Jazz musicians John Morrison and Jacki Cooper (centre) will be performing at the Shepherd and Dudley Chartered Accountants North Queensland Wine and Jazz Festival. Pictured are Souths Leagues Club staff members (from left) Patricia Giraldo, Gordon Hervey, Sue James and Sarah Sherwood get in the swing of things.
Jazz musicians John Morrison and Jacki Cooper (centre) will be performing at the Shepherd and Dudley Chartered Accountants North Queensland Wine and Jazz Festival. Pictured are Souths Leagues Club staff members (from left) Patricia Giraldo, Gordon Hervey, Sue James and Sarah Sherwood get in the swing of things. Fallon Hudson

Morrison drums point home

JAZZ musician John Morrison wants to prove this weekend that everyone loves a drummer.

Morrison and his wife of four years Jacki Cooper will be one of the fabulous jazz acts that will grace the stage at the Shepherd and Dudley Charted Accountants North Queensland Wine and Jazz Festival on Saturday and Sunday at Souths Leagues Club.

"The drum set is a musical instrument, but it is an old joke amongst musicians, there is 15 musicians and a drummer.

"Everyone loves a drummer.

"You know what I am out to prove this weekend once and for all.

"That everyone loves a drummer.

"That will be my mission to prove that point," he joked.

After hoping off the plane on Tuesday Morrison and Cooper enjoyed a seafood lunch at Souths and were anticipating their weekend performance.

"We see a few festivals and what I like about this one is there is a strong music community here and they are all involved.

"Sometimes they become travelling road shows.

''There are a few in the south where they take it into the town and put it on, but this one is more of a community event," he said.

"We do workshops with the schools and playing with some of the teachers here - that makes it a treat for us.

"Not all bands that go to music festivals are into the education side of it but it is a very big part of our lives

"We are very much music educators.

"Mike rang us and said Mackay, I have never been there before, and John has a few times before," Cooper said.

"They threw me out once," Morrison joked.

The couple like to take time out while they travel to many jazz and music festivals across the country and enjoy a city.

Cooper said they loved that jazz lovers where also fishing lovers.

"We were at a jazz festival in Victoria and we were playing at a breakfast.

"A couple came up and said they were from Mackay and I said we are going to Mackay.

"And they said 'right we are going fishing'," he said.

"And they sent us an email and said 'when can we take you fishing?'

"We are hoping to go fishing."

'We live on a boat (but) we don't venture off the boat too often," Cooper said.

Morrison said he was a musician from a young age and didn't have a lot of knowledge of any other time in his life when he didn't play.

"I was very lucky in my early teens.

''I got interested in aviation, and I went through to my commercial pilot licence and I still have it.

"I love that part of my life, but it is four decades of music, and I was playing professionally from the age of 15."

"When I started flying, I really felt that was going to be my career.

"I certainly love aviation and everything about it and it was a real tug-of-war.

"Everyone was saying 'well are you going to be airline pilot or a jazz drummer' - so how do you quantify what your life is going to be like when you choose one of those things?

"I think each profession has its challenges, but music for me just had what I needed to keep my mind in the game.

"When you are playing and the type of music we play really draws you in.

"You really feel you are creating something and it is quite personal."

He said his father was a minister of religion and a lot of the early music he played was in a church.

He said there is a real connection between early gospel and blues singers in the south of America which jazz is a part of.

"And it is something you can share.

"What I have really enjoyed in the last 10 years is watching and mentoring young people to that realisation.

"It can be a real life-changing moment.

"It reminds me why I chose it.

"But when you look back to the early period that is that connection of playing church," Morrison said.



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