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CARL RISELEY

BASED: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Respected throughout the music industry for sticking to his guns and by staying true to an original big-band style during the 2007 season of Australian Idol, Carl Riseley’s persistence paid off starting 2008 off swinging! Born on the Gold Coast in 1982, Riseley has been a jazz-man ever since he was big enough to hold a musical instrument. He began playing the cornet until the age of sixteen, until finding his true calling - the trumpet. It was as a trumpeter that Carl first entered The Royal Australian Navy band in April 2003. The experience of playing with a Concert Band through to a Jazz Quartet broadened Mr. Riseley’s musical horizons, strengthening his versatility and skills as a musician.

This unique nature is how “Swing King” Carl Riseley’s path led into singing. In 2003 the Navy Rock Band were deployed on tour aboard HMAS Tobruk around Asia & Australia, finding along the way they were in need of a singer. Carl, not one to shy away from a challenge, knew that singing and expressing the soulful sounds of the trumpet was home for him – Carl has never looked back. During his time with the Royal Australian Navy, Carl journeyed through some amazing and life-changing experiences, including a deployment to the Solomon Islands, and most notably playing for the troops over Christmas and on New Years Eve in 2004 & 2005 in Iraq. “Watching our Australian troops laugh and dance with rapture as if what was happening around them was long forgotten, even just for an hour as we played - was one of the best moments in my life.”

In 2007, though still relatively new to the world of singing, Carl decided, or rather as he laughs – was gently forced into giving the Australian Idol auditions a crack. “Besides the fact that my parents had been begging me to audition for years, the reason I auditioned was because I lost a bet with a mate and had to walk in and play out my part!” There were mixed responses by the Idol judges regarding his audition, however Marcia Hines immediately saw Carl’s potential. “You have chops,” she told him. Marcia's theories proved justified pushing him through to the Top 100 where he thrived continued to improve every week.

By the time he made it through the Wildcard round his dazzling swing-style performance of The Everly Brothers ”Bye Bye Love” had won everyone over, and the judges placed him in the Top 12. ”I’m a trumpet player, I’ve been doing it since I could walk,” he says of making it into the Top 12. “It is incredible I’m here.”

Carl went on to make it right through to the final three in the show, and was a public favourite throughout. Riseley signed a recording contract with Universal Music Australia, which released his full-length album debut, “The Rise”, in 2008. A Top Five hit on the Australian album charts, the CD reflects his passion for big-band swing music and includes performances of well-known songs including “This Guy’s in Love with You” and “The Girl from Ipanema”.

His second album entitled “The Stillest Hour” sees the Queensland-born jazz singer and trumpeter take a confident step forward in his musical journey. It was released on 24 April 2009 and debuted as the number one jazz album on the Australian Aria charts.“I have grown as an artist since my first album, The Rise,” explains the 27-year old. “It remains one of the most fulfilling achievements of my life. But I have become more confident, and doors have opened musically for me since then. Onstage I’ve become used to being the focal point, not one of the band.”

“On The Stillest Hour I wanted to really find my voice. I also wanted my fans to see where I’ve come from — and where I’m going. It was a wonderful challenge for me.” On The Stillest Hour, he leaves behind the big band sounds and surrounds himself with a small and highly accomplished team of musicians. They were Bill Risby on piano and keyboards, guitarist James Muller, drummer Hamish Stuart and bass player Jonathan Zwartz.

He draws upon a strong cache of songs by contemporary writers, and glorious classics like “My Funny Valentine” and “Tenderly” which inspired him as a teenager to play in jazz clubs, become a trumpeter in the Royal Australian Navy, and gain national recognition as a finalist on TV’s Australian Idol. Hailed as the next Harry Connick Jnr, there is no argument that the future is bright for this young and incredibly talented musician.

 

 


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