Libby Hammer

Libby Hammer

BandJazzCabaret

Hi! I am a jazz singer, bandleader and vocal coach. I lead, compose for and perform in several different jazz ensembles. I'm passionate about performing and I pride myself on being a highly skilled musician who loves to bring world class entertainment to the broader public.

Biography

Libby Hammer is one of Perth's premier jazz vocalists. With a background in musical theatre, acting and circus, along with five years of music study and 17 years of music industry experience, she has developed a solid reputation in Western Australia as an accomplished jazz singer, bandleader and vocal coach.

Libby received her Bachelor of Jazz Music in 1997 after five years of study at the WA Academy Of Performing Arts in Western Australia and promptly formed a band called Hip Mo’ Toast, who over the next decade would win six Western Australian Music Industry Association awards for Most Popular Original Jazz Act. Over the years Libby’s band matured and grew into an outstanding collective of Perth's best jazz musicians, performing in ensembles ranging from a duo to a big band, all led by Libby herself. She has a formidably large repertoire and often performs themed shows and workshops, such as her Jazz For Kids series. Libby’s preferred band for festival and jazz club performances is the quintet.

Duo • Trio • Quartet • Vocal Quartet • Quintet • Nonet • Big Band

Libby’s approach is a continuation of the tradition of the great jazz divas, though she’s no diva herself. She has cultivated a silky-smooth croon that can turn raw as guts when the song calls for it. Fully cognizant of today’s audiences preference for energetic entertainment, Libby keeps things moving along at a fast pace with frequent nods to kitsch cabaret and comedy, soul-drenched blues, and she intersperses it all with the occasional burst of virtuosic scat for the jazz purists.

Libby has performed thousands of concerts since 1996, including several regional tours and overseas engagements. Libby has performed with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, James Morrison, Joe Chindamo and international jazz artists such as Josh Hilberman (USA), Christoph Spendel (Germany) and two-time Grammy Winner Gary Bartz (USA).

Libby was a key member of the Perth Jazz Society committee from 1992 until 2006 and in 2005 won the PJS Award for Most Outstanding Individual Contribution To Jazz. In 2007 she won another PJS award - Life Membership for Outstanding Long-Term Contribution to Jazz. She is proud to be Patron of Jazz Fremantle. Libby regularly adjudicates eisteddfods, singing competitions and in 2010 was a judge on locally televised talent show, Perth Star. She has taught jazz at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and currently teaches singing at two of Perth's leading private schools.

Lyrics

My Wee Bonita

Written By: Grant Windsor and Libby Hammer

My Wee Bonita

In a distant land where romance took my hand
I met a girl whose eyes were like a storm
Her tempting charms would set off fire alarms
She danced into the night and love was born

She possesses a certain mystique
Hipnotises and makes you go weak
You see Señor, some say that “less is more”
The girl had something no-one could ignore

She was a cracker jacker wacker smacker packa full of Aka Daka
Girl who liked to have herself a ball
But in the end it didn’t matter ‘cos the girl who liked to chatter
Only came in at a tiny three foot tall
Still all the men would go insane, a chance to dance with her again
Would have them lining up at her front door
She was a weiner, a dreamer, a teeny dancing queena
And you really couldn’t beat her on the floor

Up like a wizzy fizzy busy kissy bird and dizzy birdland missy
She would have a night out on the town
And all the boysies with their toysies making noisies to get joysies
Would move heaven if they just could flag her down
Oh but she doesn’t give a rats bananarama roller rink
Because she’s out there getting down tonight
There is no meaner, or leaner, teeny signorina and she’s
Surely gonna set your heart alight

With a microphone and a swingin’ band
She sings a storm up every night
And the guys line up, wanna be her man
And all the boys go (mm mm) when she walks by

Rockin’ like a woppin’ boppin’ doowop singin’ popper crackin’
Whips to bring it on again
My wee bonita getting sweeter by the margarita litre
Want to eat her like pack of vitamin
There’s no comparing to the raring of the daring she is wearing
Baring funky chicken moves to burn
There is no sweeter, granita or neater señorita
And she’s surely got a lesson you could learn

INSTRUMENTAL

With a microphone and a swingin’ band
She sings a storm up every night
And the guys line up, wanna be her man
And all the boys go (mm mm) when she walks by

Rockin’ like a woppin’ boppin’ doowop singin’ popper crackin’
Whips to bring it on again
My wee bonita getting sweeter by the margarita litre
Want to eat her like pack of vitamin
There’s no comparing to the raring of the daring she is wearing
Baring funky chicken moves to burn
There is no sweeter, granita or neater señorita
And you simply couldn’t beat Bonita
No you couldn’t beat Bonita, my wee Bonita
from Mexico Way
Arriba!

