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Our Story

Half Nelson are a unique mix of musicians, 

from a wide variety of backgrounds.

From New Orleans to soulful 50's & 60's mainstream jazz.

Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Monk,

Duke and Kern.

The gang's all here.

Formed in September 2008

in Newcastle, Australia,

by sister and brother Sheriden and Jason Nelson,

Half Nelson is a fine collective of musicians.

Half Nelson can take you to the back alleys

of New Orleans and the smokey Jazz dives of 1920's Harlem, or all the way to 

that cocktail ball you've always wished you'd been invited to.

From gritty Billie Holiday, to the smooth stylings of Ella Fitzgerald.

Add a shot of Louis Armstrong with a dash of what's good for you

and you have the smooth energy that is Half Nelson.

Half Nelson deliver.

It's heartfelt and beautiful.

Don't ask,

just do it.


make sure

Half Nelson is there.       

Come and meet the Band

Sheriden Nelson
      Sheriden Nelson

Sheriden chose jazz, and we are lucky she did. She was a dancer and just wasn’t used to be allowed to use her voice on stage. So she danced and she danced and she danced until she stopped dancing. In her early twenties, not the 1920’s, a producer friend said to her, “hey why don’t you write some songs and we’ll record them” and that is what she did. She wrote pop songs and dance songs and pop/rock songs. She released a few albums, a few singles and her songs even got played on the TV. In her heart she always knew she was a jazz singer and longed for the day that her wish would come true. In about 2008 Sheriden and her brother Jason discussed starting a jazz band together and eventually this actually happened. The rest as they say is history… or actually, the rest is Half Nelson.

JN colour.png

Jason began playing at 8. Brass and Concert bands. Undefeated solo champion from 10-17. Performed with Vegemite Reggae-Leading Newcastle Band. Sitting Ducks/Madding Crowd-Indi Band. A 20yr love affair with Free Improvised music in Sydney, Melbourne and Country Victoria. MA in Improvised Interdisciplinary Performance Art Music.

16 yrs in Victoria: Many bands. Port Fairy Folk Festival. Queenscliff Festival. Monsalvat Jazz festival. Moey, Merimbula, Ballarat, Forbes, Bathurst, Geelong, Newcastle Jazz Festivals and Conventions.

Been back in Newcastle almost 10 yrs. In that time:

Half Nelson-Jazz. The White band-Latin. Rubix Cuba-Ska. Glenny Rae's Playboys-Western Swing. Afro Moses-Afro Reggae. The Tooksie Collective-Sexy Jazz Funk. Zoe K-Soul/Funk. 

The Dungeon Big Band-Swing. Bakoomba-Afro Fusion. Swing Company-Swing band. Freebird-Blues. Nine Lives-Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Cornstalk-Roots and Blues. Big Band Therapy-Big Band Swing. Andy Firth's Nova Swing-Traditional Jazz. Andy Firth's Big Band-Big Band Jazz. 

         Jason Nelson



For an unforgettable jazz experience, look no further than Mr Fabulous, the undisputed best jazz trumpet player in the industry. With his unique style, he brings life to every musical note and takes you on a journey of soulful soundscapes. Witness the magic of Mr Fabulous in a live performance and be captivated by the best in class.


Carter Smyth is a pianist and (occasional) vocalist based in Newcastle. A graduate of the Newcastle University Conservatorium of Music (2011), Carter works as a performer and session musician in the Newcastle/Hunter area with a diverse background in classical, jazz and contemporary styles and genres.

Besides his work as a pianist with Half Nelson, Carter can also often be heard playing with some of the areas local folk, country, pop and alternative artists.

    Carter Smyth



Experience the best of the best with this Jazz Bass master. This double bass empressario brings a level of talent and expertise that is second to none. With a lifetime of experience and an unwavering passion for jazz, you can trust that your listening experience will be nothing short of exceptional.

Double Bass

We have performed at many public, private and corporate functions, including:


Newcastle Jazz Festival. Goldfish Bar and Restaurant. Nelson Bay Wine and Food Festival. 

The View Factory. The Caves Beachside Resort. The Newcastle Club. 

Hawks Nest Golf Club. The Wickham Park Hotel. The Wonderdome.

The Gallipoli Club, Hamilton.Nelson Bay Bowling Club. The Grand Hotel. 

Newcastle Jazz Club. Harrigan's at Harrington. Foghorn Brewhouse.

The Great Northern Hotel. The Olive Tree Markets. Monte Pio, Maitland. 

The Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. Wests Leagues Club. Woolongong Jazz Festival. 

Talulahs Restaurant. Friday Chill-Pacific Park. Hunter Street Mall.

The Lovett Gallery. Watt Space Art gallery. King Edward Park-Wake Up.

Art Sounds. Livesites. Bar Beach Bowling Club. The Lass O’Gowrie.

Longworth House. The Great Northern Hotel. The Cricketers Arms.

NIMA. Countless Weddings. Funeral Parlours. 

Earp Distillery. Shoal Bay Country Club.

Bartholomew's. Tilligery RSL. Maitland Art Gallery.

Wollombin Sculpture

Festival. Fundraisers. Parties.



Half Nelson bridge the gap between the eras,

age groups and musical tastes.

Come and check us out.

Tim Evans, drummer and percussionist brings the heartbeat. After several musical tours of the world Tim has decided to base himself in Newcastle and has built a reputation as one of Australia's most versatile and expressive drummers. He began playing music at the age of 3 and in his career spanning almost 3 decades he has developed a unique style of playing. Tim has a passion for exploring and fusing genres and sees his playing as an expression and exploration of himself and the relationships with the musicians and audience he is engaged with.
Current musical projects include: Half Nelson, Crazy Old Maurice, Baltic BarMitzvah, Georgie Jones and the Jones', Grandmaster Monk, Gambirra Mob. Tim has played with music industry legends including: The Underscore Orkestra (USA), Mark Whitfield (USA), C.W. Stoneking, Emma Cunningham, Rex Goh, Dwight Cunningham, Zoe K, Declan Kelly, Muskateer and Duncan Woods.

     Tim Evans
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