Fronted by the amazing Jono McNiel, this smokin' band is the only one of its kind in the Perth music scene. "The Roast" has a strict policy of playing funk music exclusively, it’s gotta make you dance. Backed by a group consisting of the hottest instrumental talent in the west, Jono brings the house down every show. The group formed in Nov 2004 and since then have developed an extensive repertoire of funk material. Featuring the music of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Jamiroquai, Prince, Tower of Power, Maceo Parker, The Meters, and a series of original tunes in the same style. This ensemble has served long residencies at the Funk Club in Leederville, and the Universal Bar in Northbridge.
The Roast Band Members
Jonathan McNeil (vocals) made his first appearance to the Australian music scene at 19 years of age. As the vocal front-man of the funk/acid jazz band, the jive express he performed with them on 8 Australian tours and 2 New Zealand tours. The group featured some of Australia’s best musicians and they played regularly in reputable venues like the Basement (Sydney), the Evelyn (Melbourne) and the Governor Hindmarsh (Adelaide). Along with the rigorous touring life, he recorded two LP’s with the group. Jonathan has now returned to his studies and is currently completing a degree in Jazz at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He continues to perform at many venues around Perth, demonstrating his love for a variety of styles including funk, soul, jazz, R&B and drum & bass.
After finishing high school in Melbourne, Mat Fagan (Guitar) studied for one year at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), before moving to Perth to study Jazz guitar at WAAPA. Recently a graduate of the Bachelor of Music, he has previously won the Perth Jazz Society (PJS) encouragement award, and played professionally with artists such as James Morrison, Tommy Emanuel, and Russell Morris.
Greg Brenton is a drummer currently studying in his final year of a Bachelor of Music Performance at The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He is becoming a familiar face around many Perth venues, regularly playing in funk outfits The Roast and Groove Syndicate. He plays jazz with The Mace Francis Orchestra and The Sue Bluck Trio. Greg also plays in many other blues, folk and pop acts around town including Stingray and Miracle Band X. All this and teaching to boot make him a busy boy.
Ben Collins (Saxophone) graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Composition from WAAPA in 2003. Since then he has been writing, performing and producing music for various projects including a number of short films and a mixed media choreography. He has performed with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra alongside Tommy Tycho, Ben Folds, Anthony Warlow, Leslie Garrett and Rob Guest. As a member of the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra he has performed with James Morrison and Don Burrows and has featured as a soloist with Joe Chindamo, Daryl Somers, Grace Knight and Rhonda Burchmore. He was a part of long time funk outfit Prawns with Horns and is currently a member of Latin band Sabroson, the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Mace Francis Orchestra. Ben has played with members of Buena Vista Social Club, DJ Dan Stinton and recorded with the Hip Mo Toast Big Band as well as recently appearing on ‘The Footy Show’, ‘Shark Net’ and ‘How the Quest was Won’.
Johannes Luebbers (keyboards) has written for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, has received commissions from both Blackburn High School (Victoria) and the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) and has written for the WA Youth Orchestra’s string orchestra. In 2002 he toured to Singapore, Germany, France and England as Associate Musical Director for the Children’s Performing Company of Australia. Johannes was a 2003 WAM award winner in the soundtrack/filmscore category and was shortlisted for an APRA professional development award in 2004 for the Film category. He has recently written two charts for a CD of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) Big Band, due to be released at the end of the year, and was recently awarded the 2005 Toyota Melville Scholarship. He is currently completing his final year in a BMus (Jazz) in Composition at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts as well as performing regularly around Perth.
Throughout high school Andrew Murray (valve trombone) played in various bands that varied in musical styles, playing various instruments, including bass, piano, drums, trumpet and trombone. Andrew's rock band was the winner of the 'Kool Skools' award for 'Best Commercial Rock Song' in 1996 and performed to an audience of thousands at Melbourne's Festival Hall. Andrew was invited to join the Belmont Jazz Syndicate to travel to Sydney and perform in the 'Manly Jazz Festival' in 1998. After finishing high school Andrew attended the Gordon Institute of T.A.F.E and completed his Diploma in Music earning the award for 'Most Outstanding Student' in his graduating year. On completion of his diploma, Andrew moved from his home town of Geelong (Victoria) to Perth (W.A) to continue his studies in music at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, studying for his Bachelor in Music. Whilst at W.A.P.P.A Andrew has been a member of the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) for three years and has performed with James Morrison, Daryl Somers, Don Burrows, Grace Knight, Ronda Burchmore and many others. Recently Andrew also appeared on Channel 9's 'The Footy Show'.
Kaspar Noakes (bass) started at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2001 and graduated in 2004. Since starting at WAAPA, Kaspar has joined the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra where he played with people such as Joe Chindamo, James Morrison and Daryl Somers. He is a member of the Mace Francis Orchestra, the Jasmine Nelson Quartet (playing at the Grapeskin Bar in Northbridge every wednesday), the Andrew Weir Trio, The Federico Collective and of coarse The Roast. Kaspar also teaches bass part time.
Patrick McMullin is a trumpet/flugelhorn player from Victoria who moved to Perth in 2004 to study at WAAPA. Paddy has been lead trumpet in WAYJO and the Academy Big Band since his arrival and has played with James Morrison, Daryl Somers, Phil Stack, Gary Costello Rhonda Burchmore and Joe Chindamo. He was also a featured soloist with Grace Knight on her recent appearance here in Perth. He has been a member of the Australian Showband and the ‘Generations In Jazz’ Superband
Roast Soul Funk Band are the perfect choice of entertainment for your venue, corporate event or private function