The Enigmatic Grace Jones Returns to Australia

Style icon, diva, ingenue; Grace Jones has been given many wondrous titles over the years. Grace Jones in collaboration with Eiko Isihoka will bring her ever dynamic Hurricane tour to Australia for two very special, 'one night only' shows in Melbourne and Sydney as well as several festival appearances.

The tour begins on Thursday 14 April when she takes the stage at Melbourne's Palais Theatre, before heading to Fremantle for the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival on Sunday 17 April. She then will return to Sydney for a performance at the Entertainment Centre in intimate mode on Tuesday 19 April, before heading to Byron Bay for an appearance at Bluesfest over the Easter long weekend.

On Jones' last visit to Australian shores, which included a very special appearance on stage at The Domain as part of the Sydney Festival First Night, The Sydney Morning Herald said of her performance: "Jones' attitude (she's still the sexual predator, at least anecdotally) doesn't seem to have diminished or changed over the decades. And that distinctive contralot voice is as fine as it ever was and still has the power to move even the most unwilling bodies. She is, indeed, Amazing Grace."

The Jamaican-born heroine of contralto voice and imperious stage presence has long been the topic of conversation based on more than just her music career. Moving to Syracuse, New York as a teenager the leggy beauty studied theatre before embarking on a career as a model in the 1970s during the wildly hedonistic Studio 54 era when she also became a muse to Andy Warhol, who photographed her extensively.

Before long, Jones moved at breakneck speed into music when she secured a record deal in 1977 with Island Records. From there she went on to release a series of disco-based albums amassing a substantial following with her sexually charged live show, leading to her title at the time of 'Queen of the Gay Discos.'

By the time the 1980s rolled around, and the colloquial 'death of disco' had hit, Jones was swift to move with the times and evolved her look, replacing her S&M styling of the 70s with a detached, androgynous image. Also evolving musically, her style focussed more on the new wave and experimental based work resulting in her best-known and strongest releases produced by noted reggae team Sly & Robbie; Warm Leatherette (1980) and Nightclubbing (1981). The latter release spawning one of Jones' biggest hits with Pull Up To The Bumper.

Taking a break from recording to focus on film work, Grace Jones undertook one of her most notable appearances as the femme fatale villainess, May Day, in the 1985 James Bond classic, A View To A Kill. In the same year, she eventually returned back to her recording career, enlisting super-producer Trevor Horn (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) to oversee 1985's Slave To The Rhythm. Jones has since gone on to record several more evolutionary recordings including the critically acclaimed 2008 release Hurricane - the first studio album of new material in nineteen years.

Musically, Jones possesses a vocal range which spans two and a half octaves and can easily switch modes from contralto to soprano without sacrificing the melody. Audiences can expect to be moved from either side of the room, floor to ceiling, when the sphinxlike Jones takes to the stage - forever donning a magnificent costume that looks like she could be either ready to host some ancient occult ceremony or escape on a space ship. Her angular and gritty glamour, teamed with her prowess as a performer, demonstrate that she isn't so much a singer as a force of nature.

Style goddess and cultural icon extraordinaire, Grace Jones is one not to be missed.

Grace Jones Hurricane Tour
Palais Theatre
Fremantle 17/04/11 West Coast Blues n Roots Fest.
Sydney 19/04/11 Entertainment Centre
Byron Bay 22/04/11 Bluesfest

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