Emerging Jazz Piano Voices

Date and Time
Thu 17 Nov, 8.30pm
Adult $40 / Student $15
The Lab (63 Light Square, Adelaide)
1 hour (without interval)

Andrew Casey
Arrangements and compositions

Andrew will play three of his own arrangements of familiar jazz standards, including the swinger, ‘Days of Wine and Roses’, ‘Over the Rainbow’ from the classic film, The Wizard of Oz, and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane’s infamous tune, ‘Giant Steps’.  Andrew will also play his original composition ‘Your Embrace’, and end the set with a classical piece by Claude Debussy from his suite, Pour le piano, Toccata.

Ciara Louise Ferguson
Celtic/folk jazz with melodies and rhythms

Celtic/folk jazz, with lyrical melodies and rhythmic ideas inspired by the wonder and beauty of the natural world. The program features music that traverses the course of a day: from the dew on the grass of early morning to the delights of a flower in bloom, and finally to the sun setting on a shepherd bringing in their flock. It includes both original compositions and arrangements, with Ferguson singing as well as playing piano. 

Darcie Bills
Stride piano and Ragtime (Waller and Joplin) alongside musical theatre (Bernstein)

Darcie combines her love for both trad and contemporary jazz with a set that explores the styles of Stride piano and Ragtime (Waller and Joplin) alongside musical theatre (Bernstein) and her original compositions. Her arrangement of Bernstein’s Maria aims to capture the growing sense of yearning and enrapture, that evolves through the use of countermelody, set against a loose-stride feel. Her original composition River’s Song is a joyful jazz-folk melody written for her dog, her number one critic. 

Growing up in a rural musical family on the banks of the Murray River, Andrew Casey is an accomplished pianist, composer and arranger based in Adelaide.  Andrew performs a diverse range of music, including Jazz, Latin, other contemporary forms of music and classical.  He has a particular interest in the music of Frank Zappa which led him to start his own jazz fusion band, 5 Sided Cube, whose debut album is set to be released later this year.  Andrew is constantly striving to fulfill his creative potential as a musician – please enjoy this concert as the latest manifestation of his striving.

Ciara completed her Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) with First Class Honours at the University of Adelaide in 2021, where she also won the 2019 Helpmann Academy award for Top Piano Undergraduate. She has been a pianist, vibraphonist and/or backing vocalist for Tina Arena, Lior, Mark Holden, Eddie Perfect, Rhonda Burchmore, Rachael Beck, Paul Grabowsky, Joe Chindamo, Thando and Wendy Matthews,.

Ciara recently recorded albums with her own jazz/folk quartet, prog-rock band The Cortex Shift, contemporary jazz group Soylent Green (with whom she also performed at Womadelaide 2022 on the Northern Sound System stage) and Mark Simeon Ferguson’s ABC Jazz Commission, Where Emus Roam the Streets.

Ciara sang backing vocals for the 2022 Adelaide Cabaret Festival show Songs My Mother Taught Me featuring Tina Arena, and was part of the creative development workshops for the Adelaide Festival’s 2022 commission, Watershed. She performed in the SA premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians under the musical direction of Vanessa Tomlinson (2020). Ciara composed the incidental music for the play Of Auburn. 

Ciara is the pianist for the Women in Jazz Adelaide Big Band, and regularly gigs around Adelaide in jazz and pop bands, including her family group Marmalade Five, Minnie Little and Burjon. She has facilitated and assisted with workshops in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s children’s programs (including at their 2021 Festival of Orchestra). Ciara works as a piano teacher and accompanist in schools and for the Adelaide Connection jazz choir. 

Darcie Bills is a pianist from Adelaide, currently in her final year of Jazz Performance studies at the Elder Conservatorium. She draws her musical inspiration from the likes of Keith Jarrett, Fred Hersch, Nat Bartsch and Fergus McCreadie (to name a few). Darcie was the 2022 recipient of the Tommy Norman Award for Jazz piano, as well as the 2021 recipient of the Jeremy Cookes Ragtime Competition and the Pfeiffer Instrumental scholarship in 2019. She has been a pianist for Fringe shows such as More Than a Game (2021-2022) as well as supporting Virago Circus for the Adelaide Cabaret. In 2022, she performed alongside Vince Jones for Helpmann Academy’s A Night of Jazz. Darcie enjoys teaching piano and playing for the band Maisie B, having recently recorded an EP at Forest Range Studios.


Andrew Casey
HARROLD ARLEN (arr. self) Over the Rainbow
HENRY MANCINI (arr. self) Days of Wine and Roses
JOHN COLTRANE (arr. self) Giant Steps
CLAUDE DEBUSSY Tocata from Pour le Piano

Ciara Ferguson
CIARA FERGUSON Oh Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast
RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN (arr. self) Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
CIARA FERGUSON Chamelaucium Uncinatum
SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL (arr. self) Ca’ the Yowes - Isabel Pagan, Robert Burns

Darcie Bills
FATS WALLER (arr. self) Ain’t Misbehavin
RICHARD RODGERS (arr. self) Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
SCOTT JOPLIN Pineapple Rag
LEONARD BERNSTEIN (arr. self) Maria

Image: Walking over The Rainbow Bridge in Colwyn Bay, North Wales by Kev Curtis