Monday, October 31, 2005


Had a brief but very rewarding visit to the 2005 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz with the trio and Elana Stone. Our concert at the Town Hall was a full-house (approaching 1000) with the queue right into the street beforehand. The whole festival was beautifully organised. Elana had a very busy time, as well as her appearance with me she appeared with her own band and participated in the National Jazz Awards (a competition for vocalists this year). And she won the competition, winning $6000 plus a recording session for the ABC. It was great to be on stage with my "young" band (well, none of them have turned 25 yet!)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sound Lounge: Trio + Elana Stone

Just did Friday and Saturday night at the Sound Lounge with my new trio - Ben Waples (bass) and James Hauptmann (drums) and Elana Stone singing. I didn't think I played so well the first night and felt quite low as I had very high expectations of myself. But the second night saved me from the abyss, we all came together magically and the audience was extra nice (thanks Emily-Rose, Laura & Co.) . Slept soundly last night and dreamt happy dreams.

Do people know how much we artists can beat ourselves up when we fall short of our expectations? I am going to write about it and other things related to this challenging path one day - as in a book.

Elana is just amazing as are Ben and James. Next weekend we play the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz together.

On the Visions CD front things are coming together. We have a nice cover design and some gorgeous and quite unique liner notes from novelist Miriam Zolin. Should be out late November.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Just came back from a couple of days in Melbourne where I did a photo shoot for my new CD Visions. Art director was the lovely Helen Burbery who runs B&B Design (who are designing the CD package) and photographer was the excellent Joe Vittorio. My wife Jewel was with me and was a great help too. Jewel is currently exhibiting along with six other artists in a joint exhibition called Wet at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Australian premiere

Last night I played the Australian premiere of my suite of orchestrations Over the Rainbow: Four Ballads from the Great American Songbook. It is scored for jazz trio and symphony orchestra and I originally premiered it in Latvia in March, it was written in response to a Festival invitation there. On this occasion my trio was with Ben Waples, bass and Evan Mannel, drums who both did a great job as did the Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra (my local community orchestra) conducted by Sven Libaek. It was very well received and I hope one day to play it with major Australian professional orchestra

Trio + Elana Stone 2-night season at Sound Lounge, Sydney

MARK ISAACS TRIO featuring Elana Stone

TWO-NIGHT SYDNEY SEASON prior to their October 29 appearance at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and following the August regional NSW appearances for Musica Viva and at the Brisbane Powerhouse "Cool Nights, Hot Jazz" Festival

Mark Isaacs, piano Ben Waples, bass James Hauptmann, drums Elana Stone, vocal

FRI OCTOBER 21 & SAT OCTOBER 22 at 8:30pm
BOOKINGS: (02) 9351 7940 $15

"That rarest of endangered species, a real jazz singer" SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
"If Mark Isaacs lived in the United States, no doubt he would already be signed to a major jazz label. Isaacs reshapes the standards to his own imagination—which appears to contain vast reservoirs of ideas . .makes the interpretations his own, unlike anyone else’s” JAZZREVIEW.COM (USA)

Mark Isaacs new CD Visions out on Vorticity Music end of November.
mp3 preview here


Some memories of my sojourn in Indonesia September 5-October 2:

  • Fresh mango for breakfast every morning.
  • The chance to assist some very keen and talented Indonesian jazz students
  • Having to go to hospital because of extreme build-up of wax in my ears bringing temporary deafness. (Caused by wearing earplugs every night for 4 weeks to keep out early morning traffic noise)
  • Touring regional Indonesia with the Dutch group Denise Jannah and Band. Very nice bunch of people
  • Unbelievable traffic in Jakarta
  • Visiting the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and finding it like a fortress after last year's bombing
  • The gorgeous decor of the Nine Muses Club where I played
  • Getting caught in an absolutely torrential downpour on my way back from hospital, lost, unable to hail a taxi, map turning to a sodden mess, soaked to the skin and mobile phone battery flat
  • The helpfulness, warmth and hospitality of my hosts and just about everyone else I met

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Dearth of posts

It's been a month since I posted any news. Sorry!

I am leaving Indonesia tomorrow and returning home. I'll write some recollections of this memorable sojourn when back in Sydney.

Big news is that my new CD "Visions" will be released on Vorticity Music at the end of November. See below post for more information and a sample track.


Sat Oct 8: Over the Rainbow: Four Ballads from the Great American Songbook with The Mark Isaacs Trio & Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sven Libaek, 8.00pm, Sutherland Entertainment Centre, 30 Eton Street, Sutherland, Sydney. Australian premiere of suite of arrangements for jazz trio and orchestra by Mark Isaacs which had its world premiere in Latvia in March.

Fri Oct 21 & Sat Oct 22: The Mark Isaacs Trio with Elana Stone: Sound Lounge, Seymour Centre, Sydney, 8.30pm, Tickets: $15, Bookings: (02) 9351 7490.

Sat Oct 29: The Mark Isaacs Trio with Elana Stone: 2005 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz.

More news shortly!