the Brunswick Bitter Hub Bar.

An array of professional development panels, events and workshops to compliment the live program will be taking place at the Festival Hub. The program includes panels with a local focus hosted by Music Victoria and APRA AMCOS, a brass workshop with members of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, a songwriter’s masterclass with members of Mondo Rock and Cookin’ on 3 Burners, an in-conversation with Masta Ace hosted by Melbourne DJ Mz Rizk and more!

Adding to the already packed program of international artists, a bevy of local support acts have been announced. Masta Ace (USA) will be joined by N’fa Jones, Mistress OC, P-Unique, Belle Bangard, Will Scullin and an all-star band of Melbourne musicians. DJ Emma Peel will set the scene ahead of Daymé Arocena (Cuba). DJ Simon Winkler will evoke good vibrations before Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania). Zillavona and DJ Lyndelle Wilkinson will light up the stage before the brothers of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Allysha Joy and Lady Banton will be spinning scorchers and sweet neo-soul before Jojo Abot and Alárìíyá! and DJ Mike Gurrieri will get the party started before Grace Barbé.

Other features of this announcement include special intimate shows by Masta Ace (USA) and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (USA) at The Jazzlab – these are ones for the fans. Along with Blak Kabaret Klub at Blak Dot Gallery, an eight-night sonic mashup of awesome vibes, words and beats. Multi Futurism, which melds masters of little heard diverse music with contemporary artists to spark unusual inter-cultural collaborations, and Live at the Library, which includes an exhibition of Brunswick Music Festival ephemera.

Opening the festival, Sydney Road Street Party on Sunday 4 March will once more bring one of Melbourne’s most highly trafficked arterials to a standstill, to make way for a heaving extravaganza of sounds, smells, sights. With six stages along the street, the line-up includes The Cactus Channel, Kutcha Edwards, Jazz Party, The Meltdown, The Do Yo Thangs and more! Plus music all day at Brunswick’s legendary local venues including The Spotted Mallard and The Retreat.

The first ever High Tide Pool Party features a day of music with soul duo Silver Linings, DJ Shio Otani and synchronised swimming performances by The Eastern Sirens. Family-friendly fun and more than a couple of banana lounges are guaranteed at Brunswick Baths for one sunny afternoon. Finally Music for the People boasts headliners Saskwatch plus Mighty Duke and the Lords and more, promising good vibes to round out the program in the lush surrounds of Shore Reserve on Sunday 18 March.

For further information, visit

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - February 13, 2018

In a world exclusive, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson has announced she is coming to Australia to appear on stage in Sydney and Melbourne in NOTHING COMPARES 2 PRINCE, a celebration of the music of Prince performed by musicians and singers that performed alongside him at various times of his career.  NOTHING COMPARES 2 PRINCE will premiere in Australia a week after the anniversary of Prince’s passing (April 21st, 2016) – playing at the Sydney Opera House on the 27th April and then play in Melbourne at Hamer Hall on the 29th April 2018.

“I am very excited about coming to Australia to celebrate the life of my Brother with you.  Prince loved your country and enjoyed playing there! I look forward to joining the other wonderful singers and musicians on stage for NOTHING COMPARES 2 PRINCE, and I hope to see and hug as many of Prince’s fans as I can off stage! See you in April,” said Tyka Nelson.

Tyka Nelson joins this unique celebration of a remarkable musical life which covers four decades of hits.  Expect to hear such iconic songs such as ‘Purple Rain’, ‘1999’, ‘Little Red Corvette’, ‘Raspberry Beret’, ‘When Doves Cry’, ‘Kiss’, ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’. Classics he wrote for other artists will also be showcased including ‘Manic Monday’ (The Bangles), ‘The Glamorous Life’ (Sheila E.), and, of course, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.  It will also feature a special, never heard before tribute by Tyka to her late brother that cannot be missed.

Directly following on from Celebration 2018 at Paisley Park (April 19-22)  NOTHING COMPARES 2 PRINCE features twelve performers, musicians, singers, producers and composers who, at various times, were directly involved in Prince’s incredible career – all co-conspirators in the creation of the music that changed the world.  The line-up includes St. Paul Peterson, who was chosen by Prince to appear in Purple Rain and was later the original voice of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’; Cassandra O’Neal, keyboard player for Prince and The New Power Generation from 2009 to 2016, Tori Ruffin, lead guitarist with Morris Day & The Time , SHELBY J. (as named by Prince) who spent the last 10 years at his side as a lead vocalist in The New Power Generation, notably featured with him at Superbowl XLI, Collaborator, Stokley Williams of Mint Condition and Minneapolis All-Star, Jellybean Johnson of The Time, a high school friend, and along with Prince, one of the architects of The Minneapolis Sound; Ricky Peterson, who co-produced Prince’s ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In The World’, a number one hit in Australia in 1994; The list continues with Andy Allo, collaborator Nik West plus members of The NPG Hornz.

