Music is a massive part of the Slowdown Weekend and live swing music does not get much better than this. We’re thrilled to bring you the following incredible Australian music talent for your dancing pleasure – read on below for more about their individual styles that will get your toes tapping!

Musicians playing at Slowdown Weekend 2018

Musician Dan McLean performing at Slowdown Weekend 2018

Dan McLean is one of Canberra’s most highly acclaimed trumpet players and big band leaders, and we are thrilled to him head-lining Slowdown again in 2018. After completing the Bachelor of Music Honours degree majoring in Jazz at ANU under the guidance of Miroslav Bukovsky, Dan has well and truly established himself as a versatile trumpet player. Dan records, arranges and performs with numerous bands in Canberra, and is a regular performer at many of Australia’s Jazz Festivals. He is the proud band leader of ‘The Dan McLean Big Band’—Canberra’s premier professional big band.  Dan’s experience has included performing as lead trumpet for Royal Caribbean cruises; as a member of the Canberra Philharmonic and Pops Orchestra’s, and soloist encompassing Trad, Contemporary Jazz and commercial music. Dan has performed with artists such as James Morrison, Grace Knight, Hetty Kate, Gordon Webster, The Platters, Bobby Arvon… and many more.

Musicians Dan McLean Big Band performing at Slowdown Weekend 2018

Dan McLean’s Battered Savoys, opening the weekend on Friday night, is composed entirely of professional jazz musicians living and working in the ACT.  Featuring: Dan Bray on Saxophone, Damien Slingsby on vocal keyboard, Brendan Clarke on Bass and Steve Richards on Drums. The members are some of the most highly qualified and skilled artists in the country, the Dan McLean Hot Six performs the full compliment of styles and genres from the 20s through to modern jazz and including originals pieces by its own members as well as local composers.

Dan McLean’s Hot Six is led by Dan McLean, and Dan is excited to be performing with his band, and talented vocalist Yvette Johansson on the Saturday night of Slowdown! The Hot Six Features Dan Mclean on Trumpet, with Damien SlingsbyBrendan Clarke, Steve Richards, and joined by Greg Stott on Guitar.

Both bands just love playing for dancers!

Musician Yvette Johansson at Slowdown Weekend 2018

Yvette Johansson is an internationally renowned vocalist with a phenomenal range and a wildly charismatic stage presence.  Taking her jazz inspiration from her idols Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, she is loved by blues dancers and lindy hoppers alike and absolutely brought the house down when she teamed up with Gordon Webster at Blues Before Sunrise.

Yvette was described by ABC Radio Melbourne as “truly virtuoso” and “able to channel Ella Fitzgerald like no other”.

Yvette’s vocal storytelling is heartbreakingly beautiful  and completely captivating in it’s power and emotion.  Lucky for us she is also an accomplished lindy hopper and blues dancer and she knows exactly how to keep a dance floor full and wanting more!

It is an honour and a privilege to welcome back the immense talent of Yvette Johansson to Slowdown.  The pairing of her and Dan McLean will again be pure magic.

Musician Lani Melrose at Slowdown Weekend 2018

From warm, gentle tones to bold, powerhouse belts, boisterous brunette Lani Melrose will have you feeling all the colours of the rainbow. Lani’s soulful vocals and charismatic personality will take you on a journey and leave you wanting more.
Having performed around the Perth music scene with a number of different ensembles, Lani’s diverse influences and love for music shows in performance. She has had the privilege of performing with Guys Sebastian and Melanie Daniels-Walker, has been a part of support acts for Tina Arena and James Taylor, and has performed for the royals – Prince Charles and Camilla.

Lani has been a part of numerous artist tribute shows, including Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, D’Angelo, Sharon Jones and The Dapp Kings, and George Michael. She has performed with the Perth Symphony Orchestra, WAAPA Gospel Choir and various cover bands from 80’s and 90’s Pop/Rnb to down right dirty blues. Drawing on influences, new and old, of soul, blues, RnB, funk, jazz and more, this vivacious vocalist is sure to impress!

Musicians Leo and Mitcha at Slowdown Weekend 2018

Introducing our Sunday Night live music duo – Mitch and Leo! These two are absolutely part of the Canberra Blues fabric, having played at gigs within Canberra and all around Australia over the last 20 years.

Mitch is a drumming maestro and has played at many well-known festivals including the Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival, the Thredbo Blues Festival, the Australian Blues Music Festival (Goulburn), the Broadbeach Blues Festival, the National Folk Festival, the Sydney Blues Festival, the Cobargo Folk Festival, the Forth Valley Blues Festival and the Mordialloc Food and Wine Festival.

Leo reigns from Adelaide originally, and loves learning what the blues has to offer, especially the seemingly endless lode that blues piano seems to provide. Leo takes the line that “It’s gotta swing”, so whether it’s up tempo or not Leo’s going to be doing his best to make sure it’s all just swinging and cooking along.

Is it October yet?!


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