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Hillside resident reconnects with rhythmic roots

Hillside resident reconnects with rhythmic roots

From playing on stage with the Little River Band to drumming for her fellow residents at Allity’s Hillside aged care home, Jacqueline (Jackie) has never lost her love of rhythm.

A gift of a drum kit was the beginning of an enduring musical passion that is now seeing the home regularly resonate to a new beat.

It wasn’t until later in life that Jackie found her passion for drumming, with a little encouragement from her ex-husband Bob.

“I have loved music all my life but never picked up an instrument until I got my first set of drums,” she said.

“The drums I play are stand up drums and generally they’re played in a trio with a bass guitar and piano but sometimes with a saxophone as well to make a quartet.

“My ex-husband Bob was a musician, and I would go to his shows and my eyes would always be locked on the drummer and so Bob knew he had to do something about that, and he did.

“I came home from work one day and he told me to go into the loungeroom and turn the lights on and there was a drum kit all set up for me.”

Her performing career began with years of practice in the lounge room before playing her first gigs in 1991.

Paving her way through the Melbourne music scene, Jackie continued to work full-time while taking on drumming jobs at every opportunity. 

“I was a court reporter as my daytime gig and my night gig was the drums.

“I’d get calls about working on certain dates and my husband would have his own schedule but we would always meet up after our performances – it was a good life.

“My first gig I ever got was at the East End Markets, then I would move around and I even played with the Little River Band.”

After making the move to Hillside, Jackie dusted off the drum kit and found her rhythm again, now treating fellow residents and friends to intimate performances.

“I have played at the Adelaide Townhall, the Entertainment Centre, the Hyatt Hotel and many other hotels,” Jackie said.

“Now I’ve done a couple of concerts here and I’ll keep doing more – we have a piano as well so all I need now is a bass guitar to create the full experience.”

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