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Thu 9 Jun 2016, 8:00pm–10:00pm

Where: JMI Live, 1/47 Brookes Street, Bowen Hills, Queensland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $10.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: cassieyke

“I like to move away from the gimmick idea of girl bands, though playing with a group of such highly regarded women is rare and important as it creates role models for young women. This is more important than the latter I believe” – Martha Baartz.

Three of Australia’s finest jazz musicians Sharny Russell, Martha Baartz and Helen Russell perform in varying duo and trio combinations for one very special show on Thursday 9th June @ 8pm. This trio have a broad background of individual accolades and are each highly regarded within the Australian music industry.

Sharny Russell is equally at home on the piano and the microphone, and is known for her ability to improvise a line on both simultaneously. She has supported Martin Taylor, recorded with George Golla, been complimented by Ray Brown, and worked with countless of Australia’s top players.

Helen Russell is consistently the preferred double bassist for many local and international touring artists, such as James Morrison, Chuck Findlay, Molly Ringwald, Shirley Bassey, Jamie Oehlers, and Paul Grabowsky. “Playing with my sister Helen is pretty darn good. She and I have a good musical rapport and I know she is always going to play the most musical option at any given moment. She also makes me nervous”, says Sharny.

Martha Baartz is a highly established Australian saxophonist with considerable depth of talent. She has travelled and performed extensively at renowned jazz venues in Australia and abroad, working with artists such as Renee Geyer, Sandy Evans, Bob Sedergreen, and Michelle Nicolle.

While perhaps not typical to observe a stage dominated by women instrumentalists, Martha lists a myriad of female musicians who have inspired her journey, “Sonja Horbelt, Sandy Evans, Andrea Keller, Lisa Parrott...The list goes on and on. There are so many of us out there. We need to fight on and continue to represent ourselves with dignity and empowerment, and show our young sisters there is room for us.” Helen adds “I've been saying for years, when the day comes that you book a bunch of players you want to play with and they all turn out to be female, that will be a good day. I guess I've been saying it for 25 years and maybe I thought we'd be getting closer to that by now”.

“It’s a ‘man’s world’ in many ways, but my mother was a great jazz pianist and choral director (one of Don Burrows’ favourites), my sister Helen is a great musician (jazz and musical directorship), many of the women who were in my world growing up were choir directors, band members, soloists, adjudicators, and I have been all those things myself. There are so many world class women jazz instrumentalists and it’s true they are often treated more as a novelty than given the same serious respect as the guys, but not always. Sarah Vaughan was first hired as the pianist in Earl Hines’ big band, before becoming ‘the singer’” reflects Sharny.

The trio will perform a mixture of brand new originals and a selection of each musician’s favourite standards. They will explore melody, harmony and chord structure with an emphasis on feel, texture, beauty and original ideas. Don’t miss this stellar line-up of Sharny Russell – Piano/Vocals, Martha Baartz – Saxophone, and Helen Russell – Double Bass, at Brisbane’s most intimate jazz venue JMI Live.