“I am so excited to be coming back to Australia this April, heading up an All Star line up of singers and musicians to honour the incredible life and music of Prince. The entire band were fortunate to work with him, and we are honoured to keep his memory and music alive at the world premiere of NOTHING COMPARES 2 PRINCE,” said St Paul Peterson, the show’s musical director and keyboard player.

“To say that I am excited to return to Australia to honor my friend, Prince, is an understatement. I was there with him for his Piano and a Microphone tour in 2016 and the memories are enormous. For me, this will be an emotional occasion and one of the hardest performances I will have done. I am HONORED and HUMBLED to work with these wonderful artists and musicians for this world premiere of NOTHING COMPARES 2 PRINCE,”said Nik West.

NOTHING COMPARES 2 PRINCE takes place a week after the anniversary of Prince’s passing and a special event at Paisley Park to mark this date.  Celebration 2018 will take place between April 19-22, 2018 at Prince’s iconic home and creative sanctuary and will feature four days of live music and special events where many of the artists appearing in Australia will be playing too.


Tyka Nelson:
Like her older brother, Music Legend Prince, Tyka Nelson grew up surrounded by music. The Minneapolis based artist is the daughter of Jazz singer Mattie Shaw and accomplished musician John L. Nelson. Growing up Tyka listened to Mahalia Jackson records and began singing at the age of 2. She wrote her first song at the ripe old age of 10. Tyka has a 4 octave range and plays 4 different instruments, piano, guitar, bass and clarinet but admits “I don’t consider myself a musician, I play, just well enough to put down my own musical ideas.”

Tyka has had people tell her that she often sounds like her older Brother, her reply is simply, “It is not my intent to sound like anyone else and I have strived to be original in everything I do. Even though my brother is someone I greatly love and respect, there can and will be only, one Prince.”   With 4 CD’s under her belt Tyka wanted to honor the memory of the late musician with the release of a music video for her song “End of the Road” that takes fans on a journey through her and her brother’s early life together. “After Prince passed I wanted to give him one final birthday present and I decided to fulfill his wish, and record this song at Paisley Park,” she says.  “This song poses the question ‘is this the End of The Road?’ and my answer is I don’t think so! I will see all three of my beautiful family members someday again.”

St Paul Peterson: Discovered at 17 by Prince, St Paul was hand picked to appear in the 1984 Grammy Award winning film Purple Rain as the new keyboard player in the acclaimed funk group The Time. He shortly thereafter contributed his keyboard and bass skills to the group’s platinum album Ice Cream Castle (#24 pop), the infectious singles Jungle Love (#6 R& B/#20 pop) and The Bird (#36 pop).  Prince later recruited him to front The Family, now known as fDeluxe, whose self-titled debut was released to critical acclaim in September 1985, generating the popular singles The Screams Of Passion (#9 R&B), High Fashion, (#34 R&B) and the original, and arguably, the finest version of the worldwide hit Nothing Compares 2 U, later popularised by Sinead O’Connor.

A mainstay of the Minneapolis music scene St. Paul has scored R&B and Pop hits as a solo artist, contributed to a number of albums for Paisley Park (Jevetta Steele, Mavis Staples, Nona Gaye, Rosie Gaines) and written for acts as varied as The Corrs, Paula Abdul, The Veronicas, George Benson and David Sanborn.

Cassandra O’Neal: Cassandra was Prince’s musical director and keyboardist from 2009 to 2016.  She joined The New Power Generation and played at Grand Palais and La Cigale concerts in France, Prince’s 20Ten Tour, Welcome 2 America, 2011 Montreal Jazz festival, Welcome 2 America Euro 2011 tour and the 2016 Official Prince Tribute Concert in Minneapolis.  Other artists she has performed with include Macy Gray, Mary J Bligh, Pink and Leann Rimes.

Tori Ruffin:  Guitarist/composer/arranger/producer/performer, For the past 23 years Tori Ruffin has been the lead guitarist for Morris Day & The Time, appearing with the band on tour, TV (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Arsenio Hall Show and more) and in the studio.  In 2004 he toured with the band as opening act for Prince’s Musicology Tour and appeared on Prince’s DVD ‘Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic’. In 2016 he performed with the band at the ‘Official Prince Tribute – A Celebration of Life and Music” and in April 2017 as part of the official Paisley Park Celebration.

He was lead guitarist with Fishbone from 2000-2011 and for Michael Franti & Spearhead in 2002/3, touring Australia on a number of occasions. Tori has performed with acclaimed names such as Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz, American Idol’s Randy Jackson and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis of Flyte Tyme Productions. In the studio he has performed with, written with/for the likes of Mariah Carey, Smokey Robinson, Me’Shell NdegeOcello and Dru Hill amongst others.

