JAN 13 - 20th, 2012


Dear Friends,

Welcome to the SUMMERSONG MUSIC CAMP web site. Australia's premier adult music holiday camp is approaching its 11th year, and I'm having fun formulating another memorable week of music and celebration for January 2010

Summersong was inspired by Tony Backhouse and Kristina Olsen - two outstanding performers, composers, musicians, teachers and friends. As I was organising A Cappella weekend workshops for Tony, and producing concerts for Kristina, I kept meeting people who wanted to delve into the mysteries of Kristina's brilliant songs, and get a transporting daily fix of singing with Tony.
Tony had already been teaching at longer retreats in New Zealand; Kristina has been a star teacher at many music camps in the USA & UK for years. I am an American born city kid who spent her happiest childhood times at camp, so it was no big leap to vision a music camp based on these great teachers.

When I first took Kristina to the Lake Ainsworth Sport & Rec Centre in Lennox Head, and guided her around the facilities, and from the lake to the sea, she turned and exclaimed"You don't expect me to work under these conditions?" Tony was likewise convinced that this amazing location, and the well run facility, would be ideal for a summer music camp.

Summersong Music Camp is designed for music makers and music lovers of all levels of experience.  Whether you've been performing for years, or simply keen to try making music, Summersong cooks on the synergy and exchange between folks of all levels.  We've noticed that a range of ages of campers and teachers likewise adds to the experience for all.  To that end we now offer Partial Youth Scholarships for ages 18-24, on application.  (See registration form)  Summersong is the ultimate music holiday experience providing a deep sense of community, celebration and living proof of the joy of music.

(With about 50% returning participants, Summersong has booked out every year. Last year it was completely booked out by the end of September. If you plan to attend, please register soon.)


The Teachers

Tony Backhouse

Tony Backhouse (NZ) was based in Sydney for over twenty years. During that time he put A Cappella singing firmly on Australia's cultural map. He has lead numerous choirs, including the ongoing, award-winning Cafe of the Gate of Salvation, Australia's leading community choir. (You may have seen him on a 2005 ad for ABC TV.) He has published Rehearsing for Heaven, a book and tape of choral arrangements, and taught his incredibly joyous a cappella workshops all over the world. He also composes choral works and has won awards in the USA for his compositions, arrangements and singing. He currently performs with the all male Heavenly Lights Trio, and records and arranges for theatre as well as numerous artists including Harry Manx (Canada), Renee Geyer, and other musicians. He leads singing retreats in fabulously exotic places such as Western Samoa, Thailand, Fiji, Paris, Canada, New Zealand and the Australian Outback.  www.tonybackhouse.com.au


Kristina Olsen

Kristina Olsen (USA/Australia) is a California native whose award-winning songs and immensely compelling performing style have created a non-stop global touring career. She's recorded 4 albums for Rounder Records, recorded with Michelle Shocked, Loudon Wainright the 3rd, Patty Larkin, Eric Bibb (on his new duet album), and an impressive collection of self-produced CD's in recent years.
'Truth of a Woman' was number one in the USA on radio folk playlists in 2001, and her album, 'In My Darkened Room' won a rave review from the Sydney Morning Herald in June 2005.
Her latest CD, the independently released  'Quiet Blue', is her first blues-based CD and features Al Hughes on mandolin.
In Australia and the UK she often tours with Perth-based cello whiz Peter Grayling. Kristina plays thirteen instruments, and is an amazing partner dance teacher as well. She's been in a songwriting group in Los Angeles for over 19 years, and has taught songwriting at most major music camps in the USA, Canada and the UK.Kristina is also teaching Songwriting at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium in Lismore, NSW, and is working with the Queensland Folk Federation (producers of the Woodford Folk Festival and The Dreaming) on the creation of a new event for their annual calendar. She says "The music camps have given me the obvious hot licks and musical insights I've come to expect, but more importantly, they give a wonderful sense of community in a field where the community is often scattered and competitive. Music camps are also more fun than should be legal," says Ms. Olsen. www.kristinaolsen.net

See Kristina teaching in this youtube clip

and this one!

