RAPT is Rosie McDonald, Ann Palumbo and Paul Laszlo , a Trio of experienced musicians who found that when they accidentally played together, something special happened…. they knew it and their audience knew it, and audiences continue to comment on the sum of the parts - RAPT
They all have played many of the festivals, major venues, including The Basement, Sydney Opera House, Entertainment Centres and concert halls around Australia and overseas, in other line-ups. They have each worked with music icons as diverse as Larry and Andra Muhoberac, James Morrison, Andy White, Pavarotti, Yvonne Kenny, and Slava Grigorian among others. They come from folk, jazz and classical backgrounds and infuse these influences into their sound of high energy and melodic music.
Some of the highlights of their short life together have been concerts at Carriageworks, Zenith Theatre, Illawarra Folk festival, the National Folk festival and the 2010Human Rights Awards.
Rosie McDonald has oft been described by her colleagues and audiences alike as having one the best voices on the folk circuit – indeed a voice of silk. She is extremely sought after as a vocalist and rhythm guitar player adding colour and harmony to any musical endeavour she becomes involved in. She has a keen interest in the performance of Irish music and has recently lent that fine voice to the exploration of jazz/blues – all genres incorporated into the music of RAPT.
Rosie has played at numerous folk festivals, corporate, council and community events including The National Folk Festival - Canberra, Wintermoon festival - Mackay, Beechworth Celtic festival - Vic, Illawarra folk festival, Blue Mountains Folk and Blues festivals and Dorrigo Bluegrass and folk festival and has also performed in a concert on St Patrick’s day to an audience of 10,000 people in Hyde Park, Sydney.
She was a featured musician at the 2008 Folk Alliance Australia conference and the winner of the 2007 Musicoz award for best World/folk composition with the band Mothers of Intention, of which she is a founding member. A proud moment was playing as support to Andy Irvine (Planxty, Mozaik)
As well as guitar, Rosie plays bouzouki and various percussion instruments including bodhran and darabuka and, as noted earlier, is also an award - winning songwriter.
She is pro-active in making music more accessible, being one of the founding members of Fairlight Folk Acoustic Lounge.
Ann Palumbo is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who has always been interested in different musical genres. Being of Anglo-Celtic background and the daughter of a seafarer who sang songs from all over the world, sparked a life time fascination.
Starting out on classical guitar, then double bass, as well as having such diverse personal influences, has allowed her great freedom in her musical life.
With the addition of mandolin and voice she explores everything from folk to classical to contemporary/indie to jazz and tango.
Ann is a prolific songwriter and composer and has most recently had one of her pieces included in an independant tango documentary as well as having instrumentalists play her pieces in performance. She has recorded a number of original cds – of her own as well as others - and has been a judge of the Aust. Songwriters’ Association Awards for the last 6 years.
Here are a few examples of Ann's material:
Open Up Your Eyes,
D'age a Vous,
Her primary focus at this time is RAPT. She plays regularly with a number of orchestras and freelances with other bands and ensembles, as well as jazz and original gigs with family members.
A great joy is teaching, and facilitating the opportunity for others to realise their potential.
Paul Laszlo’s double bass virtuosity adds another dimension to the band. His penchant for playing violin solos on double bass is very much a drawcard, particularly when violin and double bass combine to explore the exciting repertoire of Eastern Europe – Paul’s Hungarian background lends itself to this wealth of material.
He has played with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, freelances and was longstanding principal bass of Willoughby Symphony and Australian Festival Orchestras.
His stint as banjo soloist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra has given momentum to banjo as an integral part of the group.
He frequently plays with Ann in various projects on both banjo and bass. He is currently freelancing with MSO and Macquarie orchestras as required and his passion for teaching has produced many fine players who now work with professional orchestras and bands around the country.
He was on staff at Newcastle Conservatorium for 14 years until 2010, and is now teaching at Orange Conservatorium.