Con Artists Come In Spinning

Jazz royalty will meet the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University’s very own The Voice superstar as Vince Jones brings his Come In Spinner concert to town.

The triple ARIA award winner will revisit songs from his much-loved award-winning soundtrack to the immensely popular ABC television mini-series of the same name, accompanied by his own interstate band including long time musical director and pianist Matt McMahon, alongside the Conservatorium’s own university Jazz Orchestra, the ‘Con Artists’.

The double-platinum album won the hearts of thousands of Australian households, selling more than half a million copies in the 90’s (seminal for its time) and remaining the highest selling Australian jazz album to date.

For the first time in Queensland, magical new interpretations of much-loved iconic songs of the 40’s Swing Era such as Cole Porter’s I’ve Got you Under My Skin, Gershwin’s The Man I Love, You Go to My Head and many more classic tunes from the WWII era, which he performed live in the Come In Spinner television mini-series.

Adding a fresh spin to the works, Head of Jazz at the Queensland Conservatorium, Dr Steve Newcomb was invited to reinterpret the music.

Dr Steve Newcomb at a piano
Head of Jazz at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Dr Steve Newcomb

“I’m an arranger and composer so I arranged new interpretations of the material from the record to bring it to a full stage show,” Dr Newcomb said.

“Vince is just such a unique vocalist – he brings songs to life – but this show is extra special as it’s a different arrangement.

“We’ve got a full jazz orchestra, there’ll be lots of different dynamics, lots of colour, lots of exciting elements that are added in.

“We’ve got about 20 people in the Con Artists who will all be adding their own flavour into the mix as well.

“Jazz is always a melting pot of all different genres, styles and approaches, and while it’s a Black American art form at its roots, being transplanted in Australia has allowed it to take on its own flavours and celebrate the individuality of the artists involved and I think we’re really bringing that to life here.”

With the original Spinner album by Mr Jones featuring songs by female singers as well, two students will also take to the stage to fill these roles, including third year jazz student Etienne Steven, known for her recent rise to fame on The Voice Australia.

Ms Steven said she was honoured to be sharing the stage with Mr Jones, having seen him perform while she was still in high school.

“I must’ve told about everyone I knew when I found out I’d be singing in the show,” she said.

Queensland Conservatorium Jazz student Etienne Steven
Queensland Conservatorium Jazz student Etienne Steven

“Everyone in my cohort sang Vince’s song Budgie for our first-year recital and we all loved it, so I was pretty excited to be sharing the stage with him.”

Growing up listening to jazz music, Ms Steven realised her dream of joining the jazz program at Griffith University and joining the Con Artists.

“My singing teacher at school, Stephanie Taylor, also went through the Con’s Jazz program, and suggested it would be the perfect fit for me, so from Grade 11, I was super set on doing the Jazz course at Griffith,” she said.

“From then it was the only course I wanted, and I magically got in after applying and auditioning, and I’ve continued to focus on jazz since then.

“Auditions for The Voice happened just before uni started this year, so when I got through I was really worried I’d have to decide between doing that or joining Con Artists but luckily Dr Newcomb was okay with me doing both.

“I’d been dreaming of doing this showcase so was so happy I could still do it, and now to be able to sing with Vince has just made it even better.

The Voice was a really great experience but it’s so good to be back for this show where I can just delve back into my jazz self and return to my true passion of singing jazz and doing big band, which at the end of the day, has been my goal for so long.”

The one-night-only Come In Spinner show will be held at the Conservatorium Theatre on 28 October from 7:30pm. Tickets available from