Karl Farren Karl Farren was raised in Dublin on a cultural stew of traditional Irish music and 60's and 70's Pop.His fine guitar playing and distinctive vocals have graced stages in Ireland, England and, since 1998 in, Australia. His song 'Firstborn' featured on the Fatherhood Project compilation CD alongside songs by Paul Kelly, John Butler et al. Karl has been nominated for two Dolphin Awards (North Coast Entertainment Industry Association), Having been nominated for a Dolphin Award (NCEIA) for ‘Saddle Road’ in 2004 and ‘The Fixer’ in 2005, Karl took the Folk category award in 2006 for ‘Pilgrim Song’.  ‘The Fixer’ also earned Karl a nomination as a finalist in the Folk category of the 2006 National MusicOz Awards. ‘Betty On The Wireless’ received airplay and Karl was interviewed live on ABC radio’s Life Matters show.  In the 2007 Dolphin Awards, Karl received 4 nominations, including ‘Album Of The Year’. He is a co-founder of the Mullumbimby Folk Club. A well known acupuncturist and shiatsu healer as well as musician. In 2007 Karl released his all originals solo CD Repentance Creek. "Having attended 5 Summersong camps I know what a transformative experience it is for one's musical development. Music is my passion and I love to teach. I hope I can infect even one other person with that sheer joy of playing the guitar and so look forward to teaching guitar at Summersong 2009".  
Aurora Jane, Australia’s fiery- haired, guitar-wielding songstress, affectionately known as ‘the secret love child of Jimi Hendrix and Ani Di Franco’ will join the Summersong inspirational team this year. Between touring her band throughout North America, India & Europe, the multi-instrumentalist resides in Melbourne, and also produces music for a number of artists alongside her career. As a successful musician who's taken a road less traveled, Aurora Jane's insight into the importance of diversification as a modern-day professional musician will complement her teaching of Songwriting and Bass Guitar.
 In addition to 3 full-length studio albums and an ongoing hectic international tour schedule, Aurora Jane has facilitated workshops worldwide in instrumental techniques, songwriting, and creative career pathways at musical gatherings such as  Rockergirl Camp (Canada), Music Outback Foundation ( Central Australia & SA) & Roots on the Move (India).  

Lloyd Spiegel

LLOYD SPIEGEL- Since age 15, Melbourne-based Spiegel has toured the globe with frequent visits to Germany, New Zealand and the United States where he toured with countless blues legends and supported the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James. More recently, Lloyd found commercial success in Japan, performing sold out concerts at Tokyo Disneyland regularly.
Lloyd is also the world-wide demonstrator and premier endorsee for Cole Clark Guitars which were designed with Lloyd’s style in mind. As a result, he has been invited to perform at every major guitar event in the world. Lloyd has also taught in the USA's prestigious 'Blues in the Schools' program.

“Spiegel has stamped himself as one of the best songwriters in the country, regardless of genre, of history, of ANYTHING." Rhythms Magazine

- Rhythms magazine“Spiegel has always been known, over a career spanning almost two decades as a guitarist almost without peer but here in the hallowed confines of this record he truly shows why… Spiegel deconstructs how the blues guitar is supposed to operate, makes sweet love to it, then kicks it out the back door.”

