Jacqueline Gawler

**NOMINATED FOR BEST FEMALE SOLO (Palani Princess) & BEST SONG COMPOSED ('Palani Princess') in the 2015 Australian A Cappella Awards

Melbourne singer-songwriter Jacqueline Gawler is a modern musician drawing deeply from the world around her. Her original songs are sophisticated and earthy, saturated with the sounds of her vast experience as a world citizen musician: rich jazz harmony and Brazilian rhythm, playful poetry and rock n’ roll persuasion, folky wisdom and refined craft. Jacqueline’s voice is warm and agile, her energy abundant and her music irresistible.

‘Effortlessly fluid vocals….’  Jessica Nicholas, The Age

She is an intuitive and spontaneous singer/songwriter, drawing on her history as a contemporary jazz singer and integrating an improvisational approach with jazz harmony and pop/rock influences. Her vocal sound and musical interpretations are edgy, sensuous and compelling, and her quirky lyric writing underpinned by a sense of social inquiry, a love of travel and the natural world, and all that makes us human.

‘Gawler shows she is not averse to taking risks as she shows the versatility of her strong, sultry and highly adaptable voice.’
Andrew Shaw, MCV 2010

‘Jacqueline Gawler is an impressive talent...(She) has formidable vocal chops, displaying a command of rhythm, melody and breath control... Her vocals, redolent of brilliant jazz songstress Cassandra Wilson, brim with warmth and clarity.’  Mike Roots, ReviewYou.com

Jacqueline performs and is a special guest singer/percussionist with a multitude of high calibre Australian and international ensembles, including the Jacqueline Gawler Band, Coco’s Lunch, Stoneflower, Christopher Hale’s Sylvan Coda, Panorama Brasil feat. Doug De Vries, The Picture Box Orchestra (UK/Pakistan/Australia), Sam Keevers’ América Do Sul, Bossa Negra (Brazil/Singapore/Australia), Silverbeat, Avatar, Red Fish Blue (Syd/Melb), the John Montesante Quintet & award-winning writer, musician & radio broadcaster Casey Bennetto.

'Jacqueline Gawler showed her versatility in leading this gifted jazz ensemble...sophisticated, lyrical, intricate, intense and languid in measures’.  Surrey Hills Music Festival 2014
Jacqueline Gawler Ambrosia

In 2010 Jacqueline released her Arts Victoria funded debut album AMBROSIA, presenting a feast of intelligent, accessible songs in an indie jazz/rock vein and showcasing both Gawler's composing talents and the skills of her formidable live band: Fran Swinn, Christopher Hale and Ben Hendry. Engineered, mixed and co-produced by Hadyn Buxton, the album also featured many of Melbourne's finest musicians as special guests, and was released to excellent reviews and packed houses in both Australia and Brazil.

Listen/buy ambrosia

‘Forget kangaroos, boomerangs, outback, INXS, AC / DC or Men at Work…One of the most pleasant surprises of the year comes from [Australia] and her name is Jacqueline Gawler…Her album is a delicious mix of beautiful ballads, world music, mature arrangements and powerful lyrics. Her voice ranges from delicate, almost childlike, to jazzy seductress…Influences ranging from Joni Mitchell to the Beatles, and meeting Salif Keita along the way, make each song a unique experience and leave you wanting more. Your finger hits repeat almost automatically after the last track… What fascinates about ‘Ambrosia’ is the complete absence of fear of risk-taking… ‘On My Skin’ is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time…’
A Vida De Solteiro (online lifestyle magazine) BRAZIL

‘Extremely tasty…a killer album…’ Superfluity, RRR FM

In 2012 Ambrosia reached No. 2 in the KK Box Rock Charts and no. 7 in the same Jazz Charts in Hong Kong (over 80,000 subscribers) and also made the Top 20 in the KK Box Rock Charts in Taiwan (8 million subscribers).

'The most intriguing composition is the rapid-fire Varkala, sung so quickly it is almost mandatory to have the lyrics handy at first listening…This song, as well as the rhythmically strong and vocally adventurous Sahara nights, demonstrate Gawler's talent as a songwriter of intelligence, with a sense of poetry and a love of language...' Ausjazz Blog 2011

'This is seriously the best album I've heard in years…The originality, the depth of musicality while being immediately accessible, the vocal quality and performances, the compositions, arrangements and production, put this straight into my top ten Desert Island discs.’
Carl Pannuzzo www.carlpanuzzo.com

In 2009 Jacqueline sealed her passion for Brazilian music by traveling to Brazil to record a pop album with some of Rio de Janeiro's most acclaimed musicians including Armando Marçal, Sergio Brandâo, Renato Fonseca & Joâo Castilho. She also recorded a duet in English & Portuguese with Brazilian pop star Jorge Vercilo, to be released in 2016. Jacqueline returned to Rio De Janeiro In 2011 for a 6 month stint to study Portuguese, launch Ambrosia with some of Rio De Janeiro’s finest musicians, film the music clip for Sahara Nights, and immerse herself in the local culture and music. She also collaborated with Brazilian singer/songwriter and The Voice Brasil finalist Paulo Loureiro to write lyrics for his new album, as well as writing her own Brazil-inspired material.

