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Friday 6–Sunday 8 September

'In this concert series I want to explore the more ‘edgy’ of the reasons for collaboration, to get out of my comfort zone, to realise a dream and to go further than this trumpeter has gone before. Are you ready for an adventure?'

James Morrison AM
Curator / Trumpet / Trombone



Note | Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September are now SOLD OUT. Please click the links below to join the waiting lists.


Note | Antipasti platters are not included in the Friday package. A separate booking is required.


*Please note departure times when booking


James Morrison | Curator / Trumpet / Trombone

James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays trombone, piano, saxophone and double bass.

At the age of six he started on piano, at seven he took up brass, at nine he formed his first band and at thirteen he was playing professionally in nightclubs. His international career developed just as quickly with a debut in the US at the Monterey Jazz Festival at age sixteen.

Following this were performances at the world’s major jazz festivals, including Montreux, North Sea, Nice and the Hollywood Bowl, playing with many of the legends of jazz – Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, George Benson, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ray Brown and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. James also frequents the world’s most famous jazz clubs – Birdland, The Blue Note and Village Vanguard in New York, the New Morning in Paris, the Tokyo Blue Note and Ronnie Scott’s in London.

James has been appointed a member of The Order of Australia, has won countless awards and has been inducted into the Australian Jazz Hall of Fame. He has received several honorary Doctorates and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia, leading his own music Academy.

Now in his 60s, James Morrison’s career has included much more than just jazz… He has recorded with The London Symphony Orchestra, rock legends INXS and the European Brass Ensemble, performed at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, written the opening fanfare for the Olympic Games, played for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and for US Presidents Bush, and Clinton. He has played classical trumpet at the Kremlin, broken a Guinness record conducting the World’s Largest Orchestra, was TV presenter on Top Gear Australia and in 2016 James was a guest of President Barack Obama at the White House. He’s a pilot, rally driver, sailor, author and even a builder of Tiny Houseboats.

Rai Thistlethwayte | Vocals

Rai is a one of Australia’s most respected musical talents: a highly accomplished pianist, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. As a songwriter, he has been nominated for APRA Song of The Year. His band, Thirsty Merc, has sold over 250,000 albums in Australia, and has been nominated for 5 ARIA awards (Australian Grammys). Since 2002, Thirsty Merc has released 4 studio albums and a string of hits in the Australian Music Charts.

Rai was taught to play the piano by his mother from the age of 4. He started writing songs around the age of 15. After finishing high school he was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he commenced a Bachelor of Music in jazz piano. Enjoying heavy airplay and touring extensively, Thirsty Merc have become a household name in Australia and still work regularly to this day. Rai’s composition In The Summertime has been featured as the theme song to internationally acclaimed Aussie TV series Bondi Rescue for 17 consecutive seasons since 2004. Rai’s composition San Francisco Street has clocked up over 92 million views on YouTube.

Aside from his work in Rock and Pop, Rai performs as a solo artist, based around his love of Jazz, Soul, and Groove music, sometimes under the artist name ‘Sun Rai.’ He has released 1 full length album entitled Go Nuts, 4 Solo EPs and has toured Australia and the US since 2012. Some of his notable collaborations have been with ARIA award-winning guitarist James Muller, Trumpeter James Morrison, and Grammy Nominated US jazz bassist Christian McBride (Sting, Wynton Marsalis band). Currently based between Sydney and Los Angeles, Rai records and tours globally with US Funk/Jazz/ Electronic band KNOWER (Louis Cole/ Genevieve Artardi) and New York based guitarist Oz Noy. In 2020 Rai joined guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani’s touring band as keyboardist, played on 13 tracks on Joe’s new album The Elephants Of Mars, and has played over 120 shows with Joe in the USA and Europe between 2022 and early 2024. In 2024, Rai is scheduled to perform a headline show at the Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia, and in July 2024 he will join a supergroup of Sammy Hagar (Van Halen/Montrose) Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Joe Satriani, and Jason Bonham on drums, (son of the late great Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham), where Rai will play keyboards, backing vocals, and rhythm guitar for their US Best Of All Worlds Tour.

Marian Petrescu | Piano

Marian Petrescu was born in Bucharest in 1970, and comes from a large family of musicians. He began to play the piano at the age of four and studied in the classical and jazz conservatory in Sweden, followed by the Sibelius Academy of Helsinki. With his background of solid classical training, dazzling technique and dynamic interpretation, Marian Petrescu then got passionately interested in jazz, and the adventurous world of improvisation.

He made his debut at the Pori Jazz festival at the young age of fifteen. Since then his career has been characterized by international success; in the Martial Solal Jazz piano competition (second prize in 1989) and Bucharest jazz festival (first prize in 1992). Festival appearances include Montreux, Paris, The Hague, Copenhagen, Pori in Finland, April Jazz, Baltic Jazz, and many more.

Marian has played with many stars such as; Arturo Sandoval, Toots Thielemans, Al Jarreau, Didier Lockwood, Jon Larsen, Richie Beirach, Tony Williams, Ulf Wakenius, Ray Charles band, Lars Danielsson, Riccardo Del Fra, Ron McClure, and Hot Club de Norvege.

Today Marian has his own music school, which provides both classical and jazz training, and teaches at the conservatory. Marian’s style is eclectic, and he enjoys all styles of jazz, from ragtime to modern.

Marian loves the piano. He treats the piano as a friend, a sparring partner and mistress. His mentor in Paris, Martial Solal, said ‘his touch is distinct and clear as glass, obviously inspired by Oscar Peterson.’

Southern Cross Soloists

Since 1995, Southern Cross Soloists (SXS) have been the shining stars of Australian chamber music. Firmly established in Brisbane, Queensland, as one of Australia’s pre-eminent classical music ensembles and a company in residence at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, SXS delivers programs filled with dazzling virtuosity. In its 29th year of excellence, SXS continues to reach new heights globally and nationally. Composed of leading virtuosic soloists from across Australia, SXS provides dynamic, unique, and world-class musical experiences for audiences of all ages.

James Morrison Quartet

No matter how familiar you may be with James Morrison, you haven’t heard him play until you’ve heard him with this group. It is a testament to their energy and sheer brilliance that James says his favourite way to play is with his quartet – this coming from a man who has played with many of the greats of jazz, including Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Ray Brown, Wynton Marsalis and many more.

What makes the quartet so special is the joy they create when they perform. James says, ‘This is what can happen when you have four musicians who all have a will to swing and are of one mind when it comes to the reason they play.’

‘Patrick is one of the most exciting drummers on the scene today – inventive, virtuosic, and always so musical. Harry is a powerhouse on the bass, reminiscent of the Ray Brown approach, swing at all costs – his energy underpins everything the band does. William not only plays beautiful classic jazz guitar, but also writes much of the original material performed by the group and this compositional aspect is always present in his playing.’

With his three colleagues covering guitar, bass and drums, James plays anything from trombone, flugel horn and saxophones to piano, and of course the trumpet.