-Australian Guitar Magazine


Luciano Mesiti –The Musical Fixer

Luciano is a performer who sings, composes, plays guitar, teaches and records music from opera to pop. He's also a presenter, music educator and events manager. Based in Sydney, he's graced the stages of the Sydney Opera House, National Folk Festival, Mars Hill Café in Parramatta and at the Yarramundi Music Club at Richmond etc.
Luciano has recorded 2 albums and an EP of his original songs. Luciano had a song in the final of the 2009 Australian Songwriters Association competition with "My Fathers Mandolin". A high school teacher, he spends his spare time listening to and writing music. www.lucianomesiti.com.au and www.reverbnation.com/lucianomesiti

Kathryn Riding
Kathryn Riding is an actor, voice over artist, voice and yoga teacher now based in Byron Bay. She is the author of Under My Skin and Yoga for Body, Mind, Spirit and Baby.   She has taught at N.I.D.A., QUT, Griffith University, WAAPA, Northern Rivers Conservatorium and privately.  She also teaches in yoga and writing retreats with Sarah Armstrong in Australia and Bali.  read more here
Kathryn's sensitive, creative, deeply nourishing classes seem to get anybody into their body.  They explore the mysterious inner and outer world where breath and body converge, and at Summersong for the past three years, her sessions have sent singers and musicians into reveries about the experience.
Shelly Hughes

Shelly Hughes has been a singing teacher on the North Coast of NSW for over a decade. She's performed at numerous gigs and festivals including the Woodford Folk Festival, Peat's Ridge, as well as overseas. She currently performs in a jazz duo (www.shelly.com.au) with keyboardist Dan Brown, and an emerging electronica/soul band "Red Bantoo" (www.redbantoo.com.au). She has independently produced albums and EP's via her family business, which, incidentally, also manufactures Australia's safest light sport ultralight aircraft, the Australian LightWing. Shelly's youngest vocal student is 6 years old, and her oldest is 68. (She is well aware of the two-way street of being a teacher, and adores it every day.)

Alison Pearl

The Chief Minister of Fun

Alison Pearl is a native New Yorker who has lived on her organic avocado farm in Mullumbimby for the past 20 years. She works in the music industry as a publicist for tours, festivals, and venues (including the Sydney Opera House), and promoted and produced with Ku Promotions in Byron Bay (see the Ku chapter in Stuart Coupe's 2003 book The Promoters) for 8 years. She's recorded and conducted with choir Allegro Gone Troppo, authored The Good Gift Guide, teaches Creative Writing and Writing Your Life workshops, and has been a registered international Minister of Fun since her induction into the Tribe by its founder in Rarotonga in 1992. She co-ordinates an annual Ecstatic Chant & Devotional Singing retreat with Deva Premal & Miten , in Lennox Head.

Some teachers from previous Summersong Camps
Del began playing guitar when she was four. As a teenager, she met bluesman Sam Chatmon who inspired her to become a blues queen. Her  guitar  playing combines country blues, stride piano, classic jazz and  hillbilly boogie through the sensibility of an autodidact trailor- park esthete. An international touring artist, Del also presents a concert/lecture on women musicians called Women in American Music. 
Her  live performances are full of complex guitar grooves and sly humour. She's put out 5 solo albums, plus 2 Homespun Lable DVDs--Blue Uke and Boogie Woogie Guitar. She writes about music for various publications, including Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and is an in-demand instructor at numerous guitar camps and workshops.

