about stoneflower

With spectacular beauty and craftsmanship, Australian trio Stoneflower steal the hearts of audiences around Australia with their evocative journeys through vocal jazz, Brazilian bossa nova & melodic pop interpretations… Showcasing the artistry of guitarist Stephen Magnusson (co-winner of the National Jazz Awards at Wangaratta Jazz Festival) and bassist Tamara Murphy (recipient of the PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission) with the silken voice of Jacqueline Gawler (singer/percussionist with internationally renowned vocal quintet Coco’s Lunch), Stoneflower bring a gentle magic to the ear of humanity…

‘Effortlessly fluid vocals…’ The Age

‘Jazz of a very high order…’ Kenny Weir, Sunday Herald Sun

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Stoneflower is a collaboration between artists who perform regularly on the national and international circuit with award-winning ensembles including Coco’s Lunch, Jacqueline Gawler Band, Murphy’s Law, SNAG, Katie Noonan, Sylvan Coda, James Morrison, Picture Box Orchestra and Magnet. These three musicians ignite the stage with a hand-picked repertoire of songs made famous by artists such as Cassandra Wilson, Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, Feist, Lake Street Dive, Bat For Lashes, Billie Holiday, The Kinks, Kate Bush, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto and Elis Regina. Stoneflower performances showcase this trio’s exquisite attention to detail, lyrical approach and masterful interpretation of well-loved songs and Brazilian classics – producing a collective onstage energy and sound that is soulful, passionate, and entirely magnetic.

‘Stoneflower’s appearance at the 2014 Surrey Hills Music Festival was a highlight of the event…sophisticated, lyrical, intricate, intense and languid in measures’.
Surrey Hills Music Festival

Stoneflower have performed sell out shows and popular residencies at venues, events & festivals including Transit Lounge, Paris Cat, Shadowfax Winery, Blue Diamond, Chaise Lounge, Eltham Jazz & Blues Festival, Red Violin, Midsumma Festival, The Artery, Victorian College of the Arts, Café Quince Music Series, Flour Mill Gallery, Giant Steps @ Innocent Bystander, Bluestone, Macedon Music Series, The Age Harvest Picnic at Hanging Rock, Surrey Hills Music Festival, and for private and special events throughout Australia.

‘Stoneflower is a superb jazz outfit who deliver a classy brand of music. Their obvious talent and ability to cross many genres seems to satisfy all music lovers’.
Chaise Lounge Melbourne

Jacqueline Gawler – Voice

jacqueline gawlerA longstanding singer/composer with internationally award-winning original vocal quintet Coco’s Lunch, Jacqueline Gawler is one of Australia’s most spontaneous and original jazz singers. Her voice and musical interpretations are disarmingly honest, feisty and sensuous – her aesthetic combining influences as diverse as Ricki Lee Jones, Sarah Vaughan, Björk, Cassandra Wilson and Rosa Passos.

Jacqueline is a first-class Honours graduate from the University of Melbourne, where she completed a double major in languages in 2000. She was awarded 2 Melbourne University Language Scholarships to study in both Japan and Italy, and in 2003 her Italian Honours thesis was published in the form of several articles (co-authored by Dr. Stephen Kolsky) for various Italian literary journals. Trained classically on piano and voice since an early age, Jacqueline commenced her singing career in 1994 with Jackie Gaudion’s Angels of Soul, who recorded for Jim McLeod’s Jazztrack on ABC Classic FM. In 1998 she attended the Berklee Jazz Clinics in Italy and has since worked as a freelance singer with many ensembles in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil and India.

In 2008 Jacqueline was awarded an Arts Victoria grant to record her debut solo album with the Jacqueline Gawler Band. ‘Ambrosia’ was released to outstanding reviews in 2010 and was launched to packed houses in Australia and Brazil. It reached no. 2 on the KK Box Rock charts in Hong Kong (over 70,000 subscribers) as well as reaching the Top 20 on the KK Box Rock charts in Taiwan (over 8 million subscribers). In 2009 she also travelled to Brazil to record an album with many of Rio de Janeiro’s finest musicians and Grammy recipients including Armando Marçal, Sergio Brandão & Renato Fonseca as well as a duet with Brazilian pop sensation Jorge Verçilo (to be released for the World Cup in 2014). She returned there for a 6 month stint in 2011 to release ‘Ambrosia’ and film the music clip to Sahara Nights, as well as study Portuguese.

Since 1996 Jacqueline has been a full-time singer/composer/percussionist with award-winning iconic vocal quintet Coco’s Lunch, who have toured throughout Australia, Asia, Canada, New Zealand & Europe. The group’s 7 albums have been nominated for CARA, ARIA, APRA and Australian World Music Awards. In 2003 Coco’s Lunch won Best Folk/World Song and Runner Up Best Folk/Word Album at the USA Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards and in 2007 they received a double ARIA Nomination.

