Alturas - Tango-inspired music with a jazz influence.
Inspired by the music of Argentina, ‘Alturas’ combines influences from classical, latin and tango to create a unique blend of haunting melodies with jazz-inspired solos.
'Alturas' have been performing as a group since 2009. The group started as a duo with Gaye Thomas - flute and Jane Andino - piano. It has over the years grown to become a sextet, performing throughout Eastern Australia.
The group perform in venues in Sydney and Eastern Australia, including several performances for the National Argentine Day celebrations in Canberra, at the request of the Argentinean Embassy.
Their debut CD, Café con Tango includes works by Astor Piazzolla, Pablo Ziegler, Fernando Egozcue, as well as traditional tangos and some original tango-inspired pieces.
Alturas regularly perform to sellout audiences in Sydney, Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Canberra , Melbourne and the Central West.
Their second CD, sin palabras was released in May 2015.
In 2016, two highly acclaimed musicians join Alturas: pianist Daniel Rojas and accordionist Gary Daley.
Gaye Thomas - Artistic Director, Flutes
Gaye studied classical flute from an early age, but also has had a keen interest in modern genres including rock, jazz and latin. She studied flute at NSW Conservatorium of Music with Jane Rutter, and went on to perform and record with classical, latin and contemporary ensembles. After discovering tango, Gaye established Alturas and has led it to become a highly sophisticated tango/jazz sextet.
Inge Courtney-Haentjes - violin
Inge Courtney-Haentjes studied music in Freiburg, Germany. After coming to Australia in 1983 she worked with several orchestras including Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Apart from her love of tango, chamber music and jazz, she has been recording, touring and performing with many groups, opera ensembles and orchestras, often as concertmaster or soloist.
As a member of Alturas she enjoys working with the other musicians, and exploring a variety of musical styles.
Greg Gibson - Music Director, saxophones/clarinets, arrangements
Greg studied at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music under Don Burrows and the cream of Australian jazz educators, having previously been taught clarinet by Ian Morgan and Prof Isabelle Carter (both from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra). Since the 1980s he has worked in numerous big bands, world music bands, jazz bands and chamber ensembles throughout Australia, and overseas, with the occasional orchestral gig thrown in. The bands he has led include Lip Service (sax quartet), Banana Republic (contemporary salsa) and Zero Hour (chamber jazz).
Gary Daley - Accordion
Gary Daley isbest known as a musician playing in some of the elite bands of Australian jazz; currently James Greening’s band Greening from Ear to Ear and the jazz-world music band The catholics. He leads the quartet Bungarribee which features his own compositions and interpretations from the classical repertoire. Gary plays acoustic and electric piano, organ and also the piano accordion.
Daniel Rojas - piano
Daniel Rojas is a Chilean-born Australian pianist – and arguably Sydney’s best Latin pianist – as well as being renowned as an awardwinning composer specialising in the rich and vibrant Latin American aesthetic. In his work as a composer and improviser, Rojas draws from a broad musical palette that includes Latin American indigenous, folk, classical and popular traditions, and Western contemporary classical and jazz languages and techniques.
Stan Valacos - Double Bass/Guitar
Stan Valacos is a highly respected musician in Jazz, Blues, Brazilian and other music circles.
Born in Sydney, Stan learned classical guitar as a child and later studied Jazz at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Much revered by his peers, Stan has played with just about everyone including Ian and Nigel Date, George Washingmachine, Dave Paquette, Cathy Harley, the Barnard family (including Bob, Adam, Tony and Rebecca), Geoff Bull, Matt Baker and others too numerous to mention… And Loving It!