TAMWORTH music industry leaders have paid tribute to jazz singer Janet Seidel who died after losing her battle with cancer this week.
She died peacefully at her home in Sydney after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October last year.
She was 62 years old.
While Tamworth might be regarded as the country music capital, Janet made waves on the local jazz scene, in particular with her philanthropic efforts for Billabong Clubhouse which spanned over 15 years.
Local musician John Muller said many people throughout the Tamworth, New England and North West region would be saddened to hear of her death and were thankful for the contribution she gave to causes across the community.
Mr Muller remembers the musician fondly and said he and his best mate singer and drummer Peter Harkins first saw Janet perform when they went to Sydney in 1999 to see American singing legend Tony Bennett.
He said they were immediately impressed with the high standard of her vocals and piano solos.
After the show he and Mr Harkins immediately introduced themselves and told her about the Billabong Clubhouse Jazz Concerts which started in 1997 – and that’s when the partnership began.
“After being told the concerts were a fundraiser for the Billabong Clubhouse which supports family members who have experienced a mental illness she had no hesitation in accepting their offer to appear at the next concert along with her longtime partner guitarist Chuck Morgan and her brother David on double bass,” Mr Muller said.
“This meeting resulted in the trio returning to Tamworth and surrounding districts many times during the next 15 years which included two Billabong concerts, a fundraiser for the Oncology Department at Tamworth Base Hospital and a concert for the Tamworth Conservatorium of Music at the Capitol Theatre.”
Mr Muller said one of the secrets of the celebrity jazz singer’s success was the backing by her longtime partner Chuck Morgan on guitar and her brother on double bass .
The trio were widely accepted overseas and played in most major countries throughout the world.
Friends and fans of the singer took to social media to express their sadness this week.