Jacqueline has travelled to Senegal, West Africa and Bali, Indonesia to study West African percussion with Master Drummer Mamady Keita, and performs traditional West African rhythms with Drummergirl. She was a composer for the hugely successful Australian/Canadian children’s television series Saddle Club and in 2005 was the recipient of the Montsalvat Trust Encouragement Award for Original Composition for her song On My Skin, which has also been selected for inclusion in Australia’s first ever Jazz Real Book. She is the voice of Alies Christina Sluiter’s Picture Box Orchestra featuring musicians from UK, Pakistan and Australia, and recorded on their 2012 album as well as performing at major festivals and events with them, including the 2012 Australasian Performing Arts Market at the Adelaide Festival Centre. She is also a singer/percussionist with Freedman Jazz Fellowship winner Christopher Hale’s stunning ensemble Sylvan Coda.

Tamara Murphy – Double Bass

tamara murphyTamara completed the improvisation course at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999 with a Bachelor of Music Performance. She has studied with Gary Costello, Lloyd Swanton, Ben Robertson, Andrew Moon (M.S.O.) and Ed Schuller (US), Mark Helias (US) and Larry Grenadier (US). She recently completed the Masters course (research) at VCA in 2008.

Tamara Murphy regularly performs with many outstanding musicians around Australia. She has shared the stage with many musicians, including: Kenny Kirkland, Bob Sedegreen, Tim Stevens, Barney McAll, Mark Fitzgibbon, Gil Askey, Andrew Gander, Geoff Hughes, Allan Browne, Brigitte Allen, Nichaud Fitzgibbon, David Rex, Julien Wilson, Stephen Magnussen, Andrea Keller, Sandy Evans, Jamie Oehlers, Nina Ferro, George Coleman Junior, Dale Barlow, the Sophie Brous band, the Christophe Genoux quartet, the Luke Howard trio, the Cam McAllister quintet, the Fran Swinn Trio, Kate Cebrano, Carl Risely, The Choir of Hard Knocks and Bernie McGann along with many others. She has also performed with outstanding musicians in New York, the UK, Europe and Asia.

Tamara has performed at many music festivals, including the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Apollo Bay Music festival, the Women’s International Jazz Festival and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. She has also toured with the Cologne New Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra (Germany) throughout the UK and Australia and toured through Asia, Europe and America with many ensembles.

In 2003, Tamara studied with bassist/composer Mark Helias in New York City (funded by an Australia Arts Council Development grant). In 2004, Tamara Murphy’s quintet “Murphy’s Law” released their debut CD “Telling Tales” (Newmarket), featuring the talents of Julien Wilson and Jordan Murray (funded through a Vic Arts grant). In 2006, she studied at the Banff Centre (Canada) as part of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, run by Dave Douglas (funded by the Australian Arts Council). In 2008, Murphy’s Law released two albums through Soundvault records: Tanuki’s Revenge and Street Art (funded by Vic Rocks – an Arts Victoria initiative), featuring string quartet and turntables.

Currently, Tamara is leading, writing and arranging for groups ”Murphy’s Law”, the co-led trio “Keller-Murphy-Browne” with Andrea Keller and Allan Browne and the “Fran Swinn Trio”, in addition to performing regularly all over Melbourne with some of Australia’s leading contemporary jazz musicians. She has been running her own ensemble for over 7 years as well as composing and arranging for many professional and school ensembles.www.tamaramurphy.com

Stephen Magnusson – Guitar

stephen magnussunStephen Magnusson is one of the most accomplished, versatile and distinctive musicians in Australia. His incredible technique and astoundingly beautiful tone on his instrument have made him an indispensable part of many bands and film scores. His astute and thorough knowledge of music have also made him an in-demand teacher and lecturer at Monash University, NMIT & VCA.

For most of the ’90’s Stephen lived in Switzerland performing with his bands SNAG and Facelifter at major festivals and clubs throughout Europe. During this time in Europe, Stephen was awarded the Swiss Diagonal Arts Grant and the Pop Kredit award with the band SNAG and also received rave reviews for his performances. Stephen spent time studying with Mick Goodrick and Jerry Bergonzi at the New England Conservatory.

Stephen returned to Australia in 2000 to perform and record with his trio at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival where he was co-winner of the National Jazz Award. Since then he has been nominated twice for the Freedman Fellowship, produced Martin Breeze’s album, Blackbird, released Boundaries, Healing Songs, assumptions2 & departures by assumptions on Newmarket Records, and recorded “For Elvin” with the Ted Vining Trio. He has also released his new album MAG and in the process of releasing a new solo album. He has performed recently with Elixar, Paul Kelly and james Morrison. He has also been involved in playing & co-producing albums for Alison Wedding, Lisa Young & Christine Sullivan, worked on movie soundtracks with Paul Grabowsky, produced soundtracks for film and worked with Ruby Hunter, Archie Roach & the Australian Art Orchestra on Ruby’s Story. mag.net.au