Open Letter From Jessie Gordon Ahead Of Perth Fringe World

  • Written by  Jessie Gordon
  • Thursday, 10 January 2019 12:03
Published in Arts  
|   Tagged under   
Jessie Gordon presents seven shows as part of Fringe World, January-February. Jessie Gordon presents seven shows as part of Fringe World, January-February.

The ten-time Fringe World award-winner, versatile jazz and blues singer and cheese aficionado presents seven shows in 2019 as part of Fringe World Festival.


Jessie will host an evening of acoustic French Gypsy swing with local band Sassafras, an encore performance of 'The Fairly Average Dance Band', will delve into the dark corners of the pop music of the 1930s & '40s in 'Dirty Jazz', and improvise with long time best friend Mark Turner in 'Best Friends'.

She will also team up with double Grammy Award-winner Lucky Oceans in two shows, the rollicking 'Western Swing Hour' and the raucous barrelhouse blues adventure that is 'The Piano Has Been Drinking', and if that wasn’t quite enough, she will also grace the stage with jazz singer Ali Bodycoat in a tribute to Peggy Lee and Judy Garland.

Jessie covers it all – from soft, lyrical and romantic to gutsy and grand, with a level of grace onstage and easy humour that makes the audience immediately comfortable.

For the last three years, Jessie has toured extensively, working for a portion of the year in Berlin and Madrid. She recently performed at the Swingtonal Dance Festival in Madrid, Spirit in Blues in Milan and will tour to Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and record an album in Spain in 2019.

“Fringe is my favourite time of year in Perth. There are so many things to love about it. It’s a great platform to experiment and push myself to learn new things and create new projects with musicians I look up to. Every year as I start collaborating and slowly working things through I am reminded of how much incredible talent there is in Perth.

This season I’m so excited to be working with a host of musicians I’ve admired for years. Lucky Oceans has been an inspiration to so many of us here in Perth. He fronted the Daily Planet on Radio National for more than 20 years and his mellow voice introduced Australians to a diverse range of world music. To hear him on the pedal steel guitar is sublime, so I’m feeling very grateful that I get to perform alongside him.

I’m also thrilled to be reviving some great music of Peggy Lee’s with Ali Bodycoat. I’ll be creating mayhem with my best friend Mark Turner as we play set list roulette every night and get the audience to choose the songs we will play in an entirely unscripted show. I’m bringing back 'Dirty Jazz' because I want to find that perfect line between hilarity and deeply filthy repertoire and the Fringe audiences are the perfect sounding board for that particular experiment.

Sassafras are putting together a new show this year of French swing and gypsy music, which is exciting and overwhelming as I have to learn so many new songs in French, but it’s one of the most thrilling bands to play with because of the incredible virtuosity of the musicians. And on the other end of the spectrum is the Fairly Average Dance Band, also incredible musicians, but none of us playing the instruments we actually know how to play, which is a recipe for unmatched idiocy and unchecked joy.

As I get older I realise that I just love the work. I go crazy when I have nothing to do, but when I have seven projects on the go and I’m responsible to other people to get things done, that’s when I feel alive. The Fringe season ends and all I want to do is keep working. So if you see me after Fringe, don’t give me a couch for a nap, give me another idea for a project!”


Jessie Gordon presents seven shows throughout Fringe World, which runs from 18 January-17 February.

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