Kate Dunbar

Kate Dunbar

Born 13th May 1923 in Manchester England of English Mother and Australian Father. Arrived in Australia 1928 and have remained here since that time except for an overseas trip of 14 months in 1951. As a singer trained from age of 16 with Cecily Atkins at the NSW Conservatorium of Music and piano with Ramsay Pennicuick. From the age of 22 transferred to Marianne Mathy and stayed as her pupil until marriage at the age of 24. Style of voice and singing was mezzo soprano and lieder of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven, some opera arias.

After an overseas visit in 1951, she heard jazz being performed live in Sydney and gradually became interested in singing jazz standards and blues. She joined the Sydney Jazz Club in 1954 and has been a member since that time. Served on various committees of the Sydney Jazz Club over the years, edited Quarterly Rag (the magazine of the Club) from 1959 to 1967. Made an Honorary Life Member of the Club in the 1970s. Elected President in 1984 and has remained as President since that date. Joined the Jazz Educators Association Inc. in 1990. Appointed as Vice President in 1991 and at present Editor of their Newsletter. I have recorded on the Pix label with Graeme Bell and Ray Price bands; on Swaggie Label with the Paramount Jazz Band; on CBS with the Ray Price Quartet.

I have worked with Paramount Jazz Band as house band of the Sydney Jazz Club for eight years; with Graeme Bell on tour; with Ray Price and the Port Jackson Jazz Band and have sung with almost every band in Sydney plus a few interstate. At present I am conducting a weekly workshop for Jazz Singers. This workshop is free and conducted on a voluntary basis. I have produced two records in my series "Australian Jazz History Series" - Paul Martin and Cheryl Kelly. I have another on tape and ready for further production when funds are available. I am also working on a series of interview on tape with long standing members of the jazz scene in Sydney with a view to preserving some of the history of early jazz. My interview with the late Ray Price is at present being published in three parts by Editor Peter Newton in the Sydney Jazz Club's magazine Quarterly Rag.

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