Curtis Brengle -Piano
Westenhofer-Bass & Tuba
It’s difficult for Anita to remember a time that
she wasn’t completely obsessed by music. She was
born in the tiny town of Ceduna, Australia but grew up
Sydney surrounded by all sorts of music and musical activities.
By the age of 10 she was already studying guitar, flute
and clarinet, singing in choirs and playing in groups.
Anita attended a specialty high school attached to the
Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Here she focused on classical
clarinet and piano. After hearing a masterful jazz duo
play live at a music store she knew what kind of music
she was going to play! She taught herself alto saxophone,
attended many music camps and formed a jazz quartet with
her bass-playing sister. The group performed on television,
radio and at concerts around Sydney.
1990, armed with an Associate Diploma of Jazz Studies
from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music
(as an arranging
major!) she taught clarinet and saxophone, played in
bands, freelanced in pit orchestras for musicals and
backed local and international acts.
toured Australia with virtuoso multi-instrumentalist
James Morrison and was featured clarinet soloist
in John Morrison’s “Swing City” Big
Band. She has also played in Europe and toured
to Thailand as lead
alto with the Mell-o-tones. Anita has recorded for
many Australian artists in jazz, pop, rock and
music (the Wiggles - for those of you with young
children) and for 6 years was the co-host of
a weekly jazz radio
program in Sydney. From 1994 – 2001 the Anita
Thomas Quartet/Quintet played at festivals and concerts
Australia. Her band made two recordings. For many
years Anita taught at both junior and adult Pan Pacific
Camps (Australia), where she had once been a student
and learned so much about jazz from local jazz musicians.
and her husband relocated to the Los Angeles area in
2001. In Southern California, Anita has
kinds of jazz from New Orleans to bebop and beyond.
She is a regular with the Reynolds Brothers Rhythm
Baldy Mountain Swing, Hal’s Angels and the
Tim Davies Big Band. She has also played baritone
and bass clarinet with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz
Orchestra and plays with the West Coast Glenn Miller
Since moving to California Anita has performed
at many jazz festivals and concerts. She has also
various artists in jazz, blues, gospel and for
2004 and 2005 Anita was the reed instructor at the
AFDJS Adult Jazz Camp in San Diego. 2005
year for Anita to join the staff at the Mammoth
Lakes Jazz Jubilee Jazz Camp and the Sacramento
Jazz Society Jazz Camp. It goes without saying
that she had a blast!
playing reeds and vocalizing Anita is presently studying
string bass with Eugene
Sounds & Sights