John Clare was born at Maroubra Bay in 1940. He has written on diverse topics for most major Australian publications, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian, The National Times and Nation Review, as well as Town and Queen magazines in England. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Australia and New Poetry and has been read on the ABC’s old Quality Street programme. He has published three books: Bodgie Dada: Australian Jazz Since 1945 (UNSW Press), Low Rent (Text) and Why Wangaratta?: Ten Years Of The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz (Victorian Tourist Bureau). John currently reviews books for The Sun-Herald and writes essays and reviews for SIMA.org.au
For just over 24 years I have been a freelance writer, publishing in that time a wide variety of genres: news items, live concert reviews, travel articles, features, personality profiles, and CD and book reviews. I have written for various in-flight magazines, The Adelaide Review, The Republican, The Bulletin, The Australian, The Advertiser, The Melbourne Herald Sun and several regional newspapers. In 1994 I won a national travel-writing prize sponsored by The Australian newspaper, which led to my writing regularly for that paper. Since 2003 I have been jazz critic for The Advertiser and The Australian newspapers, on average contributing weekly to each paper. In 2005 I won a national Jazz Writing Competition sponsored by the Wangaratta Jazz Festival.
In 1985 my then partner and I underwent a total sea change, moving to India to try and implement a business plan involving the acquisition and establishing of a small scale pensione, a scheme which ultimately failed to materialise, due to insurmountable problems with the Indian bureaucracy. At the same time our relationship deteriorated, and eventually in 1990 I returned alone to Australia. These major events in my life form the basis of my book What Westerners Have For Breakfast published in late 2013 by Transit Lounge Publishing.
I spent four years until 1993 managing Community Radio Station 4CCR.FM, Cairns, and then four more years managing another community station 8CCC.FM, Alice Springs where I met my present wife. In 1994 while at 8CCC.FM I was elected to the community radio peak national body, the Community Broadcasting Assn of Australia (CBAA). I had worked in commercial radio previously in the 1960s: announcing, copywriting, programming and scriptwriting for stations 2LT Lithgow, 2NM Muswellbrook and 2NX Newcastle.
Throughout the period from 1990 until 1997 I had numerous freelance articles published by The Cairns Post, Barfly Magazine and The Alice Springs News.
In 1997 we moved to my wife’s home town, Adelaide where we’ve happily lived ever since, and in 2003 I began writing for The Advertiser as a freelance music critic, and continue in that role. I was made Jazz Critic for The Australian in late 2003, a position I presently hold, and in addition I had been writing travel pieces, profiles and book reviews for The Australian since 1995.
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Described by ABC Jazz’s Mal Stanley as a talented young vocalist and pianist and ‘one to watch’, Frances is a classy young entertainer based in Sydney and performing at jazz clubs, festivals and other venues around the country.
Frances’ music is mostly original and jazz-oriented, although it also includes blues, bossa and covers of timeless classics.
While she’s been compared to a young Diana Krall and Norah Jones, Frances captivates her audiences with a combination of her genuinely warm stage presence as well as a voice and style that is uniquely her own. She is also a talented and engaging original composer so when she performs her own swinging tunes and beautiful ballads, they merge seamlessly with the standards she covers.
As jazz legend James Morrison said “Frances has a wonderful feeling for jazz and blues standards but what makes her a real stand-out are her original songs and her unique style.” Matt Bailey, Presenter of Jazz Vibes on Fine Music 102.5 FM said “Frances’ music is a river of original and heartfelt material, truly a creative force not just in the jazz idiom, but as a genuine contemporary songwriter.”
Frances’ regular band includes some of Sydney’s most talented young jazz musicians as well as a few old hands. With Frances on vocals and piano, the band normally includes double bass, drums, guitar, tenor sax, trumpet and backing vocals. Changes in tempo and in the combinations of people on stage – from Frances performing ballads solo to the whole band swinging together – give her live shows nuance and variety.
Frances’ album ‘If this Were a Dream’ debuted at #5 on the ARIA Jazz Album charts and has sold steadily since. John McBeath, Jazz Critic for ‘The Australian’ newspaper said “the new album by Frances Madden impressed me more than most debut albums do. Frances has an individual expressive ability, a musical professionalism, a good feel for swing in jazz and she plays fine piano . . .”
Frances’ performances include pro bono and charity work. In 2014 she performed in Mexico for a Susila Dharma International benefit concert and she performed to support the 2015 Tour de Cure here in Australia.
More information and contact details can be found at http://www.francesmadden.com