PERTH muso Mark Turner was a hard man to catch up with last week.
He was in the middle of a whirlwind educational tour of the south west.
When we finally spoke on the blower, he was racing between classrooms with mate Adam Hall from the Velvet Playboys.
“We travel all around Australia and have visited all the remote schools,” Turner says.
“We’ve even been to Hong Kong. The kids just love it—they explode with happiness.”
Turner’s back in Perth next week to launch his new EP Slow Down—perhaps a subconscious suggestion—at the Charles Hotel.
Squeezing onto the stage will be his 12-piece band, which includes a string quartet and a three-piece horn section.
“I’m incredibly excited about this new EP and can’t wait to showcase it with some of Perth’s finest musicians,” the singer-songwriter says.
“These songs are a real chunk of my heart and soul from the last few years, and I just can’t wait to share them with the world.”
Turner reckons he’s been playing music “forever”, especially jazz. “The Ellington is my second home.”
Slow Down is a subtle departure from his jazz roots with a nod to folk and blues: “My favourite genres melded into one.”
Turner cites Tommy Emmanuel, Ray Charles, BB King and George Benson as influences, and their musical footprints are all over Slow Down.
Turner will play the Charles Hotel in North Perth on Sunday June 10.
Support acts include jazz singer Jessie Gordon and the spectacular folk duo Kings and Queens.
Door open 6pm. Tickets at trybookingcom/VTJI
by JENNY D’ANGER