ON STAGE: Rising jazz musician Nicole Pate will perform at the Hervey Bay RSL on Friday, August 30.
ON STAGE: Rising jazz musician Nicole Pate will perform at the Hervey Bay RSL on Friday, August 30. CONTRIBUTED

From the streets to the stage for emerging Bay jazz artist

IT'S been a long road travelled from performing on the streets to the stage for jazz singer Nicole Pate.

Filled with self-doubt and the question "can I really sing?", the 38-year-old Hervey Bay resident took a leap of faith by studying a certificate three and four in music, production and sound engineering under teachers Glen Knox and Adrian Birkett at TAFE in 2011.

It was there her question was answered.

The teachers were so taken by Pate's voice that she was chosen to perform for the first time on stage at the class graduation.

She said it was the first step towards fulfilling her childhood dream of performing jazz to an appreciative crowd.

"I got an immense amount of satisfaction from performing and I was very lucky to have the teachers I had ... Glen Knox was an absolute legend," Pate said.

"That was massive for me because I had never done anything like that."

From there, Pate tried her hand at busking on the streets of Brisbane to a sometimes not-so-appreciative audience but said it only gave her more confidence.

"After that (graduating) I did a lot of street performing in the Valley in Brisbane, and they were tough nights.

"But it taught be to be prepared for criticism ... you get your street boots doing busking; it was important for me to gain confidence in public."

After moving back to Hervey Bay to raise a family, Pate did other bits "here and there" but always struggled to find a suitable musician to play with.

That was until she met well-known local musicians Jon Vea Vea and Steve Wright, who have helped pave her current path to success.

"Guitarists don't just exist everywhere, they are in really high demand.

"The most influential musicians in my life are those I have known personally and come from an extremely diverse set of musical genres.

"Jazz, blues, opera, metal, cover bands and original artists. Those guys made it real to me. Until then, it seemed very much out of my reach.

"I've got all these really cool, older experienced jazz types and musicians from all sorts of backgrounds and they are backing me, and that's a real honour for me."

Pate has gone on to perform at local events including Picnic in the Park, Cool Country Club concerts and NAIDOC Week celebrations, to name a few.

Her biggest performance to date will be at the Hervey Bay RSL tomorrow night with the Lachlan Court Trio.

"I started out with no instruments and now I have a band to play with and it's all my dreams coming true.

"It's been a long journey, it's been hard but it's been totally worth it.

"Jazz is just wonderful. There will be fun songs, some slow songs and not too many sad songs.

"It will be very entertaining."


  • Don't miss the performance by Nicole Pate on August 30 at the Hervey Bay RSL, Torquay Rd, Pialba.
  • The show starts at 7pm. Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non-members.