Adrian plays trumpet, as you might expect the Musical Director of the Metro Big Band would do!
But, he was once into blues guitar as a teenager – just jammin’ though. He eventually found his way back to the trumpet after he heard the soundtrack to the 1996 buddy-movie “Swingers” – in particular Tony Bennett’s rendition of “With plenty of money and you” (and, coincidentally perhaps, Dean Martin’s “Ain’t that a kick in the head” – a Metro staple!). Adrian said it was an “awesome movie soundtrack – for a 90’s movie”, and he’s been swinging big-band tunes ever since.
Not one to hide his light under a bushel, Adrian also had one of his big-band charts (“Minor Altercation”) included on the 2005 WAPPA big band CD “Random Musings” and was a finalist in the West Australian Music Industry Awards (WAMI) the following year.
Is there nothing he can’t do? Well, he can’t think of the name of the Italian sausage-based Pasta dish which is his favourite food – but he certainly DOES know that his tipple of choice is Canadian Club.
Belgium born Frank left the tiny European country 40 years ago for the shores of Perth and is the band’s rookie – he’s been playing tenor sax for just 5 years!
As a great blues song once said, he literally “woke up one morning”, thought he’d like to play the saxophone, went out and bought one for $500 and started taking lessons. A while later, he bought his 2nd (and slightly better) sax, took lessons, and the rest is Metro history.
When he was 12, however, Frank was playing trumpet and
clarinet in community bands, so there was a method to his madness – kind of!
In between a myriad of other things in Frank’s life, he’s flown and jumped out of aeroplanes several hundred times, but, oddly enough, he finds playing the sax more exhilarating. Stanley Turrentine is one of his heroes and he loves to blow big-band swing – Sinatra, Buble, Connick, Ella, Etta et al.
His drink is red wine and beer (not mixed together) – in moderation. He’s into power walking and used to be gym-junkie – but now has found the good life and rounded tummy which goes with it!
Greg is Metro’s male vocalist, was born in the UK in the late 50’s and has sung everything from Cab Calloway to Led Zeppelin (fortunately not next to each other) in various bands since way back in 1977.
He had, however, been brought up as a kid around the old sound system residing at his Great Aunt’s place in the UK (his parents didn’t have a record-player – ah those were the days!) listening to the likes of Sinatra, Darin, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and other jazz/swing greats.
In 1970, Greg migrated to Perth (he didn’t have much say in the matter at the time), and then, in 1992, Greg left Perth to go live back in the UK for 13 years. Whilst there, he formed a cool jazz quintet (leaving the world of pop behind for a while) and crooned his way around the country for around 7 years singing some great arrangements of songs by his jazz heroes.
On returning to Perth in 2006, he formed yet another “covers” band – but realised that rock and roll was no longer coursing through his veins as much as the desire to sing the classic jazz/swing tunes of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s (and besides, his hair had turned just the right shade of grey!).
So he stumbled upon the Metro Big Band, realised one of his life-long ambitions of singing “I’ve got you under my skin” with a 20 piece ensemble – and the rest is recent jazz history!
Jo – is another of Metro’s wonderful trumpet players – but actually started playing flute at age 9! However, when she finished school, Jo went to live in an anonymous small country town in NSW.
Now the only band in that town was a brass band populated by a bunch of old codgers – who taught Jo to play the trumpet whether she wanted to or not (although we’d love to hear the occasional flute solo!). She’s been in Perth 9 years, has played for the City of Perth Concert Band, in theatre productions, in pit orchestras – and, what a dark horse, Jo also plays guitar from time to time!
She is, as you may have guessed, from a musical family, and is a huge “Blues Brothers” fan (hence “Mustang Sally” in Metro’s repertoire!). Bonus – she also loves soul music, and her Dad was a muso playing and growing up in Widnes, Liverpool UK, grooving to the Motown sounds and the likes of Spencer Davis and Sam and Dave.
Jo also likes pasta (this really must be a big-band thing) drinks beer and has a pet – her husband!
Trombone dabbling Matt is actually Metro’s lead trumpet player – and he’s been leading brass-wise for about 20 years. His Grandfather played cornet in various brass bands way back when.
Matt’s musical tastes range from his main loves of swing and jazz through to rock. From Adelaide originally, Matt’s been in Perth a fair few years and is a petroleum engineer by trade. His job takes him to far flung places across the plant, his favourite haunts being in and around Western Canada.
It is, perhaps, no wonder that he has a hankering for a good steak now and then accompanied, when at home, by a nice homebrewed beer.
