Gisborne singer Danielle Formica was born in Paris, and recorded two singles in London. After moving to the Macedon Ranges 10 years ago, she now spends her weekends performing jazz and blues at local venues. She speaks with Serena Seyfort.
What is your connection to the Macedon Ranges?
My husband and I moved to Woodend for a treechange in 2007. We moved to Gisborne in 2014. We just love it and we don’t plan on moving anywhere too soon.
What do you like about the area?
There’s lots to keep us here. We like the location. We’ve got the best of both worlds being in the countryside while being close to the city. And we like the nature aspect. We love the walks. We’ve got a great walk from where we live in the Mulbarton estate into town and around the back paths into the Gisborne Botanic Gardens. We’ve also got a great selections of cafes, restaurant, wineries and places of interest.
Do you have a favourite local place?
There’s some great cafes. Two that stand out are Canteena, just behind IGA, and Jed’s. They make great coffee and lunches.
If you could change anything about the area, what would it be?
Definitely parking. Parking is becoming quite hard to get in the main area of Gisborne. And we’d love a cinema, but I don’t think there’s the amount of people. We travel to Sunbury, Watergardens or the city to see films.
Tell us about your singing gigs in Macedon Ranges.
Now I’m part of Kind of Blue Jazz Duo. I’m the singer and Gordon Brenkovich is the guitar player. He’s not a local but all of our work is in Macedon Ranges.
We’ve been playing locally for four years now. We play jazz, blues and bossa nova. We’ve got a big repertoire, probably close to 200 songs.
Tell us about your career before the past four years performing here.
I was born in France where I started singing when I was 11, and had singing lessons.
At the age of 14 I was taken on by a singing manager, who then introduced me to Phillips recording and I made two records in my mid-teens. During that time I lived in London and also performed on stage and television. Then I ended up getting married young and having a family, which put a stop to my career. But I’ve resumed it, and I don’t think you’re ever too old. I think age is no barrier.
Before moving to Macedon Ranges, I also lived in Western Australia for many years where I did amateur theatre and some vocal work for advertising.
Do you have any upcoming gigs?
On Sunday, November 26, and Sunday, December 17, we’ll be at Olive Jones in Macedon. On Sunday, December 3, we’re performing at Highfield Estate Reception, and on Sunday, December 10, at Mount Macedon Hotel.
Looking ahead, on New Year’s Eve we’re at the Glen Erin at Lancefield.