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Doobies, Eagles & America night

Friday 1st March @ Taronga Park Zoo

We'll be Rockin' Down the Highway paying tribute to superbands Doobies, Eagles and America in one awesome show!

Saturday 1st March 2014

Under the creative direction of Joseph Calderazzo, guest vocalists including Simon Meli, Natasha Stuart, Bernie Segedin and Glenn Cunningham plus an all-star band featuring Charmaine Ford, Adam Pringle, Seb Bartels, Daren Sirbough, Emile Nelson, Aiden Haworth, Jo Elms and Jon Elms will be taking it to the streets to perform many favourites from the Doobies, Eagles and America.


Gates Open: 5.00pm
Concert Starts: 7.30pm
Approx. Finish: 9.30pm

Please Note: Running times are approximate and may be subject to change.

Grab your friends and picnics and get ready to go wild under the stars at Taronga Zoo! Twilight at Taronga is a fully licensed event so BYO alcohol is not permitted however bar service and light catering is available.
General information

Tickets $55.00 - $69.00
click HERE to purchase


RYDGES NORTH SYDNEY accommodation packages:

Concert accommodation packages from $389 per couple. Includes: Overnight accommodation, two concert tickets, concert transfers, car parking and full buffet breakfast. Room only rates and Bed and Breakfast packages also available. To book visit: or call (02) 9922 1311.






Born 1977 and bred in the western suburbs of Sydney, Simon Meli began his musical affair in infancy, discovering that he was surrounded by the love of music and found himself drawn deeper and deeper day by day. His Maltese Grandmother initiated things, teaching him organ and singing about her kitchen, but it was before Simon could speak, his father (fuelled by motorcars) handed Simon an unused gearshift from an LJ Torana. Simon thought straight away to use this as a ‘pretend‘ microphone. The irony being that Simon without fluent speech called this poor-mans microphone, his beloved ‘Noose’.


‘He is the most Charismatic singer I’ve witnessed in a long time, not only does he know how to work the stage and engage the audience, he also has the vocal goods’ Robyn Anson – Drum Media

By the time Simon hit the end of primary school in 1989 and the beginning of high school he’d been strapped up in an Electric Guitar, which his parents had bought him, thumbing his way through the blues. 2 years into high school, Simon was invited into the school concert band, starting out on bass by accident, then onto guitar opening his eyes to the life on Stage, live concerts and the pressures in executing the right gig! Simon hadn’t even thought of singing at all during high school but was seriously intrigued by the likes of Tina Turner, Ray Charles and most of all Joe Cocker and Rod Stewart’s vocal styling’s.

‘Front man Simon Meli, has more Soul than the devil could ever collect. Every note and every lyric is delivered with more passion than the most tragic of Shakespeare novels… This band is the blackest white band in Sydney’ Robyn AnsonThe Brag

Vocalist Simon Meli is the key to the highway with a classic rock’n’soul voice, Stratespheric!.
Stuart A Hamilton – Blues Matters Magazine

Come 1994 and barely legal, Simon had pulled together his first band armed with covers, inspired by his Dad’s record collection, performing underage in the pubs of Sydney [that would allow such a thing]. This time, Simon tackled signing as front man for the very first time. Over a year and half, the small circuit saw his first band, recorded a CD & gradually parting ways to move on to new musical paths as adulthood came round.

A year after school, in 1996 Simon answers his first and last advert looking for a singer in Sydney’s Music Rag, The Drum Media. Sitting at the other end of the advert was his companion and best friend to this day, Tony Kvesic (fellow song writer and guitarist) bonding stronger than blood. His vocal audition was to a cassette mix tape consisting of ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long’ – Otis Redding & ‘Remedy’ The Black Crowes… and PRESTO! Something deep and guttural had been strung with a soulful chord that to this day is his fondest love affair – Soul music.

Still cutting his teeth in the back of his throat and developing the air of confidence needed for the real deal, his writing partner Tony Kvesic and Simon had started trekking down the originals path, writing and recording material for the many a band. Soda Caesars, Eyes Scream Blonde, Sway,
Ooh La La and to their current and most successful band today The Widowbirds, which have all been valuable vehicles to the career of both boys, but for Simon a true learning curve and a channel allowing him to express himself on the deep emotional level was born.

