The catholics are one of Australia's most distinctive contemporary groups.

Their leader, composer and bassist, Lloyd Swanton, is well known across Australia and internationally for his work with improvising legends The Necks, as well as appearances on over 100 albums, many of them ARIA Award winners, for artists including Vince Jones, Wendy Matthews and Bernie McGann.

With The catholics he has assembled some of the best musicians in Australia from a wide spectrum of musical backgrounds to produce one of the freshest-sounding new acts in a long time.

Formed in 1991, their personnel comprises: Sandy Evans - saxophones, James Greening - trombone and pocket trumpet, Gary Daley - piano accordion and melodica, Hamish Stuart - drums, Julian Curwin - guitar and banjo, and Fabian Hevia - percussion.

Throughout The catholics' beautifully crafted and instantly accessible pieces runs a strong, seductive dance strain found in the band's various African, Caribbean, Latin and Eastern influences.

This 7-piece ensemble is one of Australia's most popular jazz acts and has performed across the nation to great response. They have won a Mo Award for Best Jazz Group, and three of their eight acclaimed albums have been nominated for ARIA Awards.

The catholics have made big waves outside of their home country too, with releases of several of their albums in North America to critical acclaim. The release of their album Simple in Europe earned them a nomination for the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Award. Overseas performances have included tours of Canada and Europe, and concerts in Thailand as part of the King of Thailand's Silver Jubilee celebrations.

By taking the catchiness of pop music, and combining it with infectious dance rhythms of the world and indisputably authoritative jazz blowing, The catholics are creating a rare thing indeed- a sound with an instant appeal, physical excitement, passion, and critical credibility.

Says Swanton: "The bottom line for me is that people who come to see a catholics show can enjoy us intellectually or emotionally, or they can just get up and dance."

Lloyd Swanton

"An outstanding and imaginative Australian bassist and composer"
Billboard Magazine

Bassist, composer, producer, bandleader and radio presenter, sixty two year-old Swanton is one of the most respected and in-demand musicians in the country. Apart from leading The catholics, and co-leading improvising legends The Necks, he has performed with many of the cornerstones of Australian music: Clarion Fracture Zone, the Bernie McGann Trio, Vince Jones, the Dynamic Hepnotics, Paul Grabowsky, Tim Finn, The Benders, Stephen Cummings, Wendy Matthews, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Alister Spence Trio, Gyan and Michael Leunig, Paul Capsis, Phil Slater Quartet, The Vampires, Archie Roach, and The Mighty Reapers, to name a few.

Lloyd appears on over one hundred albums, has produced four ARIA Award winners with Bernie McGann and two with The Necks, and has played on many others. With The Necks he is also winner of three APRA Awards, two Australian Jazz Awards, and the 2019 Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music. Lloyd's other album production credits include The Vampires with Lionel Loueke, Phillip Johnston's Coolerators and Gai Bryant's Jazz/Afro-Peruvian project ALLY. He is a three-time winner of Best Bassist in the Australian Jazz and Blues Awards, and with The catholics, has won the Mo Award for Best Jazz Group. His score (with The Necks) to the highly acclaimed feature film The Boys was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award, as well as an ARIA Award for the soundtrack album. His score to the short film The Beat Manifesto was a multiple award winner. Over one hundred of his compositions appear on albums by some of Australia's most respected names.

Swanton tours extensively overseas with The Necks, and other ensembles, and has made countless visits to Europe, as well as Canada, the USA, Mexico, India, Cuba, New Zealand, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Russia, Indonesia and Thailand. He is also in great demand in Australia as a bassist for visiting international artists, including Nat Adderly, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Witherspoon, Barney Kessel, Clifford Jordan, Sting, Margie Evans, Andrew Hill, Billy Harper, Sheila Jordan, Darrell Grant, Gary Bartz, Phillip Johnston, Jim Black, Tobias Delius, Marilyn Crispell, Molly Ringwald, Sesame Street Musical Director Joe Fiedler, and (with The Necks) Ned Rothenberg, Brian Eno, Radian, Underworld, Swans, "A" Trio, Evan Parker, and conductor Ilan Volkov.

Lloyd teaches, has given masterclasses at institutions throughout Australia, and for fifteen years hosted "Mixed Marriage", a very popular weekly show on Sydney's Eastside Radio 89.7, which looked at crossings of jazz with other musical styles.

Swanton’s work “Ambon", a major suite of compositions for a twelve-piece ensemble (which was drawn from the secret prison diary of his uncle, who died a prisoner of the Japanese in World War II) premiered to great acclaim in 2015 and a double CD studio recording of the work was also released that year.

In his spare time, Lloyd is an avid follower of the game of Australian Football, and a keen collector of Australian Aboriginal art, ice crushers, modernist ceramics, and books on Fellini. He also gathers historical information on his distant relative Theodore Deck, a leading name in 19th Century French ceramics.

Sandy Evans
saxophones, composer

"... this saxophonist surely ranks as one of the best contemporary jazz composer/musicians anywhere."
Ian Patterson,

A founding member of The catholics, Sandy is dedicated to composing and performing contemporary improvised music. Her passion and commitment to this artform has continually evolved since her early career, when she led her own group Women And Children First on a revolutionary seven-month trip around Australia in a bus, performing in many remote areas of the country.

