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The Story

Michelle Nicolle is a jazz musician whose chosen instrument is Voice. 

Known for her ability to get right to the heart of a song, as well as being an in the moment improviser Michelle has continually developed and nurtured her art form with the help of her quartet.  As well as releasing 8 CDs the MNQuartet has toured extensively throughout Australia and internationally -highlights include South Korea, Finland, and Czech Republic, Asia Pacific Festival (Russia), Tokyo Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), New Zealand, Turkey, Estonia, Indonesia and Singapore.  

Recently Michelle has performed concerts and workshops in London (2016) JEN Conference, New Orleans, Miami University and JazzVox in Seattle, USA (2017)

Arranger, band leader and award-winning jazz vocalist Michelle Nicolle started her musical career when she began the violin at the age of eight in the Barossa Valley, South Australia in the 1970s.  Based in Melbourne, she is now celebrated as Australia’s finest jazz singer. Leading her band with a quiet dignity, Nicolle’s apparent ease at difficult, and varied improvisation, bring to mind the skills of singers like Betty Carter, Mel Torme or Ella Fitzgerald.  But she sounds like none of those singers.  Michelle Nicolle is a jazz singer in the true jazz tradition – a creative and masterful improviser with the technique to match any instrumentalist.

Ronny Ferella - drums

Ferella’s own band IshIsh, for which he composes most of the material, has made quite an impact on the Australian scene – releasing four CDs. In July 2001 IshIsh performed at the prestigious Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, and Pori Festival (Finland).

Ferella leads other original improvised-based bands including Peon (a 2 drummer/electronic project) and Mandala and in 2009 launched a CD label and website, Downstream Music, which promotes improvised music made in Melbourne. In 1997 he was a finalist in National Jazz Award Drum Competition. Ronny co- founded and directed Half Bent Festival – a musician-based organisation involved in presenting concerts and he teaches Small Ensemble Studies and Principle Study (drums) at Monash University, NMIT and for The Song Room.

Geoff Hughes – Guitar

Originally from Wellington, New Zealand, Geoff is a highly accomplished musician. His practical knowledge of harmony and time is rare and much sought after – honing his craft whilst living and working throughout Europe in the 1980’s. During this time Geoff’s gigs included The North Holland Philharmonic,and supporting jazz greats Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, and Herb Ellis.

Since moving to Australia he’s recorded a CD “The Drop” with Allan Browne, and brought his unique sound to the bands of Joe Chindamo and Christine Sullivan. He often plays sessions with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and touring shows such as The Main Event. Geoff is a core member of teaching staff at the Victorian College of the Arts, and in 2007 he completed his Masters in Music Performance at The University of Melbourne.

Tom Lee – Bass

Tom Lee completed the Bachelor of Music Performance at the VCA in 2002. While at the VCA he studied under bassists Geoff Kluke, Ben Robertson as well as Assistant Principal bassist for the MSO, Andrew Moon. He has also studied at the School of Improvised Music, located in New York, under bassist Drew Gress.

Tom has recorded with ensembles such as Vada, the Gian Slater Project and Contrabanda. He has performed at numerous festivals including the WOMADELAIDE, Wangaratta International, & the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

"I have loved Michelle Nicolle’s singing perpetually and without ceasing since first I heard her. Michelle is a singer born to sing, born to charm, enlighten and seduce through music. I only wish she lived in the States somewhere so I could manage to hear her more often.” Kurt Elling, April 2012





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