Formed in 2015, Sassafras combines toe-tapping swing, breakneck gypsy classics, wistful french ballads and re-worked jazz standards in a vibrant and engaging mix of acoustic music, all performed with the dazzling virtuosity and passion that is intrinsic to the gypsy jazz tradition.
Featuring Jessie Gordon (voice), Emily Gelineau (violin), Aaron Deacon & Lachlan Gear (acoustic guitars) and Pete Jeavons (double bass/MD), this will be your last chance to catch Sassafras at The Ellington in 2023 so don’t miss out!
You can expect to hear music from luminaries such as Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf, Cole Porter, Charles Trenet, Jacques Brel and many more.
Sassafras has sold out numerous shows at The Ellington Jazz Club, as well as The Duke of George, Lyric’s Underground, Kidogo Arthouse, The Stirling Arms, The Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre and more. The band has also featured in a number of festivals including: The Jazz By The Bay Festival (2017, 2019), Perth International Jazz Festival (2017, 2018, 2022, 2023), Oz Manouche Festival (Brisbane, 2018), King Street Corner Pocket Festival (2018, 2019), Perth Festival (2021), York Festival (2021, 2022) and the WA Guitar Festival (2021).
For seven years in a row, Sassafras has also presented a season of shows as part of the Perth Fringeworld Festival (“An Evening in Paris” from 2016-18,”Under Paris Skies” in 2019, “An Evening of Gypsy Swing” in 2020, “Gypsy Jazz Soirée” in 2021 and “Sassafras Swings” in 2022) and the band released their debut, eponymous album in 2021
R E V I E W S
“The infectious swing and gypsy jazz of Perth’s superb Sassafras provides an upbeat and enjoyable program of variety and consummate musicianship…”
Garry Lee, Seesaw, March 2023
“ From the very first mellow notes, Sassafras: An Evening of Gypsy Swing was simply spellbinding… What a pleasure to see such excellent artists performing this dazzling repertoire in Perth!”
Chelsea Hayes, Fringefeed, Feb 10th 2020
” Acoustic gypsy jazz band Sassafras presented a world-class musical performance to the capacity audience that filled (the) Ellington Jazz Club…”
Steve Baitz, Seesaw Mag, Jan 26th 2019
” What a truly extraordinary group of talented performers. This 5-piece Perth jazz band is an amalgamation of 4 of the most enigmatic musicians you’ll ever see. Not to mention, the vocals of Jessie Gordon who has the most astoundingly powerful range”
Amanda Lancaster, Fourth Wall Media, Jan 31st 2018
” A clear French theme with familiar swing classics and gypsy jazz radiating with attitude”
Jess Ammon, Fringefeed, Jan 30th 2018
” Sassafras, the gypsy jazz band won a heap of local fans at Juniper Studio… A full house relished performances from consummate musicians, with Jessie Gordon singing, encouraging audience participation and pulling it all together with engaging humour.”
Darlington Review, July 2017
” The (Perth) International Jazz Festival is a serious affair… there was, however, a moment of joyous gypsy-style jazz from Sassafras, a local group who took the audience on a pleasure-filled journey, aided by brilliant gypsy guitarists and singer Jessie Gordon.”
Ron Banks, The West Australian Newspaper, June 2017
” Sassafras is undoubtedly a smooth, well-rehearsed and tightly run ship headed by a sassy great singer…”
Mariyon Slany, Artshub, Feb 1st 2016
” The Sassafras instrumentalists excelled throughout the evening, with virtuosic solos and seamless transitions. The acoustic guitar playing from Lachlan Gear and Aaron Deacon was perfect and lovely… and Pete Jeavons reliable double bass playing shows his great experience.”
Mariyon Slany, Artshub, Feb 1st 2016