Whilst his unschooled voice and technique is one to his own… Simon has developed a unique and  soulful voice in the Sydney and Australian market, ever willing to take abroad. To listen to Simon’s voice can be tonally compared to Robert Plant, Lou Gramm and a voice that bends all the black keys on a piano. Heavily inspired by Frankie Miller, Joe Cocker and Paul Rodgers of Free, Simon hopes to carry the torch onward amongst the Rock Soul pedigree.

Many established artists and Musical Directors have had a constant and keen eye on the Soul man of Sydney, many of which have invited Simon to take part in many productions, further adding to his stage time. C.C. Entertainment is integral in the push of Simon Meli in many of the productions he has been a part of in the last 6 years. Now with CCE performing around the country in Celebratory Productions of Led Zeppelin, travelling around Australia, Simon continues to embed his voice in Australian History.

‘It’s hard to describe what soul feels like when your singing with it… but most of the time for me it’s just part of the understanding of Love. I’m a real deal lover… pouring 100% of it into my personal life and my music and hopefully it transcends in how others experience what I do…’

‘Every night I’m on stage with The Widowbirds, I tell the audience that All I write are love songs, here’s another…but it’s true’…standing by his creed to Live, Love and Learn.

Sharing stages with International greats is not an uncommon occurrence in Simon’s career. Not to mention the local touring and sharing stages with Australian greats such as Jimmy Barnes, Ash Grunwald, The Backsliders, Kevin Bennett, Steve Balbi, Jeff Duff, Broderick Smith, Jack Jones, The Badloves, Swanee but Highlighted by the Greatest of International artists… Paul Weller (UK, The Jam, The Style Council) – Bon Jovi, Jeff Martin (The Tea Party) and Swamp Legend, Tony Joe White (US).

Simon has gone on to record, produce and release a debut record for The Widowbirds in November 2011, which gained much attention from Australian festivals. Simon and the The Widowbirds have graced Queenscliff Music Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Caloundra, Sydney Blues & Roots, Fuse, Festival of The Sun as well as many regional events.

The Widowbirds release: SHENANDOAH has been mostly successful in and across Europe, now supported by a tour that Simon and The WIdowbirds will embark over 2 months from Jan 2013 – Feb 2013.

Since the early days, Simon has been in the pursuit of capturing his beliefs in recordings and mastering his crafts fit for the stage. His stage presence is worth bottling.



Natasha Stuart


2012 was a big year for Natasha and included the release of her first full length album, "Light This Fuse", a symphony orchestra tour with Tina Arena which travelled around Australia (including 4 sold out performances at the Opera House) and 3 separate landmark performances at the State Theatre where she duetted with John Waters, Ciaran Gribbon (INXS) and backed up Richard Clapton.


Her vocal diversity has afforded her a rich and varied career working with numerous high profile artists.



Artists include Jessica Mauboy, Ricki-Lee, James Morrison, Paul Mac, and Delta Goodrem), appearing as a featured vocalist on movie soundtracks ("Razzle Dazzle") and writing and performing on releases in the USA with DJ Lee Kalt.

Between tours and recording commitments, Natasha can be found singing around Sydney with one of the city's funkiest bands: Radio City Cats.

Bernie Segedin


Bernie began performing when he was just 9 years old. By 13, he’d already landed a half-hour show which was broadcast on radio in New Zealand.Classically trained in voice, the NZ singer/guitarist is a veteran of thousands of live solo shows across Australia/Pacific, with nearly two decades of that time spent in Sydney.


Bernie is a great lover of singer songwriters and the creative process surrounding the craft of song-writing. It is what drew him to the acoustic guitar in the first place and is the reason why many now consider him to be our very own modern day troubadour. He has a vast solo repertoire of over 4000 songs, including many of his own,“ This era of american music held a unique position in the soundtrack of my life growing up. I learnt songs from the band “America” in the first 6 months of playing guitar, played “Hotel California” in my first school band , had the “Doobie Brothers “ vibrating through the walls of my brothers adjoining bedroom and since then, have delivered 1000s of versions of their songs all across the globe...

