ECHUCA-MOAMA jazz and blues vocalist and violinist Heather Stewart is making a hometown comeback.
And she’s bringing a piece of Paris with her.
Heather is one half of Parisian duo The Dirty Ragtimers.
Featuring finger-picking blues, hot swing and jazz, ragtime, country and gospel, the duo offers a fresh take on the definitive roots of modern music that has been thrilling audiences for 100 years.
Moving to Paris with husband – musician Leigh Barker – two years ago to pursue music, Heather quickly formed collaborations and performed at legendary venues across Paris.
Such as Le Boeuf sur le Toit and Le Caveau de la Huchette (which musical fans would recognise from 2016 film La La Land).
Heather launched the Ragtimers with Montmartre local Lucas Montagnier soon after.
Meeting the fingerpicking guitarist and bluesman in a tiny Belleville bar, the duo immediately hit it off, jamming all night.
“We realised we both shared a passion for acoustic fingerpicking blues, old jazz, blues and gospel singers and a huge range of music from the early 20th century,” she said.
After months rehearsing a new repertoire, the duo held their first busking session on a Montmartre street corner.
Where they drew the attention of the owner of famous local bar Chez Camille, who offered them a weekly residency.
And so, The Dirty Ragtimers were born.
The duo have since been reeling in fans across Paris.
And this weekend, they’ll be captivating audiences in Echuca-Moama, performing at the Foundry Arts Space.
Which is a dream come true for Heather — as well as Leigh and their two little girls Beatrice, 3, and Mathilde, 1, who will be coming along for the tour.
“I’m so excited to see friends and family and share music with my hometown,” Heather said.
“My husband and I always appreciate what we have when we’ve been away from it.
“We’ll always be Australian and it’s so special to come home.”
The Dirty Ragtimers will be performing at the Foundry Arts Space On Sunday, April 15 at 7pm.
■Details and bookings at heatherstewart.com.au