Jambu tree kids is the collaboration of Rochelle Wright & Rob Shannon, both experienced musicians, parents and teachers of early childhood music.
Rochelle Wright is a musician passionately inspired to bring the joy of music into children’s lives. Her music career began at age 16 as a solo singer/guitarist performing along the east coast of Australia.
Her travels took her to India, where her love for Nth Indian classical music lead her to study the traditions of North Indian Kheyal singing and tabla drumming. She was initiated into the tradition of tabla drumming under her guruji, Master Shri Kedar Nath Bhowmick.
During the years that followed, Rochelle recorded albums and performed at many major Australian folk festivals with acts including popular folk fest band; ‘The Hottentots‘, Indian-inspired trio ‘Masala’, female gypsy trio ‘Magenta’, and duo ‘Tabla Tarang’ with her husband Rodney Wright.
Rochelle worked in Melbourne as a voice teacher and choir conductor at N.M.I.T, as a marimba maker and as a member of the Melbourne women’s Bulgarian choir, Petrunka.
Now a mother of three daughters, Rochelle focuses her love of music towards children and parents. She founded children’s music classes ‘Sing by the Sea’ in 2003 in northern NSW with Laurel Cohn, and has recorded NCEIA award-winning children’s CD, ‘The Jambu Tree’, with Rob Shannon. They are in the studio recording their new album ‘The magnificent mango tree’ due for release in Spring 2010.
Rochelle also performs as ‘Sunshine’ in ‘The Curly Cousin’s’ alongside Laurel Cohn (Miss Bea) and Mandy Morris (Coco). They perform at festivals and regular full house shows along Northern N.S.W, performing originals and old favourites from around the world, in a theatrical concert to inspire the creative spirit in young children. They are currently recording their debut album ‘A day in the life’ also due for release in Spring 2010.
Rob Shannon is one of Sydney’s more colourful musicians; his musical palate encompasses many styles and traditions.
Originally from central west NSW, Rob played drum kit in local rock bands, before moving to Sydney at age 16 to pursue a career as a professional musician.
As things evolved Rob eventually found himself on a plane to India, to study Tabla. This sparked a love affair with Hindustani classical music, and lead to regular trips to New Delhi to live and learn with his Guru Shree Gladwin Charles, studying in the traditional Gurukal (teacher/ student) system, a rare honour for a western student.
These studies spanned the best part of a decade. During this time he performed with local world ensembles NAC (New Acoustic Collective), Trio Roshani, JuJu (Melbourne based Indo’ fusion), Heval (Sydney based Kurdish/ indo’ fusion).
Rob also plays guitar professionally, playing various styles of Jazz, focusing on the music of Django Reinhardt, leading his band The Straight Back Fellows for 5 years.
These days he can be found performing with Arabesk’ on Guitar and D’rbukka along side some of Sydney’s finest World musicians.
Rob is also the head teacher at Einsteinz Music, a small independent company specializing in early childhood music workshops, where his classes have gained a reputation for their high energy, percussion based style.
Trace Balla is the artist responsible for the amazing art of Jambu Tree Kids. Trace is a practicing Artist and and Art Therapist, with over fifteen years of experience in facilitating art workshops for diverse groups of people of all ages and abilities.
Trace has a particular passion for “Soul Doll” making and facilitation. Dolls may be used for manifestation, memories, guidance and so much more.
Trace has produced digital stories with schools and community groups, books, animations, songs…..