1. Are you looking forward to playing at The Ashtead Jazz Club?
Very much so!
2. A lot of The AJC's audience won't have seen you play before. What can you promise them on 16th July?
Well I'll be coming with an orchestral harp, so the music will naturally be very beautiful, but be prepared for the unexpected. Jazz, folk, rock n' roll fusion. All very angelic of course!
3. Who do you feel has really influenced you, both as a writer and as a musician?
As a writer - Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, Neil Young. I'm very lyric driven. Harmonically I'm inspired by Bill Evans, Debussy and Ravel. Melodically, Miles Davis. As a musician I'm influenced by many great artists, but I derive most of my inspiration from the wonderful musicians I meet and play with. I learn so much from listening to and playing live music.
4. Who are you really enjoying listening to at the moment?
At the moment I'm mad about Esperanza Spalding. I'm also listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell and Ray LaMonagne. Kurt Elling is on high rotation as well.
5. Your debut album, 'I Harp You', was released in 2010 to great acclaim; but it wasn't the most conventional recording session was it?
Not at all!!! It was recorded over a week in a garage in the
Melbourne winter - which is cold enough!!! We sat in the car
between takes with the heater on to warm up!
6. How much of a shock was it coming over to London from
I have a knack for landing on my feet so London wasn't too
bad. Just loud and big! I actually landed in Hertfordshire first
and stayed with my cousins for the first month. Living with 4
young children under 10 is infinitely more chaotic than living
in London! I visit
my cousins whenever I need a dose of insanity.
7. Finally, each of your harps have names. How did their
names come about?
My harp in Australia is called Gumby. I was dating a rather out
there rock guitarist 6 years ago and he named it. My harp
cover is olive green and when it's all wrapped up it somewhat
resembles the 80's cartoon character "Gumby." My harp in
London is called "Blue J." "Blue" because it is blue and "J" in
honor of Jakez François, my sponsor.