She currently leads the Sandy Evans Trio and co-leads the Robson/Evans Quartet. She is a member of Ten Part Invention, austraLYSIS, Mara! and Friends of Kim Sanders. She co-led GEST8 and the internationally-renowned Clarion Fracture Zone. She has performed with many leading jazz and improvising musicians including Andrea Keller, Alister Spence, Paul Grabowsky, Satsuki Odamura, Silke Eberhard, Ingrid Jensen, Judy Bailey, the Australian Art Orchestra, Indra Lesmana, Ben Walsh’s Orkestra of the Underground, SNAP, Han Bennink and Terri Lyne Carrington.

Sandy is in demand as a composer and has received many commissions from ensembles in which she works. She is renowned for her composition Testimony about the life and music of Charlie Parker. She recently composed new work for the Mara! Big Band. Other commissions include Sky, Let the Rain Fall for Taikoz for their 20th Anniversary concert; Bridge of Dreams for the Sirens big band, Hindustani quartet and saxophone soloist; a suite in honour of legendary Australian saxophonist the late Bernie McGann; and the CD Rockpool Mirror based on photographs by Tall Poppies’ BelindaWebster.

Sandy has a keen interest in Indian classical music and collaborates with Indian musicians Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani, Sarangan Sriranganathan and Bobby Singh. In 2014 Sandy was awarded a PhD from Macquarie University, researching Carnatic Jazz intercultural music.

In 2010, Sandy Evans was awarded an OAM for services to music. She has won many awards, including the inaugural Bell Award For Australian Jazz Musician of The Year 2003, a Young Australian Creative Fellowship, APRA Award for Jazz Composition of the Year, two Mo Awards and three ARIA Awards.

Sandy is an advocate for gender diversity in music.

Sandy has lectured in music at UNSW, Macquarie University and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

James Greening
trombone, pocket trumpet, slide trumpet, composer

James is widely recognised as being Australia’s leading jazz trombonist, an all round brass instrumentalist and one of the truly unique voices of the Australian music scene. He is acclaimed for being a member of seminal jazz ensembles, The Umbrellas, the Australian Art Orchestra, and a founding member of Ten Part Invention and Wanderlust. He also leads his own ensembles - The World According to James, and Greening from Ear to Ear. Alongside these, he has recorded and performed with many luminaries of the jazz scene, including Bernie McGann, John Pochée, Mike Nock, Chris Cody, Sandy Evans, Stu Hunter, Tina Harrod, Monica Trapaga, Katie Noonan, Jonathan Zwartz, Paul Grabowsky, Vince Jones, Dan Barnett, Judy Bailey, Renee Geyer, Geoff Bull and Joseph Tawadros.  

James is renowned for having played extensively with the late great Jackie Orszaczky in his ground breaking bands. The many international artists he has performed with include Billy Harper, Mark Helias, Terumasa Hino, the Maria Schneider Big Band, Charles Mingus Tribute Big Band, Martha Wainwright, Bennie Maupin, Josh Roseman, Brian Wilson and Lou Reed.

Prior to the Covid pandemic, James toured to Cuba with Dan Barnett’s Big Band and then Monica Trapaga’s The Guardians. In 2018 he also performed with Gai Bryant’s Palacio De La Rumba with Elio Villafranca and has recorded and performed with Samba Mundi and various latin bands over the decades.

Some recent activities have been performances with Emma Donavan and Paul Grabowsky at the Sydney Festival, playing valve trombone on Nick Garbett’s Clark Terry and Bobby Bookmeyer tribute at Kiama Jazz Festival, and touring and recording with Mara Big Band, and he is a regular on Clayton Doley’s Bayou Billabong. He performs with Jade McRae when she is in the country.  He has also performed and recorded with Chris Cody’s Astrolabe, Phillip Johnston’s Greasy Chicken Orchestra, and Gai Bryant's two Latin projects Ally and Caribe. He has launched an innovative duo with Dan Barnett entitled Blood and Bone, exploring duo combinations of trombones, voice, shells and diddly bow bass. Also with Dan Barnett he performs in Dr Dan and the Gris Gris combo New Orleans Band, playing sousaphone, and is a regular at Dan’s Big Band at the Unity Hotel. Also he has just recorded with Fanny Lumsden, Sarah Blasko, and Jason Isaacs' large ensemble Tundra, performing all original compositions by Isaacs.

James is a lecturer in the jazz department of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music.

Locally in the Blue Mountains where James now lives, he performs duos with two virtuosic performers, guitarist John Stuart and fellow catholics member, accordionist Gary Daley. Around Sydney, you may also see James on roaming gigs playing sousaphone and trombone in various outfits.

James is one of three founding members of The catholics, and in recent years has brought the pocket trumpet to the band's instrumental palette.

