Friendship drives dynamic duo

Headshot of Jakeb Waddell
Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser

Two best friends from Perth are set to grace the Pearl Luggers stage tomorrow night as the 2017 Shinju Fringe Festival kicks off in Broome.

Jessie Gordon and Mark Turner have dazzled audiences with their unique sound since joining forces about 15 years ago and their jazz performance is expected to draw large crowds tomorrow.

While the town will get to hear the impressive sound when these two artists come together, they have also relished in worldwide success in their individual endeavours.

Gordon has enjoyed international performances, but says her favourite gigs are the ones she gets to do with her friends.

“Some of my more memorable performances have been at festivals around the world,” she said. “A glorious small gig with my German blues trio in a dilapidated Polish castle last year, a huge gig with a bigger band at a German street festival playing to a huge crowd of very smiley Germans ... playing with the Perth Cabaret Collective in the Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

“But mostly my favourite gigs are the ones I get to play all the time with my best friends and Mark Turner is one of them.”

Turner — saxophonist, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter — has also toured extensively around Australia and internationally, even once sharing the stage with Adele, but also enjoys his shows in Perth.

“This year I was lucky enough to perform at the Singapore Jazz Festival with Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys,” he said.

“That was probably the biggest show I have been involved in so far.

“My regular hangouts include the Ellington Jazz Club in Perth, where I get to perform with Jessie Gordon quite often.”

Gordon and Turner became friends when they were both playing in the same community band called the Kalamunda Youth Swing Band 15 years ago.

“Basically, we started playing together then and never stopped,” Gordon said.

“He started off playing the saxophone, but he also plays guitar and now he plays pretty much everything.

“He’s a constant source of inspiration to me. The partnership works because we love each other and we know that when we can’t stand each other — which can happen under the strain of too many gigs or touring — it’s only ever temporary.”

Not only will Gordon be performing in town tomorrow night, she has recently relocated to Broome while her partner works at the hospital.

“I’m continuing to write original music and I’m making regular trips down to Perth,” she said.

“I’m keeping music at the forefront of my mind while also taking some time to get to know Broome and make some connections up here.”

Although he is still based in Perth, Turner is hoping to reap the benefits of Gordon’s big move.

“Now that Jessie is a permanent resident I look forward to checking out her favourite places,” he said.

“I only have a few days (in Broome) so I hope to also catch the other Shinju Fringe acts.”

Fringe Friday begins tomorrow night at 6pm at Pearl Luggers.

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