– by Tasha Mitchell
On the 5th of December, The Ellington Jazz Club was the place to be! A night of unforgettable classics at the sold out venue were performed by Contemporary Music Students from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).
Jessica Blackley: Vocals
Naomi Geste: Vocals, Percussion
Trevor Stockton: Keys, Vocals
Christian Zappia: Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
Jon Stapleton: Guitar, Keys, Vocals
Marley Donnan-Cook: Bass
Josh Wright: Drums
The music brought everyone together that night. The talented musos delivered timeless classics from legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Ray Charles and many other revolutionists from the era. Whether you were born in the 60s or grew up listening to your parents’ favourite songs around the dinner table, everyone in the room celebrated and appreciated the music that the performers revitalised in the intimate venue.
Kicking it off with a rendition of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ by The Rolling Stones, the audience immediately knew we were in for a very special night. The first three songs flowed seamlessly into each other and created a nostalgic atmosphere throughout the entire venue. The songs were interluded with friendly banter from leading man Trevor Stockton who introduced each musician and the songs they had in store for the awaiting audience. Running through twenty-four renowned 1960s tunes, each song had the audience simultaneously singing along and reminiscing over their love for the songs.
The second half was filled with warm-hearted moments as individual members of the group shared their personal stories with the audience. They explained the significance of the songs that may have been before their time but had a special place in not only their heart but their families’ too. It was also a chance that allowed the band to demonstrate their creative talents with renditions of these classics such as an innovative version of ‘Elenor Rigby’ led by Christian Zappia and a beautiful rendition of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’ led by Naomi Geste. Other remarkable songs included an outstanding vocal performance of ‘Natural Woman’ by Jessica Blackley, a lively version of ‘Break on Through’ led by Jon Stapleton and the timeless ‘My Girl’ led by Trevor Stockton. Each song was beautifully accompanied with diligence by the other musicians.
The twenty-four incredible renditions of 60s classics was apparently not enough for the audience. Demanding an encore, the seven of them returned to their places to perform another two classics which were received as well as the first songs of that night. The succinct and polished performance delivered reflected the dedication in preparation for that evening and it definitely paid off. Receiving a standing ovation from members of the audience, they finished the show with a bow in front of the sold out venue.
The WAAPA students who have been studying with lecturer Vinnie Crea this year are incredibly talented individuals who demonstrated a maturity and professionalism beyond their years. Next year will see some of them returning to their studies and others exploring other avenues, however all of them are on the Perth scene gigging in bands and as solo artists so be sure to follow their journeys. These phenomenal and humble artists are destined for bright futures.
Thank you to the performers and the Ellington Jazz Club for the wonderful evening!