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On Thursday 21st July, at Club Sapphire, the Down South Jazz Club are delighted to present The Paul Dion Trio with Marie Wilson (multi-award winning vocalist).

Marie Wilson, a jazz vocalist whose repertoire spans the 30s, 40s and 50s, was born in Calcutta of Anglo-Indian parentage and first established herself as a jazz singer on the Indian jazz scene before emigrating to Australia in the early 1960's. For some years she worked the commercial cabaret and TV circuit in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. In the early 1980s she decided to concentrate on jazz singing and quickly established herself as a leading jazz performer appearing with such greats as Don Burrows, James Morrison, George Golla, Kevin Hunt, Bob Barnard etc. She has toured internationally and has appeared at many jazz festivals both in Australia and overseas, and has also won several awards as Australia's jazz vocalist of the year.
Back in 2008, Marie Wilson delighted the Down South Jazz Club when she appeared with the Peter Locke Trio, and many were able to listen to her again when she performed at this year's jazz festival.
The Paul Dion Trio consists of Paul Dion on piano & vocals, George Gerontakos on bass and Ken Vatcher on drums.


Local pianist Paul Dion is well known in the area and certainly no stranger to the Down South Jazz Club. His musical journey has been a colourful and varied one. Starting out as a self-taught 14-year-old clarinettist he played his first gig in a woolshed for ₤5 (1964). At 16 a neighbour who enjoyed listening to him practise entered him in Holden Showcase and he made it to the finals. The legendary Frank Smith, a member of the Hector Crawford Showcase Orchestra, gave him free lessons and from then on his journey took a professional turn with regular session work and engagements in Sydney as a soloist and support musician for many international stars. With the demise of the big bands Paul took up piano at the age of 23 and began working as a pianist/ vocalist in the Sydney club scene and major hotel piano bars. Following study at the Sydney Conservatorium as a voice major he joined the then Australian Opera for five years as a tenor. It was this period that ignited the desire to compose musicals and he wrote "Prix D'Amour" for the Spectrum Theatre Group in July 2010.

George Gerontakos' double bass career started when he met double bass guru Bruce Cale after he returned from the USA in 1978. He studied with Bruce and became principal bassist with 'Ars Nova' and 'Orpheus Strings Chamber Orchestra' for 10yrs. In one concert he performed with renowned concert pianist Roger Woodward. During this period George also worked as a utility bassist for local jazz trios and ensembles. In 2003, following a meeting with jazz pianist Steve Jewell, he left chamber music and joining forces formed the 'Mountain Jazz Trio' which is still playing regularly with guests such as trumpeter Bruce Johnson. He has worked with many other bands and musicians such as Kay Carter, Andrew Russell, Jenny Knight, Dubbo Jazz Band, blues band Catfish Stew among others. George currently works in a residency at the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains with the Steve Jewell Trio and is a regular at the Merimbula Jazz Festival.

Ken Vatcher is a multi-disciplined drummer, comfortable in any style of music, and complements front-line musicians with his strict time-keeping and inventiveness. He played for many years with a show band at top venues in Melbourne prior to moving to Mallacoota, and now Pambula Beach, and has joined Margie & Tony on numerous occasions completing the Margie Fullerton Trio as well as other bands around the area.

The Club Sapphire Bistro opens at 6.00 pm with its extensive menu, and music will commence at 7.30 pm. Meals can either be eaten in the Bistro, or ordered, collected and eaten at leisure while listening to the music. Cost is $15 for jazz club members and $20 for visitors. Table bookings can be made with Aileen/Kevin Walsh (64959853) or will be available on the night at the door.

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