Roz Pearson has been on the Perth Jazz scene for sometime. It has been a journey of self-exploration, some call it 'paying one's dues'. Her first professional gig was at the Fremantle Arts Centre amongst such luminaries as Ray Walker, Murray Wilkins, Lew Smith and John Milne. She shook (nerves) her way through eight songs, but when she started One Note Samba on the wrong note she realised there was work to be done.
Roz first entered the Edith Cowan University's Conservatorium Jazz Department in 1987 where she completed her Certificate in Jazz Studies. Three months after the birth of daughter Lucy in 1993 she re-entered (sucker for punishment) the 'Con' to complete an Associate Diploma in Performing Arts.
Equipped with her new-found knowledge and somewhat more experience Roz ventured into the world of the recording studio and there, in 1997 recorded her first CD "Passion". Passion is a classy CD of jazz originals and standards with a who's who of Jazz talent contributing their creative spirits to produce a classic album.
Having proven her legitimacy as a "serious" jazz artiste Roz yearned for a little light relief. You see Roz has always been a closet Cabaret Queen. Equipped with a wardrobe that would put Mrs Marcos to shame, Roz sought out those catchy little tunes from around the world that people secretly (or not so secretly) love. In addition to those, Roz wrote a song which expresses her frustration with Aussie men's reluctance to dance. Added to the songs and the costumes was a little (and sometimes a lot of) body movement and hey presto, Mondo Kitsch was born. When the events of September 11 occurred Roz just knew that the "Mondo Kitsch" multicultural merriment had to be made available to a wider audience and so the plan for a CD was put into action.
The key to the success of Mondo Kitsch is of course the artists involved. Roz's partner in creation is Gary Ridge. Gary is not just a giant in the percussion world, his creative genius can be heard throughout the album in the arrangements and mixing as well as playing a multitude of percussive instruments. Without Gary this CD would have had difficulty moving out of dreamworld into reality. Brett Hardwick's skills as a guitarist and his musicality and understanding of the genre are awesome and essential to the Mondo Kitsch sound. Thoughout the album one can hear the immense talent of Paul Millard who also understands what Mondo Kitsch is all about. Manoli Vouyoucalos and Shane Pooley share the bassist stand. Manoli can be heard on the Latin grooves and Shane on the big band and swing tunes. Both contribute enormously to the sound. And of course there's the awesome Grant Windsor tinkling ever so sweetly on the ivories. Michael Perkins' drumming on the swing and big band numbers is a delight to behold. Add these fabuloso musicos: Sammy Pizzata (piano accordion) "Oo la la!", Bill McAlister on Trombone, Michael Collinson on Alto Sax and Flute and Benn Hodgekin on Trumpet and you have another absolute classic
At the end of 2003 Roz made the move to the Apple Isle and has started to knock the socks off those Tassie Jazz lovers. Roz is available for functions, concerts and festivals in any guise you desire. She's sure to add a little colour to any occasion.
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