A weekend filled with a plethora of parties and toe-tapping tunes for your dancing enjoyment! SSF2020 has a solid set of swinging socials in store for you; with balls, late nights and afternoon dancing, plus exciting bands and excellent DJs.
Sara O’Connor has been entertaining the Australian Swing dancing scene for over 10 years. As a swing dancer, she appreciates what tempos fill the dance floor and how important musicality is for enjoying a great dance. Sara elegantly creates an atmosphere that is reminiscent of the 1940’s and 1050’s. Her interpretation of classic jazz standards has delighted many audiences.
Sara studied classical singing at University but has enjoyed the freedom of singing jazz music for nearly 20 years. She has performed with The Velvet Set, Swing City, The Black & White Big Band and James Morrison and more. Sara has recently released two original Country music albums that are available on all the downloadables.
Dan Barnett was born into music being the son of the legendary Sydney Bassist Cliff Barnett. He began his musical life as a Trombonist and quickly developed a love for singing and has since carved out an enviable reputation on the Australian music scene.
Having studied under some of the leading musicians in Australia and the USA, Dan Barnett went on to guest with a wide cross section of performers – ranging from Dragon, The Whitlams and Jimmy Barnes - to Mark Murphy, James Morrison and Tommy Emmanuel. He has also delighted theatre audiences with his featured roles in the Australian productions of Buddy (the Buddy Holly story), Testimony – The Legend of Charlie Parker and The Trocadero Dance Palace (Sydney festival). Dan was a runner up in the prestigious 2006 London International Jazz Competition for singers.
Dan is a renowned bandleader of both big band and small groups and has 9 critically acclaimed albums to his name.
Justine Kinkade (Sydney)
Kicking off Friday night is Justine Kinkade (Sydney). Opening nights are her fav DJ sets - the energy is high, people are a bit giddy and everyone is itching for their first swingout of the weekend! Justine started DJing in 2006 and has worked at events around Oz including Melbourne Swing Festival, Jazz Bang, Little Big Weekend, Canberrang, Sydney Lindy Exchange and is pleased to be returning again to Sydney Swing Festival. She has a soft spot for modern recreationist bands but her main squeeze is solid, four on the floor, hard swinging classic jazz. This killer diller plays no filler.
Shaz loves all kinds of music. She loves the kind that makes you holler, tap your feet, shimmy all over, shake what your mama gave you, or shuffle off to Buffalo. For Shaz it doesn’t get better than music and dancing, whether it’s having a boogie in the lounge room or swinging out on a packed ballroom floor in New York City. Shaz is quite a klutz and somewhat technologically challenged, however when she manages to play music people seem to have a good time. Shaz regularly plays tunes in whatever town she finds herself and has been fortunate enough to DJ at Jumptown Jam, Jazz Bang, Melbourne Swing Festival, Canberräng, Melbourne Lindy Exchange, 1929’s Sweet & Hot, Little Big Weekend, White Night, Hullabaloo, Swing Camp Oz and the Weekend Wiggle. She is super happy to be DJ-ing at SSF -let’s dance!
Merilyn caught the swing bug over five years ago and hasn't looked back. She thinks the music and dancers are just the best. She loves leading and following lindy hop and balboa as well as sharing the joy of the music as a DJ. Merilyn knows what you want to hear and wants to see the dancefloor full of people enjoying the moment. So get out there, ask someone to dance and let the good times roll.
Dean’s first exposure to being a DJ was at 15. During a dance competition the DJ wanted to have a break for lunch and handed over the decks (CD Decks!). He was hooked since then, going on to do school parties & discos although way to playing and hosting corporate events & weddings. His music collection spans nearly a century, and as a passionate Lindy Hopper knows just what to play to keep the dancefloor full.