What People Said!

‘Having heard “The Syncopators” many times over the last 20 years and played with most of its members… it is my great pleasure to announce the band’s new CD (In-Sync 2007). I am sure you will love the infectious and eclectic mix of styles and the exuberant playing of this exciting, experienced and very entertaining band – in my opinion, the best of its style in Australia.’
Don Burrows AO, MBE, 2007, CD sleeve notes


‘21 years ago I played a guest spot on a gig with a local band, they surprised me with their sound; they were so authentic, so swinging. That band was the “Society Syncopators” – now “The Syncopators” – and they’re celebrating 25 years making great music both at home and abroad. In that time they’ve become an important part of Australian Jazz history, recording a dozen or so CD’s, doing countless tours of Europe and winning the Bells Award for Classic Jazz Recording of the Year 2009.
Great as those achievements are, they’re not what this band is about – this band is about that wonderful feeling you get when music is played for the sheer joy of it, the feeling you get when you just have to smile and move to the music. With a line up of some of Australia’s best swinging players and guests like Dan Barnett, Nichaud Fitzgibbon and George Washingmachine, you couldn’t ask for more.
Next time I’m asked that perennial question “What is Jazz?” I know what to do – hand them a copy of “Saturday Night Function”!’
James Morrison AO, 2009, CD sleeve notes

“This is one of the most successful jazz bands Australia has ever produced. They fire, they swing and have an enormous repertoire of great variety. Richard Miller is a whiz at writing songs, always interesting and different. For instance, ‘Slow Ball’, quite marvellous, and ‘Crackers’ with sound effects near the end. A great selection of tunes and excellent arrangements. The arrangements sometimes make it sound like a much larger band.
Sit back and enjoy some very high class jazz”
Bob Barnard AM, 2011, CD sleeve notes.

‘…easily one of the top show jazz bands in Australia today…’
The doyen of Australian jazz – The late Graeme Bell, AO.

‘…the best front line in Australian traditional jazz…’
John Crichton; Past President of the Victorian Jazz Club.

‘…the Society Syncopators, one of Melbourne’s leading jazz groups..are fine ambassadors for the City of Melbourne. The Hon. Ivan Deveson, AO; former Lord Mayor of Melbourne.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, I can say without doubt that this is the best jazz group who have performed here, in all my 27 years of running this club.’
Public announcement by Lous Dassens, proprietor of the world-famous ‘Dr.Jazz’ club in Dusseldorf, at the conclusion of the band’s concert – June 1995

‘….playing and presentation, both impeccable throughout…It is a credit to the band (and its leader, trombonist Chris Ludowyk) that the ensemble playing is so tight and the recording, the first on digital, showcases many facets of the band’s musical tastes and natural style.’ Review of band’s second CD recording by Michael Stevens, jazz critic and radio presenter, for the magazine ‘In-Press’

‘How does Australian jazz measure up on the international stage? I have heard…that Australia has the world’s best jazz musicians. There is some truth to that as far as traditional jazz is concerned…the very best traditional bands and soloists here (Bob and Len Barnard, Tom Baker…Society Syncopators…) do compare favourably with the best anywhere.’ Special feature on jazz by Adrian Jackson, jazz critic; ‘Melbourne Age’ newspaper.

The visit to Tonga by…. “Society Syncopators” has been most successful….the highlight of the Post’s cultural relations program for the year….Through their musicianship and public relations skills, the Society Syncopators have made a valuable contribution to Australian relations with Tonga. Cultural Relations Branch (Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade) would be well advised to consider where else their talents might be similarly employed in the interests of Australian diplomacy.’ Official report to Canberra by Hon. H.C. Brown – Australian High Commissioner to Tonga.

As trans-Tasman cultural ambassadors, jazz sextet the Society Syncopators proved more successful and entertaining than Australia’s First XI, with a sparkling set of trad jazz…it was clear they could play any idiom…’ Concert review by Bruce Stirling, jazz critic for the ‘New Zealand Herald’ newspaper.

‘This is a terrific piece of work. Their Dixieland style rivals that of the great jazz bands of the U.S.’
Ed Crankshaw – operations manager of Radio KRML, California.

‘This is one of the most successful jazz bands Australia has produced. They fire, they swing and have an enormous repertoire and great variety of sound which sometimes make it sound like a much larger band.’ Graeme Kniese – President, Radio 98.7 RPP; former President Peninsula Jazz Club