Formed in 1984, Chris Ludowyk hand picked the cream of Melbourne’s jazz talent to form the ‘Society Syncopators’. Now known as ‘The Syncopators’, they achieved the pinnacle of Australian jazz within a few years. With their versatility (the guitarist plays banjo, the bassist plays tuba, the clarinetist plays alto and tenor sax and the trombonist plays bass), they cover a wide range of styles and material. The vocal harmonising talent of the front-line also lends itself to the performance of ‘popular jazz’ material a la ‘Mills Brothers’ and ‘Boswell Sisters’.
Although their repertoire stems from the roots of traditional jazz, they play everything from classic jazz through mainstream to pre-rock rhythm and blues. This guarantees a much broader audience and wider appeal than that of a ‘straight’ jazz group. Arguably, few other groups are perceived to possess the range of material and individual talent of this group.
The instrumentation also allows total flexibility for formats ranging from pin-drop concerts to cabaret and dinner dances. At concerts, virtuoso solo spots also highlight the talents of the individual artists.
The band has toured extensively, as cultural ambassadors for the Australian Government and with eighteen very successful European tours between 1995 and 2017 adding to an already impressive list.
The group has performed several tributes at the Concert Hall and Famous Spiegeltent – Victorian Arts Centre such as: From Jelly Roll to Jump Jive; Tribute to Satchmo; The Great American Songbook; Tribute to Bing Crosby and Best of British. In 2018 they are performing the Louis and Ella show.
Over the life of the band, eighteen CDs were produced, most of them commercially available recordings including award winning ones.
By excelling at the music they love and loving the music they excel at, they are recognised as one of the leading classic/mainstream jazz groups in Australia by critics and jazz fans alike. Arguably they are regarded as the leaders in their field in the world. This, plus their superb musicianship, stage presence and keen sense of humour invariably draw standing ovations worldwide.