Jellybean Johnson: Jellybean Johnson was friends with Prince since high school and was a member of The Time. The group would go on to score four gold and/or platinum selling albums: The Time (1981), What Time Is It (1982), Ice Cream Castle (1984) and Pandemonium (1990). The band was featured prominently in Prince’s Grammy & Oscar winning film ‘Purple Rain’. Jellybean was recruited to play drums for The Family, before joining Jam & Lewis’ Flyte Tyme where he produced hits for Janet Jackson, New Edition, Alexander O’Neal and Mint Condition.

Shelby J: Shelby was a member of Prince’s New Power Generation for 10 years.  Shelby performed beside Prince at the historic 2007 Super Bowl Half-time show and the sold-out 21 nights in London concert series.  In 2012 Prince and Shelby collaborated on an ode to her home State ‘North Carolina’ which topped the New-Soul/R&B Amazon charts.

Andy Allo: Cameroon born Andy Allo joined The New Power Generation in 2011 as singer/guitarist.  Prince and Andy worked on the album Superconductor which he co-produced and Andy arranged.  Prince and Andy also wrote 2 songs together at that time. “You’re in presence of someone who has so much experience and so much knowledge,” Allo said of working with Prince. “At the same time he gave me that space to blossom and grow.”

Nik West: Nik is an accomplished bass player. She sports a colorful mohawk shaped like a bass clef. Explosive stage presence isn’t enough to describe the way Nik West moves, wows, and shocks crowds everywhere. Nik first jammed with Prince at Paisley in 2012 and then famously turned down the opportunity to play in his band as she wanted to continue as an artist in her own right but remained a good friend and collaborator with Prince. Nik completed 4 studio recordings with Prince at Paisley Park late in his career. ­­

Stokley Williams (Mint Condition): Stokley William’s band Mint Condition toured with Prince during the 2010 Welcome 2 America tour.  Being from Minneapolis, both bands crossed paths several times in their history. Since 2017 he has been performing with The Revolution alongside other long time Prince collaborators – Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z, Matt Fink and Mark Brown.

Ricky Peterson: A life long Minnesotan whose sound has always focused on a characteristically “Minneapolis” sound, Ricky Peterson is known for having produced, written and played keyboards for Prince on and off in studio while a staff producer at Paisley Park since his early days on the Twin Cities scene, perhaps most notably producing and arranging the song “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and working on “Gold”, “Emancipation”, and “Crystal Ball”. Ricky has also played with some of the biggest names in music including Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Joel, Anita Baker, James Taylor, Sting, Rodger Waters, Rick Braun, Jimmy Buffet and more.


Adrian Crutchfield (sax):   Adrian Crutchfield has taken the world by storm in recent years, not only as the last sax player to perform and record with Prince, touring the world and being featured on Prince’s last three albums, but also touring domestically and internationally with acts such as Lionel Ritchie, Bette Midler, and Cee Lo Green — all the while writing and building his 2017 release titled ‘Leap’.

BK Jackson (sax):  Bernard “BK” Jackson is an international-performing saxophonist, electrifying audiences across the globe with his unique playing style, energetic stage presence and unparalleled passion for music that touches the soul. A native of Tampa, Florida, he goes by the stage name “BK Jackson” and has crossed musical paths with industry giants such as B.B King, Bruno Mars, Brian McKnight, Hunter Hayes, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, Zac Brown Band and more. Most notably, BK spent three years touring domestically and abroad with musical icon Prince, performing timeless hits for sold out arenas night after night as a member of his 11-piece horn section, known as New Power Generation (NPG) Hornz.

Lynn Grissett: A formally educated professional musician, Lynn J. Grissett Jr. is a truly dedicated artist. A member of the NPG Hornz, the horn section of the band New Power Generation (NPG) once led by the late great musical genius Prince, Lynn has performed around the world as both a solo artist and as part of elite level ensembles. His trumpet can be heard on the following recordings: Prince: Hit N Run Phase One & Two (2015) Liv Warfield: The Unexpected (2014) Judith Hill: Back In Time (2015) Grammy Nominated: (Mint Condition: Healing Season (2015).

NOTHING COMPARES 2 PRINCE – tickets on sale now.

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - February 6, 2018

UK singer songwriter Newton Faulkner has just released his 6th album Hit The Ground Running. Newton will be touring Australia in April, including performances at Bluesfest, Byron Bay and The Corner Hotel in Melbourne where we captured him performing the title track from his new album.

Check out all of the Australian tour dates here:

Watch Melbourne duo Opal Ocean interview Newton here:

Photos by Jason Rosewarne

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