John Gift and Luke Vasella will perform at the Conservatorium’s cushion CONcert on Sunday.
John Gift and Luke Vasella will perform at the Conservatorium’s cushion CONcert on Sunday.

Concerts showcase musical talent

The third in a year-long series of free ‘cushion CONcerts’ will be held in the grounds of the Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre this Sunday, April 11, after being postponed because of Easter last weekend.

The concert will feature accomplished trio Simple Folk, plus the songwriting talents of guitar and vocal duo Luke Vassella and John Grist, as well as the dynamic Captain Cod Jazz Trio, led by local musician Ben Rogers.

“These free concerts are one element of the Lismore Promotion Program’s activities which are aimed at infusing life into the CBD; particularly on the weekends,” Lismore city centre manager Stephen Nelson explained.

The concerts will be held outside unless there is a chance of rain, in which case they will be upstairs in the Con’s concert space.

“For the concert this coming Sunday, we’re advising everyone to bring a cushion – or even a deck chair,” Mr Nelson said. “The business community appreciates that in order to bring people to the city centre on weekends, there needs to be activities such as the top-quality entertainment provided by the Conservatorium to act as drawcards.”

Conservatorium director Janis Balodis said there have been packed houses for the previous two concerts.

“The range of music over the year will be extremely eclectic with jazz, world music, rock, classical and other genres represented. We’re looking forward to hearing from artists and groups outside our operations who’d like to perform in the ‘CON Proms’ series during this year,” he added.

The Captain Cod Jazz Trio, lead by guitarist Ben ‘Captain Cod’ Rogers, perform original and standard jazz tunes with an emphasis on groove and texture. The trio is completed by Hans Lovejoy on acoustic bass and Hugh Jones on drums.

Luke Vassella and John Gift are two popular local singer/songwriters who have been entertaining audiences, recording albums, receiving awards and touring throughout Australia and overseas for the past 15 years. In 2009 they celebrated the release of their first collaborative album The Big Tin Shed which contained fresh interpretations of their own material, as well as hearty renditions of new songs penned by patrons of the Lismore Soup Kitchen.

Simple Folk is a local trio that uses traditional folk instruments, including Irish bouzouki, fiddle, mountain dulcimer, bodhran and voice to present a range of ‘tales in tunes’. Their songs have their roots in the stories of people living in the Appalachian Mountains, sailing aboard convict ships bound for Botany Bay, and tramping through the frozen wilds of Canada.

The gig kicks off at 11am and is, of course, free.


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