live show mp3
 live video
Mal Webb
Mal Webb is a Melbourne-based vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentist and looping beatboxing songwriter. He uses an astounding range of vocal techniques (including pygmy yodelling and Inuit panting) and songwriting styles. He plays guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica, and a loop recording pedal called Derek.  A founding member of the Oxo Cubans, Sock, and Totally Gourdgeous, he did all the music for the Lano and Woodley TV show and Wogs Out of Work.  Ani DiFranco exclaimed "You're a freak!" after Mal played support for her.  He performs solo, with bands, leads workshops, teaches in the Central Desert for Music Outback, and instructs on how to be a band with your face (Bandmouth). Ebulliently eclectic. Nefariously varied. It's as grittily human as it is other worldly, as clever as it is stupid, as playful as it is ponderous. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Aphex Twin and Cole Porter playing scrabble. 
richard lawton
Richard Lawton trained at Dartington Hall in Britain, and with Project Voice in Wales. An ex-member of a cappella choir Voices from the Vacant Lot, he has taught at N.I.D.A., The Actors Centre in Sydney, previously on the faculty at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, currently on the faculty at Monash University as Vocal Coach for the Honours program and director of a musical theatre piece in the Music Department.He has sung in venues from the red light district of Amsterdam to La Mama theatre in New York. For 3 years he sang bass in the contemporary vocal quartet "Velvet Groove".   Richard has arranged vocals for various plays and musicals and still wishes he could play the piano.  Richard's classes creatively draw on his range of theatre, dance and musical experience.  Of over 20 years of teaching in Europe, Australia and the USA, Richard says "I get high on teaching and I love it when people get high on singing."
Fumi Yamamoto -Fumi hails from Japan and integrates Eastern wisdom and Western science to create her original healing work across a range of modalities.  She's a Diagnostic Remedial Yoga teacher, Wellness consultant and facilitator for groups and soloists, an Aroma perfumerist, and the Creator and Practitioner of the superb Zen Facial.  Her love of singing from an early age meant that her meeting with Tony Backhouse in Sydney 15 years ago was a great and lifelong encounter.  She has studied Voice at NIDA, and explored the joy of sounds.  She's appeared in Body and Soul, VOGUE, Conde Nast Traveller, and now finally at Summersong.
Josie Kurukulie
Josie Kurukulie - African Dance

Josie is one of Queensland's few passionate and highly skilled
West African dance performers and teachers. At the age of 22 she founded
her own business, Dance Roots, dedicated to bringing joy through dance.

She has performed widely with such artists as Ganga Giri and has touched
many people through her performances and workshops. Having trained in
Australia and overseas with a range of contemporary dance masters, she has
developped a keen ability to perform and teach this art form with grace,
integrity and power and creativity.  She holds the cultural significance
and context of traditional dances with respect and passes on her passion
through this exciting art form.
Elliot Orr
Elliott Orr  - African Percussion www.talkinthedrum.com.au

Widely respected as the leading proponent of African drumming in
Queensland, Elliott Orr has been beating skins and encouraging others to
do the same since 1991.  Having moved from Adelaide to Brisbane in 1994 to
attain a Griffith University Environmental Science degree, Elliott's focus
gradually shifted such that finishing the degree (with honours) became his
part-time occupation while teaching, performing and making African drums
became his full-time passion.

Elliott performs regularly with groups Spankinhide, Yeshe and the World
Citizens, Kafka, Ganga Giri as well as numerous project-based groups.
He's appeared at countless events including BEMAC's World Music Cafés,
Brisbane Powerhouse, the Judith Wright Centre and at 10 of the past 11
Woodford Folk Festivals.


 Rob Stevenson Brisbane-based Robert Stevenson is an absurdly versatile piano player who has performed nationally and internationally for almost 20 years.  Able to work in any format, from solo to duo to-up to nine piece bands, he has toured with big names such as Keith Urban and The Blues Brothers Revival show. Rob has not surprisingly worked extensively as a session piano/keyboard player for many Australian bands including: John Swan (Swannee)/Brian Mannix (Uncanny X-Men)/Scott Carne (Kids in the Kitchen)/The Chantoozies. Rob recently released an album of his original inspirational songs and mantras. In addition to constant performing, he also enjoys holding regular satsang and kirtan groups. "All I really want to do is spread the word of peace, love and light throughout the world, and the best way I know how to do that is though my music".

rex carter

Rex Carter Originally from New Zealand, this passionate percussionist spent the last 30 years in Sydney (where he taught up to 60 drum students per week) before moving to Byron Shire in January 2006. Rex has been playing drums for nearly 40 years and teaching for 25. He has worked with Jeff St John and Rory O’Donoghue. Rex currently peforms with Willy Hona (The Herbs),  Latin/Reggae outfit “Ragga Jump”, blues band “Pete C and the Soul Shakers”, and many others. He runs a Sunday afternoon jam session at Pottsville, and is employed by the NRCAC as a community studies tutor.   He also teaches Drum Kit privately.

