Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra  
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The Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra

The Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra began in the early 80’s as both a function band and a performance opportunity for promising young jazz musicians. Over the years both the octet and big band have been critically acclaimed for their musicianship and polished professionalism. In 1992 Daryl McKenzie took over the role of Musical Director of the Nine Network’s “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” and for the next 8 years the Hey Hey Band performed with international artists such as Tom Jones, Joe Cocker, Barry Manilow, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Ernie Watts, Martin Taylor and Randy Crawford; as well as Australian artists such as Tina Arena, Human Nature, Tommy Emmanuel, James Morrison, Dale Barlow, Joe Chindamo, Paul Grabowsky, Rhonda Burchmore, Debra Byrne and Marcia Hines to name a few. Not many bands can boast performances with Samuel L Jackson, Shane Warne and Grant Hackett! The band toured internationally to the USA and Malaysia and also performed to large concert audiences in Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Sydney, Gold Coast and Ayers Rock. Since the end of the television regular stint, the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra has continued to perform at corporate functions and major events including the Melbourne Grand Prix, the VAC Federation Australia Day concert and Morning Melodies, the Sounds of Christmas for the Salvation Army, the premier of the movie “Ned Kelly”, the reopening of the Adelaide Casino, and was featured at the Castlemaine State Festival, the North Queensland Jazz Festival in Mackay and Jazz in the Vineyards at Morningstar Estate. The Jazz Orchestra has also featured on the soundtracks of several movies such as "Bran Nue Dae", “Death Defying Acts”, “Hating Alison Ashley”, “Strange Bedfellows”, “After the Deluge”, “The Wogboy”, “After the Rain”, “Two Hands”, “Love and Other Catastrophes” and AFI award winning scores “Bootmen” and “La Spagnola”. The orchestra also featured on an AT&T TV advertisement broadcast on US television during the Superbowl. Australian Television appearances include GMA, the 2004 AFI awards, Dancing With The Stars, Australia’s Got Talent, the Good Friday Appeal and the Hey Hey it's Saturday reunion specials. Many of the band’s members supplemented the Harry Connick Jr Big band at the Allan Border medal night 2005.

In 2002 Daryl McKenzie took over the Australian Showband which had backed many local and international artists including: Peter Allen, John Denver, Linda Ronstadt with Nelson Riddle, The Electric Light Orchestra, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and the late great Ricky May to name just a few. In 2002 The Australian Showband toured as the orchestra for Ray Charles and support artist Rene Geyer. In 2000 The Australian Showband was chosen to tour as the orchestra with The Ultimate Rock Symphony (starring among others, Alice Cooper and Roger Daltry), Jerry Lewis and for the Australian Dancesport Championship. The Australian Showband now works as the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra performing once a month at the Apartment with guest vocalists including Nina Ferro, Rhonda Burchmore, Nichaud Fitzgibbon, Alison Wedding, Katie Underwood and Wilbur Wilde.

The Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra Personnel

Daryl McKenzie (Musical Director & Trombone) a graduate of the VCA, played with the North Texas State University Two O’clock Lab Band, and Dallas Jazz Orchestra. Daryl was Assistant Musical Director of the Bert Newton Show and Musical Director of Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Australia’s Got Talent. Has directed the AFI awards for the ABC, episodes of "Dancing with the Stars” and the Good Friday Appeal for the Seven Network. Has orchestrated and conducted numerous international movies including The Truman Show, Death Defying Acts, Bran Nue Dae, Beneath Hill 60, Hating Alison Ashley, Bootmen, Wog Boy and Two Hands and the Olympic and Commonwealth Games themes for the Seven Network. Daryl currently lectures in Arranging and Orchestration at the VCA (University of Melbourne).