Lost Cat

Written By: Ali Bodycoat and Libby Hammer

There’s only so much pining that a girl can do
Before she wakes up in the morning feeling awful blue
It takes a pint of vodka and a bottle of shampoo
To mix the remedy for fixing
The memory of you

You take a dash of simple science, a diploma too
And mix them right up in the blender with your favourite dew
You wipe out all the fancy feelings that he said were true
And look for bubbles that will burst into a room
A room for two

‘Cause it’s a lost cat
That’s got your nine lives
It’s a lost cat
That’s at your insides
It’s a lost cat
That’s pickled freedom on the run
It’s better than being a deer in the headlights
Bright lights, no vision, no fun

SOLOS

You drink and dapple with the dimple, just a shot will do
It gives a kitty cat the comfort that hot toddies brew
It leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling just designed for you
Intoxication leaves you sober
Just like leavers do

‘Cause it’s a lost cat
That’s got your nine lives
It’s a lost cat
That’s at your insides
It’s a lost cat
That’s pickled freedom on the run
It’s better than being a deer in the headlights
It’s better than shedding a tear all your midnights
It’s better than sweating with fear for your insights
Bright lights, no vision, no fun

That's How I Feel Today

Written By: Libby Hammer

The way I feel today is happy and happy is the way I feel
Every emotion in my heart is valuable and real
The way I feel today is happy and that is quite ok
'Cos at one time or another everyone feels happy
And that's how I feel today

I'm going to...
Climb up a tree and shout it out to all the neighbourhood (I'm happy!)
Hide in my bed and tell it to my Ted 'til I know I'm understood (I'm happy!)
Draw it in a picture, write it on a page, what I need to say (I'm happy!)
Find someone who cares about me and say hey by the way (I'm happy!)
And that's how I feel today

Sometimes we don’t feel happy though, do we? Sometimes we feel sad. Shall we sing about feeling sad?

The way I feel today is sad and sad is the way I feel
Every emotion in my heart is valuable and real
The way I feel today is sad and that is quite ok
'Cos at one time or another everyone feels sad
And that's how I feel today

I'm going to...
Climb up a tree and shout it out to all the neighbourhood (I'm sad!)
Hide in my bed and tell it to my Ted 'til I know I'm understood (I'm sad!)
Draw it in a picture, write it on a page, what I need to say (I'm sad!)
Find someone who cares about me and say hey by the way (I'm sad!)
And that's how I feel today

How do you feel right now? Do you feel proud? Or surprised? Maybe you feel worried or sorry about something. Are you excited, or do you just feel a little bit crazy? Every day we feel all kinds of different feelings, and you know what? Some days I feel really mad! Grrrrr! Let's sing about feeling angry!

The way I feel today is angry and angry is the way I feel
Every emotion in my heart is valuable and real
The way I feel today is angry and that is quite ok
'Cos at one time or another everyone feels angry
And that's how I feel today

I'm going to...
Climb up a tree and shout it out to all the neighbourhood (I'm angry!)
Hide in my bed and tell it to my Ted 'til I know I'm understood (I'm angry!)
Draw it in a picture, write it on a page, what I need to say (I'm angry!)
Find someone who cares about me and say hey by the way (I'm angry!)
And that's how I feel today

How do you feel today?

Thinkin' Of An Instrument

Written By: Libby Hammer

I'm thinking of an instrument that has a groovy beat
You play it with your arms and legs and thumbs
It's really loud and funky and will get you off your seat
And the instrument I'm thinking of is.... drums!
Crash bang, crash bang, crash bang, crash bang!

I'm thinking of an instrument that plays way down low
It's big and sure takes up a lot of space
You pluck it with your fingers or you play it with a bow
And the instrument I want is .... double bass!
Boom boom boom boom!

