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Co-Producers, The Fringe of Squaredom, Rachael Thoms and Tom Fell. Photo: Martin Ollman, 2021


Sunday 12 December, 4pm – 6pm – Jazz Divas: Sarah, Ella, Billie and Beyond


General admission- $30pp /per show

Jazz Divas: Sarah, Ella, Billie and Beyond.

Join renowned vocalist Rachael Thoms as she delivers a sophisticated performance of songs by the great jazz singers of the last century. Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and more. A concert not to be missed by lovers of the sung jazz tradition. Please note, due to COVID restriction in NSW, Hugh Barrett will not be able to perform. Instead you will be treated to the fabulous musicality of Lachlan Coventry on guitar.

  • Rachael Thoms (vox)
  • Tom Fell (sax)
  • James Luke (bass)
  • Lachlan Coventry (guitar)
  • Chris Thwaite (drums).

The musicians

Rachael Thoms is one of a new breed of truly versatile vocalists. An accomplished performer in multiple genres, she holds degrees in both jazz and classical performance from the ANU School of Music. She is the recipient of multiple awards and scholarships and has performed in many of Australia’s cultural institutions. With over 30 years’ experience as a performer, Rachael’s diverse performance highlights include appearances alongside George Benson, Larry Carlton, Vince Jones, Lior, renowned classical artists such as the Song Company, Lisa Moore, Pascale and Ami Rogé and Australian entertainment royalty, Rob Guest, Peter Cousens, and Little Pattie. Rachael has two independently produced albums and is currently completing PhD research into jazz vocal pedagogy and improvisation at the ANU School of Music where she is an Associate Lecturer in performance and aural skills.

Tom Fell has over ten years experience as a professional saxophonist and music educator. As well as performing with renowned jazz artists such as Steve Barry, Miroslav Bukovsky, James Greening, John Mackey, Brett Hirst, Brendan Clarke and Eamon Dilworth, his versatility has seen him work with acts as diverse as acclaimed rapper Citizen Kay and recently as part of the original theatrical song-cycle ‘Flight Memory’ by Sandy France and Alana Valentine. Tom performs regularly in Canberra with Brass Knuckle Brass Band, Nyash Afrobeat Collective, as a session musician and with his own jazz projects. He graduated from the ANU School of Music in 2010.

James Luke has over twenty years’ experience as a professional musician and music educator. A highly sought-after performer in a diverse range of styles, James is a “first call’ bass player for many artists from trad jazz to modern pop and rock. He has performed with artists such as renowned jazz drummer Olavi Louhivouri (Finland), jazz ukelele virtuoso Benny Chong (USA), multi award winning cabaret/variety show La Clique, soul singer extraordinaire Vivian Sessoms (USA) and many others. James is renowned for his melodic and supportive playing and a keen interest in sound manipulation techniques on both bass guitar and double bass.

Hugh Barrett has been active on the Australian jazz scene for over fifteen years. He is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2006), a James Morrison Jazz Scholarship finalist (2003 and 2004), an Australian National Jazz Awards semi-finalist (2006 and 2013), and a Freedman Jazz Fellowship nominee (2018). Hugh has performed and recorded with acclaimed international artists such as Chris Potter, Maria Schneider, Bob Shepherd, Alex Sipiagin, Florian Ross, Charles Tolliver, Bert Joris, and Roger Manins, and took part in the first performances and recording of the Australian National Jazz Orchestra in 2017 and 2019. Hugh also regularly performs in smaller ensembles led by Australian jazz icons and rising stars alike and has appeared at many of Australia’s best jazz festivals. A versatile musician, Hugh also recorded and toured nationally and internationally as part of popular band The Beautiful Girls from 2009 to 2012.

Chris Thwaite began drumming in the ACT school band program at age 9. Since graduating from the ANU School of Music, Chris has been one of Canberra’s most in-demand jazz and commercial drummers, performing with Bernie Mcgann, Eric Ajaye (USA), John Mackey and Michael Azzopardi among many others. He is also the current drummer in Brass Knuckle Brass Band. In his own words: “Music has constantly been a source of great pleasure to me. The learning, social experiences and friendships it has brought me have been the best parts.”

Sinuhe Pacheco was born in Santiago, Chile and moved to Australia when he was 6 years of age. Taking up congas at 17 years of age, Sinuhe travelled to Cuba twice to study afro-cuban percussion courses at the prestigious Superior Institute of Arts in Havana. Sinuhe returned to Cuba for two years after receiving a Queen Elizabeth Trust Fund grant to further study both afro-cuban Folkloric and Popular rhythms at the Felix Farella School. During this time, he also received one-on-one tuition with master percussionists from Havana. Sinuhe has become one of the most sought-after afro-cuban percussionists in Australia.

Ben Marston is one of Canberra’s most in demand jazz trumpeters. He has both an honours degree in jazz performance and a master’s in jazz composition from the Australian National University and has performed alongside the likes of Bob Bertles, James Morrison and Emma Pask. In 2014 Ben was nominated to the short list of the Freedman Fellowship Jazz awards and awarded a grant to study in Norway with live remix pioneer Jan Bang. As well as his acclaimed duo work with Hugh Barrett, Ben also regularly performs with the Brass Knuckle Brass Band, his own jazz trio and solo with laptop and electronics.

Energetic, creative and lyrical, Matt Handel is an accomplished alto and tenor saxophonist from Sydney. Matt started performing professionally at a young age and  across a wide range of styles from rock, funk & blues to jazz, folk & world music. He later studied with John Mackey and Miroslav Bukovsky at the ANU school of music and was quickly recognised, completing the jazz degree on an accelerated pathway and being employed by the university as a saxophone teacher while still studying. Matt has been nominated for the Freedman Fellowship Jazz awards and has performed with some of Australia’s top jazz musicians including Miroslav Bukovsky, John Mackey, Alister Spence, James Greening, Jonathan Swartz, Matt McMahon, Alex Stuart and Bill Risby.


The Fringe of Squaredom presents jazz in its many forms, from the earthy swing of New Orleans to the classic cool of the modern era.

Founded by Rachael Thoms and Tom Fell and featuring the powerhouse rhythm section of James Luke, Chris Thwaite and Hugh Barrett, the band brings together a collective of the region’s finest musicians to present four showcase concerts at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre.

Don’t miss your chance to hear world class jazz, in this series of four Sunday afternoon concerts in the Tuggeranong Arts Centre theatre.

The series of concerts builds on the Arts Centre’s growing reputation as a venue for music, offering a program that will appeal to jazz lovers and jazz laymen alike, with conceptually based concerts that explore a genre or artist.

As well as the celebrated musicians that make up the band, the season showcases some amazing special guests. Audiences can purchase tickets to individual concerts, or a season pass to all four.

*Please note, complimentary drinks are only available before the show, from 3pm in the Hunting Lodge. Guests may choose either champagne or orange juice.



Tuggeranong Arts Centre
137 Reed Street, Greenway ACT