GYAN is an ARIA award winning singer & songwriter whose newest release is ‘Billy the Rabbit’, a collaboration of Michael Leunig’s poetry and Gyan’s musical interpretations, in CD and book form. www.gyan.com.au

carl pannuzzo Carl Pannuzzo is a self-taught singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, based in Melbourne.
He's known as one third of the vocal trio Acapelicans, and as the singing drummer for Checkerboard Lounge and Totally Gourdgeous. He has toured Europe, U.S.A, U.K and Australasia for the last 10 years performing original works, directing choirs and unorthodoxly teaching/facilitating workshops in singing, songwriting, instruments, and natural music. At the most recent Woodford Folk Festival,
Carl directed the 350-person Fire Event Choir, and will do so again in January '08.

SLIM PICKENS got into blues as a teenager and played guitar in a number of bands before switching to electric bass. He studied music in India in the '80's, and now also plays mandolin, sitar, dulcimer, didjiridoo and double bass. He recently composed and recorded the soundtrack for the ABC TV documentary "Trek". His first solo album, 'Chicken Soup', has received airplay in Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Norway, the USA and around Australia. "Foot Stompin grooves, bareboned Delta fingerpickin styles and smooth vocals" is how Mark 'Radar' Watson described this terrific Cd. In 2003 he signed a publishing deal with the ABC, and one original song was played in New York at the September 11th Commemoration ceremony. His song "Who Cares' went to No. 1 on the Blues Charts of the popular US web site garageband.com. His song 'Losing' Sleep' is on national ABC radio, and he's currently at work on his second solo album. He performs and records with Dr. Baz (Barry Ferrier) as SLIM PICKENS and DR. BAZ. The busily gigging duo have graced the stage of the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival in Byron Bay, and recently returned from a European tour where they played at the Sjyrock Blues/Rock Festival in Norway, and other shows. Their collaborative CD "Cactus" was released in July.

Polly Christie is a Melbourne-based vocal teacher and music facilitator, whose uplifting style brings out the best in her students, choirs and fellow musicians. Polly draws on her international musical experience, skills and techniques to take students to new levels of creativity and expression through song.
She has led and conducted many choirs in Melbourne and is artistic director for EN:CHOIR, a play she co-wrote with one of her community choirs to be performed at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
At Summersong, Polly will blend her own voice coaching exercises with exercises from the Alexander and Feldenkreis traditions to teach classes in practical vocal technique and production. Warm ups, explanations and dispelling myths. This class is for those wanting to develop and strengthen their vocal range in a warm and encouraging environment. She will also help performers get their songs ready for the stage using her vocal teaching techniques, musicianship, and a little sprinkle of 'magic dust.'
Russell Guy played didgeridoo with the Aboriginal band Coloured Stone for nine years on stage and recordings throughout Australia and overseas. He brings a cross-cultural experience to this ancient monotonic, rhythm stick, traditionally played for dance accompaniment in secular and sacred performance, having played with Yothu Yindi in Darwin and on the Kulumindini Band’s "You’re Not Useless". Russell’s approach is informed by traditional rhythms and jazz. His classes concentrate on beginning the circular breathing technique purely as a relaxation and also for proficiency in the instrument.
steve nugent drummer Steve Nugent is a Latin/African percussionist and dancer who’s study in Tanzania and Zimbabwe has lead to performing, recording and teaching worldwide. His hugely popular classes reflect his depth of knowledge and passion for African music and dance.  
Mandy Nolan Mandy Nolan is Byron Bay's Queen of Comedy, a dazzling social commentator,
side-splitting comedienne, columnist, mother, teacher, writer, painter,
corporate tutor and all around Path of Laugh Goddess supreme.




The 13th Annual
Summersong Music Camp

JAN 13 - 20th, 2012
Alison Pearl
PO BOX 234
Mullumbimby NSW 2482

ph. 02 66 845 570

email apearl@mullum.com.au