I'm thinking of an instrument that has a lot of keys
All the way from bass up to soprano
Ebony and ivory can harmonise with ease?
And the instrument I want is a... piano!
Plink plink, plink plink, plink plink, plink plink!

I'm thinking of an instrument that plays so loud and high
He needs big lungs so he can really pump it
The nest thing that you know the sound goes right up to the sky
The instrument that we need next is... trumpet!
Toot toot, toot toot, toot toot, toot toot!

I'm thinking of a person that tops the whole thing off
And turns the song into a real hum-dinger
She sings the words to tell you what the song is all about
So the person that we need now is the... singer!
La la la la, la la la laaaaaaaa!

There's still some people missing from this wonderful band
Some loyal fans who love us through and through
They clap their hands and sing along and cheer and stamp their feet
And the people that I'm thinking of are... you!
Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap!

So now we've met the instruments that make our groovy group
And a crowd that is the best around
When we applaud and play and sing together in a loop
Our instruments and voices make this... sound!
Clap clap clap clap, la la la la, toot toot, plink plink, boom boom boom boom, crash bang
Clap clap clap clap, la la la la, toot toot, plink plink, boom boom boom boom, crash bang
Clap clap clap clap, la la la la, toot toot, plink plink, boom boom boom boom, crash bang!

Discography

Mischievous Girl (2003) • The Hip Mo' Toast Big Band with special guests Tommy Tycho and James Flynn
Titled "Mischievous Girl" after a rocking tune by ivory-tinkler and Hammond-master Grant Windsor, it is a fun, party-time album for the more discerning swinger.

Uptown Tight (2002) • Hip Mo' Toast with special guest Peter Holland
The quintet's first full-length studio recording, Uptown Tight, features both originals and new jazz arrangements of unusual repertoire.

Hip Mo' Toast Big Band Live (2001) • Hip Mo' Toast Big Band
An unplanned and rollicking snapshot that caught the band at their raw and energetic best. Swinging the clubland crowd back into the groove, this official bootleg is a piece of that magic.

Introducing Hip Mo' Toast (1999) • Hip Mo' Toast
Our first official demo (if you don't count the one we made on cassette before that).

IN THE PIPELINE...

Australian Songbook [working title] (201?) • The Hip Mo' Toast Big Band
Classic big band jazz meets classic Aussie rock!

LIBBY APPEARS ON THE FOLLOWING ALBUMS AS A GUEST...

Jazzaziz Vol 6 (2011)
New music from West Australian jazz artists
www.jazzwa.com

Jazzaziz Vol 5 (2010)
New music from West Australian jazz artists
www.jazzwa.com

The XenDen Suite (2008)
Troy Roberts
www.troyroberts.com

Canopy: Songs For The Southern Forests (2006)
Compilation by Southern Forest Artswww.southernforestarts.com.au

Here and Now (2003)
A compilation of new original jazz recordings by WA artistswww.jazzwa.com

Billie Holiday Music Story (2001) • Featuring the voices of Tina Kemp, Bronwynn Way and Libby Hammer
Proudly presented by the Perth Jazz Society
www.perthjazzsociety.com

Set List

Libby Hammer Quintet - Festival Repertoire [June 2013]

All Of Me (jazz standard with an entertaining vocalese originally recorded by King Pleasure based on an Illinois Jacquet solo)
As Long As I Live (great old Mark Murphy-inspired Cole Porter swing tune)
Autumn Nocturne (beautiful and harmonically dense jazz ballad)
Bein' Green (sweet ballad with an environmental twist, originally sung by Kermit The Frog)
Better Than Anything (an uptempo bop-style waltz composed by David “Buck” Wheat)
Bop Til You Drop (Bop People) (a fast-paced burner)
Caravan (the famous Ellington standard with an exotic eastern feel)
Cheek to Cheek (a happy, feel-good swinger)
Come On Strong (a cheeky and bold invitation with traces of Lena Horne)
Doodlin’ (the Horace Silver blues standard featuring a vocalese and some very high notes!)
Golden Earrings (a gypsy rhumba borrowed from Peggy Lee)
I Wanna Be Like You (well-known as a children’s song from The Jungle Book, Libby’s group performs it as an ener