Good Morning Heartache: songs by women writers

Date and Time
Sun 20 Nov, 6pm
Adult $40 / Student $15
The Lab (63 Light Square, Adelaide)
1 hour (no interval)

Ferguson created the first incarnation of ‘Good Morning Heartache: Songs from Female Writers’ for the Adelaide Festival Centre’s 2018 International Jazz Day Concert which he co-curated. He returns to the project with new arrangements of works by contemporary pop writers alongside his interpretations of songs by Irene Higginbotham, Dorothy Fields and Billie Holiday. Ferguson rounds out the program with Elena Kats-Chernin’s Russian Rag and original works inspired by strong women like his piano-playing great grandmother and Mrs Rebecca Forbes of Nepabunna (who inspired a piece in his recent ABC Jazz commission Where Emus Roam the Streets). 
The concert features the core 2018 band, two of his regular collaborators bassist Bonnie Aué and drummer Josh Baldwin; Aué performed on Ferguson’s ABC album while Josh Baldwin played on his 2020 album Songs from an Imperfect World.  
Ferguson’s trio approach draws deeply on his long association with latino music, but also displays the influences of the trios of Ahmad Jamal, Brad Mehldau and The Bad Plus. 

Mark Simeon Ferguson was born into a musical family in Whyalla on Barngala land and raised in Clare on Ngadjuri land. He was a finalist in the National Jazz Awards in 1999 and in the same year he completed a Master of Music at the University of Adelaide (where he is currently Head of Jazz). In 2022 he was awarded the APRA AMCOS Luminary Award for South Australia for sustained contributions to the fields of sEducation, Composition and Jazz Performance.

He composes and arranges regularly for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (including the orchestration of their Kaurna Acknowledgement of Country, Pudnanthi Padninthi), the SA Public Primary Schools Music Festival, Six Foot Something Productions (including The Alphabet of Awesome Science touring 52 theatres in 2022) and the Australian String Quartet.  

In 2021 ABC Jazz commissioned his project Where Emus Roam the Streets which was released in 2022 and recorded with a band of up-and-coming female musicians. The album was inspired by the land and the people of the Ikara/Flinders Ranges on Adnyamthanha land. In 2020 Wizardtone records released his trio album Songs From an Imperfect World. With his latin-jazz ensemble Marmalade Circus he recorded five albums and performed at the Sydney Festival and the Manly, Thredbo and Glenelg Jazz Festivals.

In 2022 Mark was Musical Director/arranger for two major Adelaide Cabaret Festival shows; Tina Arena’s ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’ and Lou Blackwell’s ‘Love on the Left Bank’. As a pianist Mark has performed with Rufus Wainwright, Mark Murphy, Paul Capsis, Lady Rizo, Vika and Linda Bull and Ray Vega and he was part of Camille O’Sullivan’s Helpmann Award winning show Changeling.

Bonnie Aué began playing the double bass at age 12 and recently completed her Bachelor of Jazz performance at the Elder Conservatorium, achieving first class honours. In 2018 she received the Southern Jazz Club top undergraduate award for bass. Bonnie plays regularly in the Adelaide Jazz scene and has performed at events such as the International Jazz day concert in 2018 and 2019, Hobart’s Festival of Voices, and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. During 2019 Bonnie toured with the Hot Sardines, playing at the Blue Note in Tokyo, Beijing and Honolulu. She has also performed with artists including Jo Lawry, Wil Vinson, Anita Wardell, Emma Pask, Ross Irwin, Vardan Ovsepian, James Muller, Mark Ferguson, Helena Kay, and Adam Page. Bonnie is involved with a wide variety of local bands such as the Max Grynchuk big band, Thomas Voss Big Band, The Boy’s Club, Mark Curtis and the Flannelettes, and the Radial Quartet.

Josh is one of Adelaide’s leading jazz musicians. He studied Music Performance at the University of Adelaide, receiving First Class Honours. Whilst at university he was awarded the Elder/Helpman Award for Most Outstanding undergraduate drummer, as well as the Elder/Helpmann Award for Most Outstanding Honours graduate. In 2012 Josh was the recipient of a Carclew scholarship to study in New York with master drummer John Riley, and in 2018 he was chosen as one of ten finalists for the National Jazz Awards (Drums) in Wangaratta. He recently completed a Master of Music Performance at the University of Adelaide for which he received a Dean’s Commendation.

Josh has performed with numerous leading national and international artists including George Garzone, Will Vinson, Paul Grabowsky, James Muller, Jamie Oehlers, Jo Lawry and Vardan Ovsepian. He is a member of numerous groups, recording and performing around Adelaide and interstate with the Mark Ferguson Trio, Big Wigs Trio, Ross McHenry, Max Savage, 5-Sided Cube, Lou Blackwell among many others. He released his debut album “Rockpools” in 2021. 


Mark Ferguson
Bonnie Aué
Josh Baldwin


ANNE RONELL Willow Weep For Me
IRENE HIGGINBOTHAM Good Morning Heartache
THELMA PLUM Not Angry Anymore 
BARBARA Ma Plus Belle Histoire D’Amor
MARK FERGUSON Mrs Forbes’ Vegemite Soup
SIA Chandelier
MARK FERGUSON Mrs Harkess’ Danzon

Image: Photo by Andy Palmer/Alamy