'Jacqueline Gawler led the first set with a sultry and soulful performance, rich in the breathlessness that can only be found in (Brazilian) love songs.’  Beattopia 2015

Jacqueline is however most known for her work as a longstanding singer/composer/percussionist with multi award-winning vocal quintet Coco's Lunch, with whom she has toured throughout 12 countries to high profile festivals. In 2015 Coco's Lunch received 8 nominations in the Australian A Cappella Awards, including Best Female Solo & Best Song Composed for Gawler's composition and solo on her song Palani Princess. Coco's Lunch won Best Song Composed for their brand new single Other Plans by Lisa Young. The group's original albums have been nominated for AUSACA, CARA, ARIA, APRA and Australian World Music Awards and in 2003 Coco's Lunch won Best Folk/World Song and Runner Up Best Folk/Word Album at the USA Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards. Jacqueline's piece for Coco’s Lunch On My Skin was performed by Stephen Leek's Australian Voices and also featured on the 'GET VOCAL 2012: The Best Of Contemporary Australian A Cappella' CD - released on major US record label A Cappella Records. Her song Palani Princess was also chosen to feature on the Polyfollia 4th World Choral Showcase compilation album in FRANCE in 2010.  Jacqueline's original A Cappella and instrumental sheet music is purchased by vocal groups, ensembles and institutions worldwide.

‘Fans of all-lady acapella group Coco’s Lunch will be pleased as punch about the release of this debut solo album by Jacqueline Gawler. This very talented woman shows her love for her craft in every song, effortlessly gliding around the notes in her substantial vocal range with full and sumptuous backing band along for the ride.’ 4 star review, Cherrie Magazine, October 2010

Jacqueline is also a trained West African percussionist and in 2007 travelled to Senegal (West Africa) to study with Aladgie Malo Sonko as well as traveling to Bali in 2012 for intensive djembe study with internationally renowned educator and Grand Master Drummer, Mamady Keita. In 2014 she traveled to California to study African dance and drumming at Camp Fareta with many internationally renowned drumming and dance instructors. She performs traditional West African music in performances & workshops with the Melbourne-based company Drummergirl.

Jacqueline was a composer for the hugely successful Australian/Canadian children's television series Saddle Club. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Montsalvat Trust Encouragement Award for Original Composition for her song On My Skin, which was selected for inclusion in Australia's first ever Australian Jazz Real Book. She is also the voice of the 9 piece international collaboration Picture Box Orchestra - an Indian classical/Jazz/electro ensemble led by UK violinist/composer Alies Sluiter (Nitin Sawnhey, Natalie Imbruglia) and performs at major festivals and events with them, including the 2012 Australasian Performing Arts Market (APAM) at Adelaide Festival Centre. 

Jacqueline is a first-class Arts Honours graduate from the University of Melbourne, where she completed a double major in languages in 2000 and then Honours in Italian literature. She was awarded two Melbourne University Language Scholarships to study in both Japan and Italy, and in 2003 her Italian Honours thesis was published in the form of several articles (co-authored by Dr. Stephen Kolsky) for various Italian literary journals.



  • Australian A Cappella Award Nominations 2015: Best Female Solo (Palani Princess) & Best Song Composed (Palani Princess)
  • Guest at Hobart's Sixty Jazz Club 2nd year Anniversary Party
  • 8 award-winning CD releases with Coco's Lunch (multi award-winning vocal/percussion quintet)
  • Tours throughout 12 countries with Coco's Lunch
  • Recipient of Montsalvat Trust Encouragement Award for Original Composition (On My Skin)
  • Recording with Brazilian pop star Jorge Vercilo, released 2016
  • Shows at venues & festivals including Bennetts Lane, Paris Cat, Uptown Jazz Cafe, Melbourne Recital Centre, Eltham Jazz Festival, Triboz (Brazil), Fringe Club (Hong Kong), Melba Spiegeltent, Montsalvat Jazz Festival, Midsumma Festival, International Guitar Festival (Adelaide Festival Centre) and venues/festivals around the world with Coco's Lunch.
  • Guest Performances with Australia's top ensembles including Jacqueline Gawler Band, Coco’s Lunch, Stoneflower, Christopher Hale’s Sylvan Coda, Panorama Brasil feat. Doug De Vries, The Picture Box Orchestra (UK/Pakistan/Australia), Sam Keevers’ América Do Sul, Bossa Negra (Brazil/Singapore/Australia), Silverbeat, Avatar, Red Fish Blue (Syd/Melb), the John Montesante Quintet, Starr/Schulz project & Casey Bennetto.
  • CD Ambrosia - No. 2 in the KK Box Rock Charts and no. 7 in the Jazz Charts in Hong Kong (over 80,000 subscribers) 
  • CD Ambrosia - Top 20 in the KK Box Rock Charts in Taiwan (8 million subscribers).