Music

Every year at Canberräng we aim to provide you with a truly unforgettable four days of social dancing. This year we’re proud to present a talented line-up of international and domestic musicians and DJs!

HETTY KATE (FR)

Hetty Kate is one of hell of a jazz vocalist who sure knows how to sing for swing dancers. She exudes an easy confidence and infectious energy that makes her an in-demand, consummate entertainer with a voice that perfectly captures the style of the era.

Raised in both Australia and England, Hetty has built an impressive career and is currently based in France. She has graced stages both large and small all over the world, appearing at premier jazz festivals and teaming up with Australian jazz great James Morrison, ABC Jazz/Universal Music, the Keystone Big Band (FR), plus pianist Gordon Webster and his band.

We know you’ll fall in love with Hetty’s pure tone, faultless rhythm and swingin’ musicality. She’s long been the darling of lindy hop scenes across Australia, Asia and Europe, and her gorgeous vocals, charming stage presence and witty banter always take dance events to the next level.

Since her last Canberräng appearance in 2015, Hetty has gone from strength to strength in her international career and we are thrilled to have her back on our shores for Canberräng 2019. You can catch her with a live band for some intoxicating blues at the late night parties on Friday 2 August and Saturday 3 August, in collaboration with the BlackSchu Band on the afternoon of Saturday 3 August, and at the winery event on the afternoon of Sunday 4 August alongside Professor Cunningham & His Old School.

THE BLACKSCHU BAND (AU)

John Black and Ben Schumann formed The BlackSchu Band and play classic swingin’ tunes infused with blues and jazz. Every note counts with their infectious grooves, heartfelt vocals and killer solos. They love playing for dancers because every crowd is always so engaged!

Based in Canberra, the BlackSchu Band have entertained audiences at the Thredbo Blues Festival, the Australian Blues Festival, the Jumptown Jam and Canberräng 2018. This year this swingin’ 3 piece outfit will be joined by internationally renowned jazz vocalist Hetty Kate to delight dancers at the afternoon event on Saturday 3 August.

PROFESSOR CUNNINGHAM & HIS OLD SCHOOL (USA)

Professor Cunningham & His Old School are one of the most sought after bands on the international swing dance scene today. It goes without saying that we are beyond excited to be bringing them out from New York City especially for Canberräng 2019!

This 5-piece outfit always brings classic tunes, wailing solos and an authentic, infectious energy to every gig they play. When they’re not delighting audiences in the Big Apple, Professor Cunningham & His Old School can be found thrilling dancers all around the globe at high profile events, including The Snowball (Sweden), the Chase Festival (Germany) and Harlem (Lithuania).

Sydney born and bred, bandleader Adrian Cunningham (aka The Professor) is an internationally acclaimed jazz musician now based in NYC. Whether he’s on saxophone, clarinet or vocals, Adrian definitely knows how to swing it and keep dance floors full.

When they take to the stage at Canberräng 2019 you can expect pure, uncut, old school jazz guaranteed to get your feet tappin’ and your soul swingin’. We dare you to try and sit still once this dynamic band starts up!

You can catch The Professor & His Old School at the Kurrajong Hotel Friday 2 August, at the Albert Hall ball on the evening of Saturday 3 August, and with Hetty Kate at the Lake George Winery on Sunday 4 August. We promise you won’t want to miss a single set!

DJ Shaz

Shaz Callaghan loves all kinds of music. She loves the kind that makes you holler, tap your feet, shimmy all over, shake what your mama gave you, or shuffle off to Buffalo. For Shaz it doesn’t get better than music and dancing, whether it’s having a boogie in the lounge room or swinging out on a packed ballroom floor in New York City. Shaz is quite a klutz and somewhat technologically challenged, however when she manages to play music people seem to have a good time.

Shaz regularly plays tunes in whatever town she finds herself and has been fortunate enough to DJ at Jumptown Jam, Jazz Bang, Melbourne Swing Festival, 1929’s Sweet & Hot, Little Big Weekend, White Night, Hullabaloo, Swing Camp Oz and the Weekend Wiggle. She has been a regular at Canberräng the last few years and is super happy to be DJing once again– let’s dance!

DJ Jarrod

Jarrod Bates is an experienced Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Solo Jazz instructor, having taught workshops throughout Australia and overseas alongside regular weekly classes in Melbourne. His greatest influence as a dancer is ‘jazz music’, and he appreciates and takes inspiration from the expression of that music across any level of swing dancer.

As a DJ, Jarrod’s sets feature the hard swinging sounds of the late 1930s and the 1940s, and swinging jazz as it transitioned into other styles during the 1950s. Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams, and Johnny Hodges are just some of the names in his regular rotation. We can’t wait to see what he has in store for Canberräng 2019!

DJ Julia

It’s all about the music, right? No music, no feels, no fun. When Julia Wharington started dancing she discovered quickly that the DJ had such a huge influence on her enjoyment of the night. This is what drew her to DJing. She loves that feeling of seeing the floor pumping and creating an awesome time for the dancers in the room. Julia likes to play a variety of styles and she is not shy to push the dancers when it comes to all tempos, depending of course on the time of night, mood in the room, and reaction of the crowd. Her favourites are the classics: big band and small ensemble recordings from the 30s and 40s, plus those amazing live recordings from the likes of Ellington and Basie from the mid 20th century.

In the last decade, Julia has been DJing for countless Lindy, Balboa and Slow Swing events, from local dances to large events all across Australia (and a little bit overseas). Expect tunes that get everyone’s toes tapping, fingers snapping, and feet flying across the dance floor. She is super excited to play all that awesome swingin’ jazz for your dancing pleasure at Canberräng!

DJ Richard

Richard Arnett had had his first DJ experience at an end of year party in Canberra several years ago. Nervous at DJing for a ‘big’ event, he was shaking instead of dragging and dropping, triggering songs that were to be played later that evening in the middle of songs people were already dancing to. He quickly found out that sampling swing music in that way is not something that brings out the best styling in dancers!

Moving onwards and upwards, Richard quickly honed his skills and is now a regular amongst Canberra’s talented DJs. He has a knack for keeping the social dance floor jumping, wit DJ appearances at Canberräng 2018 and the Jumptown Jam 2018. As a dancer with a fondness for interesting melodies and quirky lyrics, Richard will play you songs that will bring out your best musicality and theatrical moves. Keep an ear out for his thoughtful and creative sets!

DJ Brodie

Brodie is well-known as an insufferable blues nerd and his passion for the music led him straight to the DJ booth back in 2013. Since then, he’s been a regular fixture in the Australian blues scene, DJing at home for Melbourne’s Sunday Blues Night and at about a dozen exchanges in Melbourne and across the country, including Blues Before Sunrise, Southern Blues, Cider House Blues, and Sydney Blues. He recently served as the returning DJ Coordinator for Borderline Blues in Tasmania and has stepped up to the role of Music Coordinator at this year’s Hearken the Blues.

As a DJ, Brodie loves the blues in all of its forms and across all of its history, jamming classic Chess Records tracks alongside new releases from the artists who are keeping the blues alive today. He’s always ready to put down blues that will keep you dancing all night, and he’s really excited to be making his Canberräng debut!