Everywhere people know them!”He is a regular performer at Sydney’s legendary ‘Basement’ venue as well as premier venues around Sydney and Australia, has a reputation as somewhat of a chameleon amongst his peers, with a unique guitar style, and soaring vocals.For a time, he was invited to front the Australian iconic band Dragon, stepping in to help out his mates while their current lead singer was recovering from some health issues , and has performed his own original material in various showcases, including opening spots for Rick Price.A veteran of the session and recording world, he believes he still holds the title for voicing NZ’s longest running jingle for “The Home Show” - it has been running each year for the last 20 years or so. He is the voice for many of 2GBs call signs broadcast daily across Australia and can be found in studios across Sydney, working at a grass roots level, singing backing vocals on local songwriters’ projects.


What do Jimmy Barnes, Delta Goodrem, Tina Arena, John Farnham, Brian McFadden, Ricki-Lee, Shannon Noll, Human Nature, Deni Hines, Guy Sebastian, James Morrison, Rick Price and the incomparable George Benson have in common? The answer- Glenn Cunningham!

Glenn has written, produced and performed with these and many more huge stars during his 20 year career in the industry and following his success as a Finalist on “The Voice” Australia, Season 1, he’s shown his true colours as an engaging and dynamic front man.

After a busy few years writing for his next album, Glenn and his band have been taking the world by storm playing to packed houses, both in Australia and abroad, with their infectious brand of soul-infused bluesy goodness.

His debut album, Soul Document Vol.1 has been wowing listeners and continues to attract new followers to Glenn’s music, while his reinterpretation of old classics at his live shows, is also winning Glenn the hearts of new fans the world over.

Following his success on The Voice, Glenn released his single of Heaven, the Brian Adams classic, one of the songs that he reworked during his time on the show. After an outcry from fans, Glenn produced and released the single as a thank you to all those who supported him on his journey.

Currently working on new material for a follow up album to Soul Document, Glenn spends his days and nights locked in his studio, flush with inspiration to give his fans new music, while taking time to work on other projects and charities as well.

If you manage to catch him live, you’ll see this Sydney Story teller doing what he does best.

“….You’re such a strong stylist Glenn. Every song you tackle, you make your own and put your stamp on…..” -Keith Urban. International Recording Artist.

Joseph Calderazzo - Creative Director / Guitars


Joseph is the musical and artistic director for Contempree/Calderazzo Entertainment, a boutique entertainment agency based in Sydney, Australia and established in 2003.


CCE shows have attracted crowds totaling over 100,000 and have filled some of Sydney’s most prestigious music venues, including The Basement, Lyric Theatre and Enmore Theatre. We have also presented several spectacular outdoor concerts at the annual Music By Moonlight series at Sydney Olympic Park as well as a string of sold-out concerts at the Laycock Street Theatre in Gosford.



Their concerts have featured performances by some of Australia’s finest singers, including Dave Gleeson, David Campbell, iOTA, Wesley Carr, Jade MacRae, Christine Anu, Jack Jones, Jenny Morris, John Paul Young, Evelyn Duprai, Jeff Martin, Stan Walker, Natasha Stuart and Louis Tillett.

Joseph coordinates and book all performers and lead the musical direction and staging for CCE’s productions, which have been featured numerous times in all forms of mainstream media, including television, radio, print and online.


Prior to establishing CCE, he founded and ran the Tuesday Nite Club at Sydney’s Iguana Bar, where he booked and showcased more than 400 original artists from 1997 to 2003. Since the 1990s he has also been an active professional musician, leading his own ensembles, Akradia and Jazz Nouveau, and collaborating with many notable artists and acts, including ARIA award-winning New Zealand singer and songwriter Jenny Morris and Australia’s Matt Finish, Jeff Duff and the Wayne Cornell Orchestra.


In 2012 Jazz Nouveau released Reminiscing which is a stunning collection of Little River Band songs with a soulful twist. Produced by Joseph Calderazzo and Charmaine Ford and featuring five guest female vocalists including Emma Pask, Evelyn Duprai, Danielle Blakey, Anthea White and Anita Spring with proceeds from the sale of this CD going to Variety - The children's charity.

Charmaine Ford - Piano


With a career still in its infancy, New Zealand-born piano virtuoso and composer Charmaine Ford has accomplished more than most musicians do in a lifetime.


