Cassy and the Bossa Beats
Cassy and the Bossa Beats have been playing regularly in Sydney since 1989. Originally the band's repertoire was made up of Brazilian jazz music, with its unique dance feels such as the samba and the bossa nova, hence the name Bossa Beats, covering the music of Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66, Antonio Carlos Jobim and other Brazilian artists. The repertoire has been greatly expanded to include music from Cuba, North American jazz (including tunes of Gershwin, Porter, and a wide range of other standards), European songs, blues and funk. The band's singer, Cassy Darval, performs the songs in the language of their country of origin, i.e. Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French or English. The Bossa Beats also play a pop covers dance repertoire for functions.
The band's lineup includes some of Sydney's finest musicians, including Michael Barolomei on piano, Brett Hirst on bass, Andrew Dickeson or Nick McBride on drums, and Blaine Whittaker on saxophones. Performing as a quintet the band is able to easily move from playing stylish background music to rhythmic dance music. The lineup of the band is, however, flexible, depending on the requirements and budget of the occasion. The group is able to perform as a duo with piano and vocals, up to a septet with the addition of guitar, or with the addition of a second percussion player to the usual quintet.
Cassy and the Bossa Beats has performed at a wide variety of events, among them appearing as part of the Festival of Sydney (including the 2000 Sydney Festival's opening night party), regular performances at the Cafe Sydney Supper Club, the 2001 Pirelli calendar launch, the Canberra Festival, a week at the 2001 Royal Easter Show, the Manly Jazz Festival, the Bacardi Club, Sydney Carnivale, outdoor concerts at Darling Harbour, Martin Place, the Opera House and the Rocks, Soup Plus Restaurant, the Antonio Jobim Tribute Concert at the Basement, Fox Studios, for the opening week and continued performances at Star City, as well as at numerous private and corporate functions.