Dorothy-Jane is an Australian singer, songwriter and harmonica player. She wrote her first song at age 7 and has continued to write since then.
At school she got into trouble for singing too loudly and too deeply in choir performances, so for a long time she didn’t sing in public.
Although she studied classical and contemporary piano for 11 years she only plays piano at home, using it and guitar, as tools for writing her songs.
She fell helplessly and hopelessly in love with the harmonica 20 years ago. This was the impetus for her to begin performing in public.
From 1995 to 2006 she played with local blues and roots bands for many years, including the Van Veen Band and vocal trio, The Blues Cowgirls and DJ & the KarismaKatz.
Just as her musical career was gaining momentum, Dorothy-Jane was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Whilst recovering from heavy-duty treatment, and still using the band name KarismaKatz, DJ became a full-time musician and settled into a solid musical partnership with guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, Chris Carlsen. KarismaKatz released 2 independent albums “Spirit on the Rise” in 2008 and “JAZZ” in 2010. “Burn Baby Burn”, one of the 14 original songs on “Spirit on the Rise” was awarded ‘Best Blues Song’ by the Canberra Blues Society.
Chris Carlsen also played in 2009 solo release, “Hot Flush Blues”. This album was recognised with the following Canberra Blues Society awards: ‘Best Blues Album’; ‘Female Blues Vocalist’ and ‘Best Blues song’, Baby Rose (co-written with DJ’s sister, Lynnie Gosper).
In 2011 and fronting a new lineup, Dorothy-Jane and her band released a new album, The Driver’s Seat, and an EP “Stick Around” and toured Australia (and a short stint in Fiji) for 18 months, during which time Dorothy-Jane became a Vocal Finalist in the 2012 Australian Blues Music 'Chain' Awards and Winner 2012 Best Jazz/Blues Artist in the inaugural Music ACT Music Awards "MAMA's".
The Dorothy-Jane Band released their latest album, “Woman on the Run”, in August 2013.
Dorothy-Jane and Ali Penney have a duo "Divine Devilles". Dorothy-Jane also performs “Gals Got The Blues” Show with Ali Penney and Fiona Boyes and “Soul Sisters Sing” with Pearl Noire. Occasionally she performs her stage show “Hits Without Tits” for breast cancer support groups.
Dorothy-Jane currently works with Australian Blues guitarist, Richard Steele. A new bare bones blues album 'Shut Down' is due for release in August 2016.
Acknowledgements and good stuff
2005: The independent release of The Blues Cowgirls CD ‘Ask Any Woman’ was awarded Best CD of the Year by Canberra Roots Music.
2007: Canberra Blues Society Blues Awards: Best Vocalist, Best Instrumentalist and Best Song (Burn Baby Burn, co-written with Christo Carlsen).
2009: With a record number of entrants in 2009, DJ again scooped the Canberra Blues Society Blues Awards this time winning Female Blues Vocalist, Blues Song “Baby Rose” (co-written with Lynnie Gosper) and Best Blues Album “Hot Flush Blues”.
2011: Dorothy-Jane included in an ABC Radio National Program
The program offers an overview of the harmonica in Australia from its patriotic heyday in the 30s, through its blues and country incarnations to its emerging role in orchestral and world music.
2012: Winner 2012 Best Jazz/Blues Artist in the inaugural Music ACT Music Awards "MAMA's". Top 3 Vocal Finalist in the 2012 Australian Blues Music 'Chain' Awards.
2015: Dorothy-Jane's original song "Sadder Than Sad" included in the double compilation album "Blues Harp Women", curated by Norman Davis, a blues radio presenter from Idaho and released by Ruf Records. Celebrating female harmonica players, this is the first album of it's kind, with 31 tracks from players across the world.