Guitarist Aaron Hopper & Vocalist Kacey Patrick are innovators, improvisers, passionate & spontaneous performers. From early beginnings in 1996 stringmansassy have become one of the most highly regarded performance duos in Australia. They are refined and sophisticated performers and unique arrangers of every musical genre, transcending their roots of jazz and folk to create a music that has been described as spellbinding, enthralling and passionate. As a performance duo they expand the expected realm for guitar and voice, proving that it is possible to create an astonishing musical atmosphere with a small ensemble. “For those lucky enough to join them, the visit is wonderful….even the laws of physics are subject to subtle manipulation in stringmansassy's world” (Andrew MacLean 10/11/2003 ).
Lovers of music in all its forms, Kacey and Aaron's performances retain elements of their influences: Bobby McFerrin, Maria Joao, Ralph Towner, Ella Fitzgerald, Sting, Tuck and Patti, Middle-Eastern & Celtic traditional music. And yet, they create a “world of their own, in which ‘passion' flows like an electric current and each nuance of music is played with conviction and belief” (Andrew MacLean : music-culture.org.au 10/11/2003 ).
stringmansassy have released 3 independent recordings to date; ‘Dragonfly' (2004), ‘Beautiful Day' (2003) and ‘Persuasion' (2000). The reviews for ‘Dragonfly' have been all praise and during the first 3 months of 2005, it was featured No.1 in the AIR (Australian Independent Recording Association) Jazz Charts. It remained in the TOP 10 of the AIR charts for most of 2005. This has followed on from the success of ‘Beautiful Day' and ‘Persuasion'. ‘Beautiful Day' was featured on major radio networks throughout the Australia with the title track included on the ABC national play list. ‘Persuasion' was the winner of the Best New Talent category and nominated for the Best Jazz Album at the 2001 Queensland Sunnie Awards. ‘Dragonfly' and ‘Beautiful Day' are distributed throughout Australia by MRA Entertainment.
Aaron and Kacey have been touring intensively for the past three years. In 2004, they embarked upon their 4th national Australian tour to support the release of ‘Dragonfly' and their live performances continued to astound audiences at some of Australia's finest music venues and festivals including; The Basement and The Vanguard in Sydney, Tilley's in Canberra and Bennetts Lane in Melbourne, the Port Fairy, National and Yungaburra Folk Festivals, the Apollo Bay and Queenscliff Music Festivals, the Norfolk Island and Valley Jazz Festivals, the Folk Alliance Convention, the Valley Fiesta and “The Spiegeltent” for the Queensland Festival of Music. Their ‘Dragonfly Tour' performances at the Brisbane Powerhouse concert theatre sold out and their performances at the Woodford Folk Festival (the largest festival in the southern hemisphere) have been acclaimed as festival highlights. During Woodford 2004, they received standing ovations from every audience, were invited to perform for the annual
Fire Event and for the past 2 years, stringmansassy have achieved Cd sales in the Top 5 selling artists.
On an international level, stringmansassy are fast gaining a reputation for their rich tapestry of unique and contemporary Australian music. 2000 was the beginning of their career as international touring artists. Following performances at Raffles Hotel in Singapore , Kacey and Aaron were invited to perform at the Australian Pavilion at World EXPO 2000. During their five months in Hanover , they featured as a highlight of this world event on television networks throughout Germany and returned to Germany in February 2001 to consolidate their success with performances at the acclaimed Hanover Jazz Festival and an invitation to support renowned guitarist Albert Lee at Café Hahn in Koblenz . stringmansassy concluded their German Tour with the EXPO 2000 Revival Party, representing Australia at the former EXPO site on June the 1st and 2nd, 2001. They have since returned to Germany with performances throughout the country from Hamburg to Munich , Koblenz to Berlin and in 2004, they also included Vienna on their tour.
More recently stringmansassy have journeyed to New Caledonia to perform at the Festival Femme Funk (2003 and 2004) and in April 2005, Aaron and Kacey were invited to Japan to perform at the Australian Pavilion at the Aichi World EXPO as members of the ‘Creative Queensland' trade delegation. They returned to Japan in August 2005 for more performances at EXPO and they are currently negotiating Japanese distribution of ‘Dragonfly' and ‘Beautiful Day' which will see these releases in Japanese stores by mid 2006.
What the critics say:
“The world of stringmansassy is one in which ‘passion' flows like an electric current. Each nuance of music played, each guitar string plucked, each note sung, each motion and action was made with conviction and belief. This music was right. It was important. It traversed themes from the light-hearted to the politically adroit but the performance never strayed from feeling ‘true'. stringmansassy clearly love what they do and they do it very well.” Andrew MacLean : music-culture.org.au 10/11/2003, Review of Brisbane Powerhouse 2/11/2003
“Internationally ranked Brisbane duo stringmansassy were the standout attraction of the festival for my money. Their jazz influenced, very personal music was enthralling. All who saw them perform Sting's Fragile, encompassing desperately sad bird calls from singer Kacey Patrick will tell you how unforgettable the experience was. Their concert on Sunday saw them render a similar effect with their enthralling Red On Blue. …very memorable indeed.” Steve Baker : Folk Alliance Australia - Newsletter Jan. 2004, Review of Yungaburra Folk Festival 10/2003
“The world of stringmansassy is one in which George Harrison's phrase “while my guitar gently weeps' makes perfect sense….for Hopper is a master guitarist both in interpretation and composition." Andrew MacLean : music-culture.org.au 10/11/2003, Review of Brisbane Powerhouse 2/11/2003
World EXPO 2005, Japan – Australian Pavilion : August 05 / April 05
Germany Tours : 2004/2003/2001
Festival Femme Funk, New Caledonia : 2004/2003
Woodford Folk Festival QLD : 06/07, 03/04 and 02/03
“Spiegeltent” Biennial Festival of Music QLD : July 05 / July 03
Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre QLD : October 04 / April 04 / November 03
The Basement, Sydney NSW : April 04 / August 03
The Vanguard, Sydney NSW : October 04
Tilley's, Canberra ACT : October 04
Australian Folk Alliance Convention : 2004
Queenscliff Music Festival VIC : November 04 / November 03
Yungaburra Folk Festival QLD : October 04 / October 03
Apollo Bay Music Festival VIC : March 04 / March 03
Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne VIC : March 04 / November 03
One World Beat Festival @ The Basement : March 03
National Folk Festival, Canberra ACT : April 03
Bellingen & Noosa Jazz Festivals : 2002
Hanover Jazz Festival, Germany : 2001
Café Hahn in Koblenz supporting renowned guitarist Albert Lee : 2001
World Expo 2000 in Hanover , Germany – Australian Pavilion
Raffles Hotel , Singapore – “ Signatures of Queensland ” promotion 2000
Beautiful Day - CD released Dec 2002
a little warm death - EP Released September 2001
Persuasion ** - CD Released Jan 2000
** This CD won "Best New Talent" award, and was nominated "Best Jazz Album"
at the Queensland Recording Association (QRA) Sunnie Awards in 2000.