Lachlan Davidson (Assistant Musical Director and lead Alto Sax) has been with the Australian Showband since it’s inception in the early 80’s and contributes many compositions to the band’s repertoire. He is also a much in demand session player and performer with other bands such as the John Farnham Band, Dancing With The Stars, It Takes Two, the Australian Art Orchestra, and his own band Unlokked. Lachlan has performed with Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder and has appeared as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He is also a published composer of solo saxophone, saxophone quartet and big band works.

Tim Wilson (Alto Sax) is an exciting improviser and leads his own jazz trio who was nominated for an ARIA award in 2000. He performs regularly with his fusion group ”Logic” and is a member of the orchestra for “Spamalot”. His other credits include Ray Charles, Olivia Newton John, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tom Burlinson, Russell Morris, and The Badloves. In 2004, Tim was selected as a semi-finalist in the White Foundation World Saxophone Competition, which was held in London as part of the BBC Jazz Festival.

Tony Hicks (Tenor Sax) is a highly regarded performer on the Melbourne jazz scene. He has an extensive list of theatre credits of many years and has performed on numerous television shows including Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Dancing with the Stars. Tony has performed with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and the Australian Art Orchestra. He has also performed classical saxophone concertos with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Cheryl Clark (Tenor Sax) is an experienced jazz performer and educator. Her credits include Ray Charles, Jerry Lewis and currently plays oboe in a jazz group with Ken Schroeder. Cheryl has performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Pops Orchestra and currently lectures for the music department at NMIT and at Melbourne Girls Grammar School.Cheryl is co-author of three contemporary music books, Creative Saxophone, Creative Saxophone Duets and Creative Saxophone Improvising, all of which are published by Oxford University Press (UK) and currently distributed worldwide.

Stuart Byrne (Bari Sax) is a versatile woodwind player playing multiple instruments. His credits include Ray Charles, Gene Pitney,Jerry Lewis, Marcia Hines, David Campbell, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Boy from Oz, Spamalot and Billy Elliot. Stuart is currently playing for the production Chicago and has performed on television with shows such as Dancing with the Stars and the Logies. Stuart is a member of the Foulkes, Jazzopoly and the woodwind trio "Doubling Up" which have performed on ABC classic FM.

Shane Hughes (Lead Trumpet) One of Australia’s best lead Trumpeters, his credits include Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Starstruck and the Good Friday Appeal. Shane has played for Ray Charles, Jerry Lewis, Shirley Bassey, Dionne Warwick and has played lead Trumpet for Harry Connick Jr.

Vinnie Burke (Trumpet) is a beautifully melodic soloist at home in many styles. He plays lead Trumpet for the Moovin’ and Groovin Orchestra, The Cotton Club Orchestra, the Pearly Shells, the Swingin Sidewalks and his credits include Ray Charles, Jerry Lewis and Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

Ross Irwin (Trumpet) contributes many works to the band’s repertoire and is an exciting improviser. Ross is a member of pop band, the “Cat Empire” and "The Bamboos". Ross was a finalist in the James Morrison scholarship many times and was commissioned to write the 3rd Division test piece and adjudicate this year for Generations in Jazz. Ross has played at festivals all over the country including the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, the Manly International Jazz Festival, the Meredith Music Festival, Livid, Perth Blues and Roots and the Big Day Out. Ross has also performed on such TV shows as Australian Idol, Australia’s Got Talent, The Panel, Good Morning Australia, Rove Live and has performed with Nina Ferro, Daryl Somers, James Morrison, Harry Connick Jr., Guy Sebastian, Vanessa Amarossi and James Brown.

Danny Madden (Trumpet) has been working in Melbourne theatre shows since 1976 starting with Gypsy up to the production of The Producers. He has worked freelance with Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, performed with the television bands for the Don Lane and Daryl Somers Shows and has backed international artists such as Shirley Bassey, Billy Eckstein, Eartha Kitt and Ray Charles.

