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Elana Stone

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Biography

Elana Stone began her musical career at the young age of 14 while studying at the Newtown School of Performing Arts. As a teenager she busked in malls and played at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and book launches sponsored by her school, subsequently attending the Canberra School of Jazz where she earned a Bachelor of Music. There she met several of the musicians she would perform with in later years. She formed her own group, the Elana Stone Quartet (sometimes a quintet, depending on the lineup), and for a while fronted an 18-piece swing group called the Rhino Factory. In 2004 she won a Musicoz Award for Best Jazz Artist, and then in 2005 won a National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. That led to performing with the Cat Empire on tour and then joining Jackson Jackson's backing choir, the Jackson Jackson 5. At the same time she released her own debut album, In the Garden of Wild Things. A year later she started working on a second album with her quartet, now the Elana Stone Band, but their work was disrupted by a European tour, Stone's short-lived move from Sydney to Melbourne, a breakup between two members of the band, and a marriage between two others. The initial batch of songs was scrapped and work began on a completely new album, which was eventually released in 2009 as Your Anniversary. That year she also joined her brother, Jake Stone of the band Bluejuice, to perform as a duo called the Break-Up; neither of their bands broke up, however. ~ Jody Macgregor