We thought of naming one of his brews “Matt’s Metro Special” – but fortunately, we actually got to taste one of them first…
Nigel on lead alto sax has been influenced by some of the greats – Stan Getz, Ben Webster, Johnny Dankworth and Carl Mackay to name but a few. He’s also influenced by beer – about as much of it as he can get – warm or cold.
When not blowing in the front brass-line of the Metro big band, Nigel swears by (or at) computers and believes them to be the greatest invention since sliced bread, probably because he comes from a northerly part of the UK (having played with many a musical ensemble there as well as right here in Perth) where they love to dunk dough in just about anything sitting on the dinner table.
Luckily, he’s usually washed his hands by the time they’re gently clasping the alto, which is just as well ‘cause there’s nothing worse than a slippery sax player.
Nigel’s mantra goes like this “music is one of the best ways to bring people together not involving the use of a ball”.
Yasasya is known to Metronians as the lovely Yazz – plays trombone and has done so for 10 years in total. She began playing the tenor ‘bone for 6 years and then thought “no I’ll play the big one (bass trombone)” – so she now plays an instrument taller than her.
Yazz loves music, loves people dancing and enjoying themselves, and has been in a number of school bands before arriving at Metro. Her musical highlights include touring the U.K., Austria, Italy and playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. 2009 also marks her 4th year playing with WAYJO (W.A. Youth Jazz Orchestra).
For such a tiny person (5 foot 2 in her socks), Yazz loves the jazz swing thing as well as soul and Motown. Her faves include the “call-and-answer” numbers “Minnie the Moocher” and “Mr. Zoot Suit” because, as she puts it, she “loves to shout”!
Yazz says she’s “happy being me”!
Matthew was drawn to the bass when he saw Oliver Hardy playing the song “In the Good Old Summer Time” in a snowstorm in the movie short “Below Zero” (1930). This crystallized his love of music and old, old films.
Born in South Australia (like Judith Anderson in “Star Trek III : The Search for Spock” 1984), Matthew began his musical career playing cello and singing in choirs (Julie Andrews “Sound of Music” 1968), then switched to bass, playing in folk and blues bands before deciding to “Go West” (Marx Bros. 1940) in 1987.
Graduating from WAAPA, he has taught and played bass (electric and double) around the town, but not as a transvestite like Jack Lemon in “Some Like it Hot” 1959. Not yet anyway. Bands included Douce Ambiance, Five Guys Named Mo and OTT Chicago Swing. He also performed comedy in the early 90’s with “Not of this Earth” and “Cabaret Suaving-On” where he worked with METRO’s vocalist Greg Marston (“When Harry met Sally” 1989). He has also appeared on TV as a contestant on “The Einstein Factor” (“Quiz Show” 1994).
He now fills his days being a tour guide at Fremantle Prison (“The Green Mile” 1999) before going to a gig or home to his wife and three cats (“Three on a Couch” 1966).
He enjoys Italian food and will eat anything that’s put in front of him (“La Grande Bouffe” 1973).
He also enjoys quoting movie titles (no, really).
Annelise – is Metro’s piano/keyboard player. She was born in Switzerland, near Geneva, where she spent all of her childhood skiing and eating chocolate (now that’s a good childhood!). After completing a Masters in Economic Sciences, Annelise pursued an advertising & marketing career, working in London, Perth and Geneva. Since moving to Australia in 1999, her passion for piano and Jazz gradually took over and she left aside her business career – which was a good thing for Metro!
With a strong classical piano background, Annelise started to go over to “the dark side” of the keyboard (Jazz) about 6 years ago, taking lessons at WAAPA with Graham Wood, her music mentor.
Not content to just eat chocolate, ski and play with Metro, Annelise is also working on compositions for piano Jazz trio. And she has a dream – to set up a jazz piano competition in Australia, linked to the Montreux Jazz Festival piano competition in Switzerland (heavily sponsored, no doubt, by Lindt).
Annelise likes the following things, but not all at the same time (except the chocolate and the skiing):
Brad Mehldau, Bill Evans, snow skiing, the new Perth jazz club “The Ellington”, travelling, Herbie Hancock, The Montreux Jazz Festival, tennis, board games and Sudoku, Diana Krall, Keith Jarrett, the Perth jazz community, Swiss chocolate (yumm), golf, honesty, truthfulness and kindness
And Annelise loves these: her family and her dog “Flickie”, her Limited Edition Steinway Grand Piano, Jazz – oh, and did we mention chocolate and skiing?