AboutMe

Welcome! I am a West Australian jazz singer, bandleader and vocal coach. I lead and perform in ensembles ranging from an intimate duo to a swingin' big band. I compose and arrange music too, some of which can be heard on our CDs and on my music player. I am also an actor with a background in musical theatre and circus. Yes, I can juggle! Above all, I love to bring high quality, fun, entertaining jazz music to the broader public. I am also passionate about sharing my skills and experiences with other singers to enable them to reach their own goals while lifting benchmarks for singers everywhere.

in the beginning

Libby in Annie, 1981

Even as a young child, I was determined to have a career on the stage, and made my start with chorus parts in professional productions of La Bohème and Annie, both at His Majesty's Theatre in Perth, in 1981. During high school and my arts degree I performed in various amateur productions to keep that dream alive.

Libby rehearsing for Barnum, circa 1989In 1990, soon after graduating from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor's degree in French, I was performing professionally again, this time in the circus musical Barnum, also at His Majesty's Theatre. I trained intensively in circus skills for this production, leading me to a crazy few years' work as a birthday party clown, costume actor and singing telegram deliverer. Yes, that was me in the chicken suit, and I was even Wilbur Wildcat for a while!

Then I heard the mysterious and sophisticated sounds of jazz, and wanted to learn more. I was accepted into the jazz course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 1992 and stayed for five years, finishing every jazz course they could offer, and during which time I spent two years as resident vocalist for the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra. In 1996, my penultimate year of study, three of my fellow students and I formed a jazz quartet which we eventually called Hip Mo' Toast (Hip because it's cool, Mo' because you get more for your money and Toast because everybody loves toast!). Hip Mo' Toast was a hard-gigging band in its day, and went through many incarnations, the largest of which is the 14-piece Hip Mo' Toast Big Band, and the only current group to retain the name. For a trip down the Hip Me-Mo'ry Lane, visit our photos pages.

today

These days we are a collective of professional musicians, performing various repertoires (see my projects pages) in various lineups. Performance highlights include two tours to the eastern states of Australia (2001 and 2002), performing at the Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival in Italy in 2006 and for a high society wedding in Singapore in 2007. Hip Mo' Toast has four CDs and in 2006 won its sixth consecutive Western Australian Music Industry Association award for Most Popular Original Jazz Act.

Sometimes I perform in my own right as a guest soloist, such as several alumni performances with WAYJO alongside such Australian jazz icons as James Morrison and Joe Chindamo. Other performance highlights include Simply Sinatra with James Flynn, Tommy Tycho and The West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Fremantle International Jazz Festival performances with jazz tapper Josh Hilberman (USA), and a Perth Jazz Society performance with Christoph Spendel (Germany) and two-time Grammy Winner Gary Bartz (USA). In 2010 I was a judge on locally televised singing competition Perth Star, which was a heap of fun!

I hold two awards of which I am very proud; a Perth Jazz Society award for Most Outstanding Individual Contribution To Jazz (2005) and PJS Life Membership for Outstanding Long-Term Contribution to Jazz (2007). I am extremely proud to be Patron of Jazz Fremantle.

Download a PDF of Libby's current biography.