Founded in 2011, Ballina-based band Smooth Grooves performs hits from the Disco, Soul, Funk, Reggae and R&B genres.
Smooth Grooves packs an irresistibly strong punch of rhythm and soul that will have any crowd dancing, singing along and asking for more. With both male singer Syd Etuati and female singer Rebecca Clarke performing all the best grooves from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and today, Smooth Grooves is highly versatile and caters for all occasions.
If quality musicianship and crowd appeal is what you are after, Smooth Grooves is the perfect band for you.
The band consists of six members: Vocalists Syd Etuati and Rebecca Clarke, Drummer Johnny Shaw, Bassist Pete Ward, Keyboardist Jonathan Li and Guitarist Jason Sines.
Syd Etuati – Vocals
Syd hails from the Polynesian island of Samoa where he commenced his singing career with church choirs. He later spent time in Sydney with friends playing in a garage band, before moving to Ballina. Syd has a passion for singing smooth grooves such as reggae, soul and R&B. He is a talented singer with a big voice delivered with passion – paying homage to the great Soul and R&B songs of yester year.
Veronica Lovejoy – Vocals
Veronica has a wide-ranging vocal talent and has covered many musical styles. Her stage presence is sweet and sassy — moving effortlessly from diva-driven soul to sensual and rhythmic R&B. Veronica has performed in the Northern Rivers for many years including soloing, in duos and in bands such as Semantics. She has a degree in Contemporary Music and owns and runs the successful International School of Music In Alstonville. With 20 years of performance experience, she is sure to captivate any audience.
Jason Sines – Guitar
A native of Ballina, Jason has played in numerous bands. In the ‘90s, he was a founding member of top local band Crush and an original member of Grassroots Reggae. Jason also played guitar in bands such as Monkey & the Fish from Lismore, Buna Lawrie (ex Coloured Stones) and Rockciliation. In 2011, after a 5-year break from the local music scene, he was inspired to perform again, following a visit to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Brett “Bootsy” Donald – Drums
Brett has been drumming for 25 years, beginning with originals band Grass Castle, playing gigs up and down the coast. In the 1990s, Brett spent 6 years with Ballina-based band Red Eye Reduction. Following that, he made guest appearances with well-known local bands and artists such as the Glenn Massey Band, Occa Rock, Tokyo Joe, and Marshall O’ Kell. Brett now looks forward to playing the best songs from the disco, soul, funk, R&B and reggae eras.
Jonathan Li – Keyboards
Jon started learning the piano at the age of 4. He was a founding member of soul band Anonymous Rhinoceros in Hobart in the early ‘90s which became an established act in the Hobart pub rock scene. In 1996, Jon moved to Hong Kong and played in soft rock band Touch, jazz band Subito and soul band After Hours. He later spent time in a jazz ensemble during a one year stay in Bath, England. In 1999, Jon won best lyrics for an original composition at the Sony Records Hong Kong Gold Coast Band Competition. Following that, he was awarded Best keyboardist at the Yamaha Asian Beat Band Competition Hong Kong in 2000 and 2001.
Luke Mckelvey – Bass Guitar
Trained in violin, double bass, guitar and bass guitar, Luke has played bass guitar in rock, disco and soul bands in Sydney including Anna Free and The Unsolved Crimes at Lazy Bones in Marrickville. Locally, Luke has played with The Chincogan Band and sang with the Randwick Unity Choir (directed d by Dallas Watts) and with The Cafe Of The Gate Of Salvation. Luke is currently studying a full-time Bachelor of Music at Southern Cross University (Performance Stream).