Gooseberry Hill-raised songstress Toni Swain to kick off WA tour at Ellington Jazz Club

Toni Swain.
Toni Swain.

RHYTHM and blues diva Toni Swain and her quintet will grace the stage of the Ellington on Thursday for the first stop of their premier WA tour.

The songbird grew up in Gooseberry Hill listening to her father Murray Swain’s traditional jazz band, the Swan City Jazzmen, and the trumpeter’s love of jazz was not lost on his daughter.

As a young child, Toni recalls dancing and singing along to the family’s vinyl collection at home.

She described her song-writing influences as an eclectic mix, listening to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Nicks and Michael Jackson.

She wrote her first tune at the age of 11 and recorded it using two cassette decks, laying down drums, piano, vocals and guitar.

Murray Swain’s traditional jazz band, the Swan City Jazzmen.

Her confidence grew and by 13 she was busking in Hay Street Mall before hitting the road with a rock opera band six years later.

With half a lifetime of live shows, touring and recording in Australia and overseas, the original blues/jazz/soul singer songwriter is on the road again.

Her third and latest album Deepest Water (2016) skyrocketed to number 2 on the Blues & Roots Charts on release.

Swain, who has lived ‘over east’ for the past 30 years, is excited about her WA tour.

“I’m bringing my own guitarist Roy Payne (he also plays in Don Walker’s band), Mike Rix double bass, and teeing up with my old friends Garry Howard (drums) and Bob Patient (keys), both in Perth,” she said.

Recent gigs have featured performances at blues and jazz festivals and the band is confirmed for the Broadbeach Music and Echuca-Moama Winter Blues festivals later this year.

What: Toni Swain Quintet
When: Thursday, March 15
Where: Ellington Jazz Club

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