Ian Bell (Lead Trombone) is a fine exponent of lead trombone playing and an exciting jazz soloist. Ian’s TV credits include Dancing with the Stars, It Takes Two, Starstruck, the Logies and IMT. He is also a busy studio and theatre player including the recent productions "Wicked", “Priscilla”, “The Producers” and “Chicago”. He has played with Ray Charles, Michael Buble, Jerry Lewis, Wayne Newton, Shirley Bassey and Anthony Warlow.

Roger Schmidli(Trombone) contributes material to the band’s repertoire and is a fine soloist. Roger directs his own band Funky Brass Monkey and is head of Brass at Scotch College. He has performed with Ray Charles, Jerry Lewis and Shirley Bassey. Roger has played for numerous theatre shows and most recently played in the orchestra for “Shout”. He recently performed with David campbell on Hey Hey It's Saturday.

Joe O’Callaghan (Bass Trombone) received his Masters Degree from the VCA and is a busy freelance performer. His credits include the Logie Awards, Ray Charles, Jerry Lewis, Chicago, Anthony Warlow, Tom Burlinson, David Campbell (Hey Hey It's Saturday), the VSO and MSO. Joe directs the Big Band at Caulfield Grammar and was director of the Box Hill City Band.

Gianni (John) Turcio (Piano) has many years of experience as a performer, arranger and Musical Director. His credits include New Faces, the Good Friday Appeal, the Logies, numerous European song contests and the Italo-Australian Jazz Festival. John leads his own highly acclaimed jazz group and is musical director for many vocalists. He has performed with The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, James Morrison, John Farnham, John Paul Young, Doug Parkinson, Chelsea Brown, Lisa Edwards, Julie Anthony, Rhonda Burchmore, to name a few.

Jack Pantazis (Guitar) is a highly regarded jazz soloist and performs regularly with his own group “the Jack Pantazis Quintet”. His credits include the AFI awards, the Australian Pops Orchestra, Black Taxi, Mike Stern, Rent, Sweet Charity, Mamma Mia and Les Miserables and is a member of the music faculty at NMIT. TV credits include Good Morning Australia and the ABC's The Art Show. He is responsible for the ANZCA Modern Guitar Syllabus, which he co-wrote eight years ago and for which he is also an examiner.

Kim May (Acoustic and Electric Bass) has performed on the national TV shows "Australia's Got Talent" and "Dancing With The Stars". Kim has a long and impressive list of performance credits to his name, including fusion outfits Loose Change (with Virgil Donati, Joe Chindamo and Mark Domoney) and "Gnomes of Zurich" (Jack Jones, Virgil Donati), plus 3 years as the house bassist with the "Hey Hey it's Saturday" band. Kim is a regular performer in the Melbourne music scene with bands such as "the payback", Swedish-Australian grunge-babe "Kitto" and James Morrison.

Daniel Farrugia (Drums) has toured with bands throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and played at such venues / events as The Jazz Café in London, Womad, Falls Festival, Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival, St Kilda Festival, Sydney Darling Harbour Jazz Festival, Golden Plains, Melbourne International Jazz Festival and more.He is a key member of and regularly plays with The Bamboos, The Irwins, Anton Delecca Quartet and FGHR. Daniel has performed with outstanding local and international artists including The Cat Empire, Renee Geyer, Doug Parkinson, Eddie Floyd, Eddie Bo, Syl Johnson, Betty Harris, Missy Higgins, Joe Bataan, Jackson Jackson, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Mia Dyson, Frock, The Quantic Soul Orchestra and Alice Russell.

Phil Binotto (Percussion) is a versatile Percussionist and Drummer. His credits include Dancing with the Stars, Hey Hey It's Saturday Reunion, the Lion King, Nina Ferro, Lloyd Spiegel, the AFI awards, The Bamboos, Ross Irwin Soul Special, Rhys Meirion CD recording with the Australian Pops Orchestra and VCA Sunday's Company Series. Phil is a member of the music faculty at Ivanhoe Grammar School.

© 2010 McKenzie Music Productions Pty Ltd
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