Fabian Hevia
percussion, composer

A member of The catholics since 1994, Chilean-born Fabian Hevia migrated to Australia in 1975 and studied at Wollongong University,  Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Adelaide University. Notably, Fabian combines considerable authority on the major Latin American percussion instruments with solid institutional study.

Fabian has toured, recorded and performed with many Australian and international artists including Don Burrows, James Morrison, Carl Orr, Don Harper, Wanderlust, Marc Ribot, Lonnie Liston Smith, Budi Assad, Steve Hunter's 9 Lives, Vince Jones, The Mighty Reapers, Barney McAll, Kevin Hunt, Jonathan Zwartz, Chris Cody, Oceans Together, The Vampires, Alex Flood, Lisa Ono, Oscar Castro Neves, Alex Acuña and Airto Moreira.

He appears on ARIA Award-winning albums by Wanderlust, Jimmy Little, and Karma County. Fabian performed in the theatrical production Birth of the Cool, which premiered at the 2003 Sydney Festival, and subsequently performed seasons of the show in Europe.

Hevia's considerable international touring includes performances at major festivals and venues in Europe, Canada and Japan. He also works extensively in television, and as a composer was nominated for an APRA Award in 1996.

Fabian is currently leading his eclectic ensemble Far Beyond, and since relocating to Adelaide is involved as Musician in the Class Room with Musica Viva. 

Julian Curwin
guitar, banjo

Julian Curwin has been performing and composing music almost all of his life, playing a wide range of instruments, and traversing nearly every style imaginable.

The leader of The Tango Saloon, The Mango Balloon, Silverbeats, The Golden Strangers, Munkle and Cannibal Spiders, Julian can also be seen playing around Sydney with the likes of Baby et Lulu, Midnight Tea Party, Darth Vegas, Queen Porter Stomp and Monsieur Camembert.

2012 saw the founding of Julian's label Romero Records, housing his many varied projects, as well as other like-minded artists.

Although Julian has ben producing and releasing albums for over 20 years, in 2020 he released his first album under his own name: Midnight Lullaby - a collection of dark lullabies featuring Stu Hunter, Lloyd Swanton and Jess Ciampa - followed by Second Sight in 2022.

Gary Daley
piano accordion, melodica

Gary Daley is a highly respected pianist, accordionist, composer and teacher from Springwood NSW, best known as a musician playing in some of the elite bands of Australian jazz. 

He leads the quartet, Bungarribee, which features his own compositions along with interpretations from the classical repertoire. Gary’s projects have received many glowing reviews and his music has been presented at major venues and festivals throughout Australia. He appears on many recordings featuring renowned Australian contemporary artists. He has toured nationally and internationally, most recently with The Mara Big Band & Eishan Ensemble. 

He is the recipient of two Australia Council grants for new work and recording. 

Another side to Gary is his appearances on the ABC TV children’s channel in the ARIA- nominated pre-school show Lah Lah’s Adventures and the Stripy Sock Club. 

In addition to performing, recording and touring, Gary is the Artistic Director for the highly regarded concert series, Live at the Village in the NSW Blue Mountains. In addition to presenting many renowned Australian and international artists for the last decade, he curated the inaugural Live at the Village music festival, presented in August 2022.


Hamish Stuart

Hamish Stuart is the #1 drummer of choice for too many top-name pop and rock acts to mention, but he also has extensive credentials in jazz and roots music. A catholics member since 1997, Hamish has a long working relationship with the legendary Jackie Orszaczky, playing in most of his many ensembles over two decades. He has also performed and recorded extensively with the Mighty Reapers and Barney McAll.

Hamish has toured Europe and Asia with numerous acts, and international artists whom he has accompanied in Australia and overseas include Billy Harper, Jon Cleary, and John Stubblefield.

In 2010, Hamish released his first album as a leader, Someone Else's Child.

Currently, Hamish is working with Jade MacRae, Don Walker and the Suave Fucks, This World, the Sandy Evans/Andrew Robson Quartet, Lucie Thorne, Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst, and Martha Marlow.

Over the years, many of Australia’s best musicians have played with the band. The full list is below.

Acoustic and Electric Bass
Lloyd Swanton

Slide Guitar
Michel Rose
Bruce Reid

Sandy Evans
Lisa Parrott
Tony Gorman
Rick Robertson
Andrew Robson
Matt Keegan
Jeremy Rose

James Greening
Adrian Mears
Anthony Kable
Jeremy Borthwick
Alex Silver


Dave Brewer
Arne Hanna
Cameron Undy
Jonathan Pease
Jim Pennell
Carl Dewhurst
Cameron Deyell
Jess Green
Nick Mielczarek
Hilary Geddes
Julian Curwin
Tim Rollinson

Tony Buck
Hamish Stuart
Toby Hall
Nick McBride
Fabian Hevia
Nic Cecire
Alex Masso
Chloe Kim

Sammila Sithole
Fabian Hevia
Sunil da Silva
Jess Ciampa
Ray Pereira
Sandro Bueno
Ron Reeves
Adem Yilmaz


Electric Bass, Percussion
Waldo Fabian    

Chris Abrahams
Clayton Doley

Andrew Wilkie

Piano Accordion
Gary Daley
Marcello Maio