island entertainment presents
Pianist / Vocalist / Songwriter Born in Melbourne, Rod has accumulated a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry spanning over four decades. He has played gigs as diverse as church organist, restaurants, functions, theatre restaurants, pub bands, show bands, jazz bands, backing bands, support act, studio musician and piano bars Australia wide. Rod first came to Hobart in 1972 with popular Melbourne pub band Liquid Amber for a three month residency at Sinbad’s Tavern (now Irish Murphy’s). He returned three years later as part of the Wrest Point Casino band, working with many top Australian and international acts before heading to Sydney to make the most of the booming club scene. He toured the country extensively with top dance/show band Karma and also worked as a freelance Musical Director and accompanist with a range of well known acts including The Drifters, Allison Durbin, Lyn Hamilton, William Shakespeare, Ross D Wylie, Shane Bourne and many more, culminating with a full time job as Johnny O’Keefe’s- Musical Director. Along the way there were numerous TV appearances with Rod’s songs featuring on shows such as Number 96 and the Alexander Bunyip Show. After Johnny O’Keefe’s untimely death Rod returned to the Wrest Point cabaret band before opening the Birdcage Bar as a piano bar in the late ’70s. He went on to play solo residencies at Perth’s Burswood Casino, Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast and a lot of high profile venues in between. Over the years he has performed as the support act for Georgie Fame, Gwen Briscoe and The Love Machine, The Platters, Marcia Hines, Chubby Checker and Debbie Byrne. Rod also played piano for the Tony Award winning Broadway show ‘Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope’ (featuring Nell Carter) on it’s Australian tour. In 1991, after a very busy five years of “gigging” on Queensland’s Gold Coast and the Whitsunday Island resorts, Rod returned to Hobart for stints at various venues including his old ‘home’, the Birdcage Bar. He was the Musical Director for the Miss Australia Quest, televised nationally from Wrest Point Casino. During the late ’90s Rod spent five months in Canada writing and producing the music for a low budget musical movie which surprisingly had a six year run on Canadian and US cable and community television as well as being aired on several HBO networks. The movie was pretty much canned in The New York Times but the review did say that the music was well written. He has recently written the music for a Broadway style show, to be directed and choreographed by L.A. based Ken Presscott. 2011 saw Rod attending the UTAS Conservatorium where he successfully completed a Bachelor of Music degree with a singer/songwriter major. A regular performer and emcee at music festivals ‘A Day At The Creek’ (Mole Creek) and the Adventure Bay Blues and Roots Festival, Rod is currently doing a variety of band and solo gigs at Tasmanian venues including The Republic, Claremont Golf Club and, once again the Birdcage Bar.