December Jazz Night

Sam Martin & The Sundowners ft. Colleen Spillane

The Nina Simone Songbook


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On Thursday 19th December, for their Christmas gig, the Down South Jazz Club have great pleasure in presenting Sam Martin & The Sundowners with Colleen Spillane, featuring “The Songbook of Nina Simone” highlighting material performed by the ‘high priestess of soul’ Nina Simone. This great evening will be held at Club Sapphire.

Nina Simone was a powerful voice in the 1960’s civil rights movement, a passionate performer, composer and an engaging entertainer. She was an exceptional piano player and a gifted singer who defied genres with her unique style, a style that was developed through a longing to perform classical music and the reality of stardom in the jazz clubs and concert halls. The band has prepared a repertoire of music spanning her entire career. Expect to hear well known songs and a few surprise tunes that were hidden among the many live performances of Nina’s work.

The Sundowners are Sam Martin on double bass, Pete Wild on piano and David Hewitt on the sticks and skins. Sam will guide the audience through Nina Simone’s illustrious career and share anecdotes gathered from her live performances, interviews and biographies. The band has also enlisted the talented Colleen Spillane who brings her own flavour to Nina’s repertoire. “Colleen has met the challenge sublimely with some stunning phrasing and interpretations of Simone’s unique vocal character,” Sam says. “We are very fortunate to have such a captivating voice in our region and are very proud to have her on board for these Sundowner sessions.” Sam, Pete and David are a can do rhythm section who have a great sense of connection through an innate onstage kinship.

Sam Martin grew up in the Central West of NSW. He studied piano, clarinet and accordion as a boy and moved on to string bass in his late teens. Sam currently resides in Candelo with a young family, a part time teaching job and a full time commitment to the community around him.

Pete Wild is highly regarded as a performer and songwriter on the NSW South Coast. He and Sam have worked closely together over the last 15 years in various ensembles and his piano prowess and theatrical style have become hallmarks of the Sundowners sound.

David Hewitt was a member of Synergy Percussion and has performed with many of Australia’s leading performing arts companies. He is a skilled kit player, and the engine room of the Sundowners.

Colleen Spillane, of course, is very well known both in the area and to the Down South Jazz Club and we have had the pleasure of hearing her on many occasions. She draws audiences in with her rich velvety voice and stunning tone. She moves effortlessly from jazz to pop, blues and gospel.

This excellent night of jazz will cost $15 for jazz club members and $20 for visitors, with music commencing at 7.30 pm. Bookings can be emailed to or by using the form on the WhatsOn page on our web site. You can also call Aileen or Kevin Walsh on 02 6495 9853, or just turn up on the night and pay at the door. The Club Sapphire bistro opens at 6.00 pm with its extensive menu.