Tina has been a part of Sydney Fringe Festival many times during her rich, musical career, but is as excited as ever to be returning to the stage once again to catch up with, what she calls, her musical family. “It’s always great to play the Fringe Festival because it’s usually people I know, and have known for years, who are booking me and organising it.
“So it’s close to my heart for that reason… It focuses on great, local content and it gives everybody a chance to play their music and for people to hear it, and not only that, but to get together as artists and support each other. Because really, we are one, big, musical family,” Tina explains.
For her Fringe show, Tina will be bringing along her All Star Quartet consisting of Jonathon Zwartz (bass), Matt McMahon (piano), Hamish Stuart (drums) and Ben Kidson (percussion). “I’ve known them for 25 years. They’ve just been part of the Sydney music scene and my late partner, Jackie Orszaczky, when we were together he worked with Hamish Stuart, who is my drummer, so I got to know Hamish through Jackie and so we are family as well as colleagues and we go way back.
“[The] majority of material I’ve written and recorded I’ve co-written with Jonathon. So we know each other very well and we’re always excited when it’s possible to do a gig together,” Tina says.
Their show together at Sydney Fringe Festival will showcase music from Tina’s original catalogue as well as a few surprise covers. “We’re going to be playing music from my album ‘Work Songs’, which is a kind of straight-ahead jazz album but with gingers of folk and soul in there as well, and also songs from my last two albums, ‘Temporary People’ and ‘The Revolution Is Eternal’… I might throw in a couple of Nina Simone arrangements and some Bob Dylan stuff,” she says.
Tina’s most recent album, ‘The Revolution Is Eternal’, experimented with a more electronic sound in contrast to her previous albums and will be exciting to hear live with the jazz band. “I love introducing those songs to the quartet because they give it another total different identity again. … When you play electronic music with acoustic, organic instruments it just brings a whole new lease of life into the song.”
Since the release her last album not much has been heard from Tina but she has been keeping busy and is currently working on a documentary due for release later in the year. “It’s about my life and my music. I’ve also been interviewing lots of interesting musicians and artists and them talking about the Sydney music scene and how much it’s changed and how it’s affected everybody’s lives and careers. So it’s a fascinating film actually; well I think it is.”
Sydney Fringe Festival has a special place in Tina’s heart, as does Venue 505 so it’ll be a night to remember as Tina and Her All Star Quartet relive some of their history. “The beauty of that venue is that it’s a place to go and hear quality music because of the people that own it and run it,” she says.
“I’m fond of this festival. There’s lots of good local stuff in it, which is very cool. … It’s hard to put words to it, the importance of that.”
Tina Harrod & Her All Star Quartet play Venue 505 24 September.