Ford has blazed a trail of awards confirming she is indeed one of New Zealands most distinguished jazz musicians. She has released two self-penned albums, which showcase her extraordinary talent. Her sophomore release, Busy Silence, was awarded Best Jazz Album 2007 at the New Zealand Music Awards. Ford is the first female instrumentalist to receive this accolade. Her debut album Blues for Guppy was also a finalist in the same category in 2004.

Charmaine performs with utter conviction and already has a distinctive sound, comprised of lyrical melodies synergized with idiosyncratic rhythmic diversity.  The Tauranga International Jazz Festival commissioned Charmaine to write a new work, which was premiered at her headline concert, Easter 2009. This was the first work to be commissioned in the 47-year history of the Festival.Charmaine has played piano professionally since her mid teens and has been composing since the age of six. At age 19, she was awarded a Travel Grant Scholarship from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) to study in London. There, Charmaine spent three months learning from two of England's top jazz educators, Nikki Iles and Pete Churchill, while also taking lessons from one of the worlds leading classical pianists, (the late) Professor Yonty Soloman. During her time in London, Charmaine was also privileged to have lessons with various jazz greats including American pianists, Fred Hersch and Danilo Perez.


In 2005, Charmaine sought individual tuition from internationally acclaimed composer, John Psathas for the duration of the year. This period of concentrated training brought about a significant development in her writing.

Ford has performed extensively throughout New Zealand and has appeared on National Television several times. In 2006, Charmaine performed in concert with Tim Beveridge and the NZSO at Wellingtons Michael Fowler Centre. She has been invited to play at many of New Zealand's international jazz festivals, as well as being invited to tour Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney) with her trio, which included a performance at the 2004 Melbourne Womens International Jazz Festival.


Charmaines versatility extends into music education; an area she is passionate about. Ford has a Bachelor of Music and has taught at the New Zealand School Of Music (Massey University), in Wellington. She has been invited to teach and run Masterclasses all around New Zealand. Charmaine is also in demand as an educator, performer and session musician in Sydney, Australia, where she is now based.


In 2007 Ford was recruited by Radio New Zealand Concert to regularly appear on their Upbeat Show. She prepared and performed a live jazz discussion, which was broadcasted nationwide.


Charmaine Ford was born in 1980 in Tauranga, New Zealand. She moved to Auckland at the age of eight, already with two years piano training, and from there rapidly progressed in her music career. Charmaine attended Rangitoto College on Auckland’s North Shore, where she became heavily involved in the jazz ensembles, both as a player and as a leader. This became her ‘training ground’ for the Auckland jazz scene. Shortly after leaving high school, Charmaine won several national awards including ‘Best Pianist’, and ‘Best Combo’ at the National Tauranga Jazz Festival Competitions. She was also awarded ‘Jazz Musician of the Year’ by the Auckland Jazz Workshop two years running. From there, she toured to Australia with her jazz quintet, ‘Carte Blanche’, and performed at the 1998 ‘Manly Jazz Festival’, in Sydney. Charmaine was selected as pianist for the ‘New Zealand Youth Jazz Orchestra’ on four occasions, in which she toured throughout New Zealand.

In addition to her staggering list of achievements, Charmaine appears on over 20 album recordings covering a wide variety of genres. Furthermore she is part of a collaborative project called the ‘Ford/Tipping/Wise Trio’ who have released two albums (‘Live at Sandwiches’ and ‘After The Last Dance’).

At only 29yrs, Charmaine Ford has an exciting future ahead of her.


"Nothing could have prepared me for this young pianist's spell-binding virtuosity" BAY OF PLENTY TIMES, NZ

"Ford pens material which is immediately appealing" THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD, NZ

"Charmaine Ford is one of New Zealand's most distinguished contemporary jazz pianists" APRA

"One of New Zealand's true piano masters" WELLINGTON INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL, NZ

"Charmaine Ford has established herself as one of New Zealand's most innovative and fearless voices in jazz"

"Charmaine Ford has sealed her reputation as one of New Zealand's leading jazz pianists"

"Charmaine Ford has a maturity of jazz expression that belies such youth. This is her debut album and it's a classic"

"A rising star of New Zealand jazz piano" DOMINION POST, NZ

Emile Nelson - Bass

Adam Pringle - Guitar

Seb Bartels - Guitar

Aiden Haworth - Drums

Jon Elms - Vocals

Jo Elms - Vocals

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