Australia mourns its ‘first lady of jazz’

Australia mourns its ‘first lady of jazz’


norman lebrecht

August 11, 2017

The jazz and cabaret singer Janet Seidel died on Tuesday. She received the diagnosis nine months ago, on returning from tour. She continued touring until her last weeks.

Janet was hugely popular in Japan. In London, she sold out Ronnie Scott’s three nights running.

The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (2006) called her ‘Australia’s first lady of jazz singing’. She released 18 records.


  • William Palmer says:

    She received a diagnosis of death nine months ago – really?

  • Sam Cheung says:

    RIP. You were our answer to Diana Krall.

  • Andrew says:

    Was in the KING AND I with her at school.Vale Janet.

  • says:

    Eddy van Rayvac, Jazz presenter Coast-fm Adelaide, every other Sunda evenings 21.00-24.00, Programme; “” A Touch Of Jazz””, for nearly 30 years. I interviewed Janet a number of years ago, most enjoyable evening! Very sorry to learn of her passing, as she had a lot more to offer to the world ! Will be playing some of het work this Sunday,
    13th August between the above hours. Will be sadly mist by many jazz lovers. Eddy.

  • Sharryn says:

    Her voice was mesmerising….. have many of her cd’s but nothing like the privvellage of seein and hearing Janet live. Shocked and saddened by her passing …A very talented country girl…

  • Sharryn says:

    Indebted to Phil and Wendy for an invitation to see this trio live many years ago… followed her around the state listening to her dulcet tones and will always remain grateful for the experience of her … CD’s can never replace the warmth of this lady ….but CD’s remain available, thank god….To young , to soon, far to talented to be leaving …She will be missed immensely…

  • myra says:

    VALE Janet – We loved to see and hear you when you came home to the Fleurieu.
    Thankfully you have left us many glorious memories and wonderful music to enjoy and
    brighten our lives.
    Rest in Peace

  • Marcia Hewitt says:

    On behalf of SA jazz band legend and entertainer Alan Hewitt we honour the memory of Janet Seidel.

  • Graham milde says:

    sincere condolences to all the family I have fond memories of Janet performing at the Ansett gateway building in the early eighties with brother David and Billy cox
    fantastic later I attended a performance at the festival centre hear in Adelaide if at all possible I would very much like to attend Janets funeral please let me know if this is possible thankyou
    yours Graham milde
    mobile no 0418818928

  • George & Pam Pitt says:

    Pam (Publicity) and George (President), on behalf of Down South Jazz Club Merimbula, mourn the passing of a lovely lady of jazz. She performed at the above jazz club on occasions, the last time being only in March this year, and will be sadly be missed by all members. Our sincere condolences to David and Chuck.

  • Adrienne Stafford says:

    Remember the launch of her CD “the Way you wear your hat” at the Gateway on North Terrace some years back – a talented treasure who will leave a big gap – VALE Janet

  • Sylvia Breadmore says:

    Although living in England, we have managed to see Janet four times and loved her singing. We are really sad to hear this news.

  • Sonia Bennett says:

    I was so happy to see Janet perfforming at the Penrith RSL The last time I saw her was back in the 70’s in Adelaide. We both performed at a couple of concerts for Women’s International Day. She played piano and sang beautifully. We were also taped for a radio program by the ABC. I saw her recently at the RSL and was looking forward to seeing her in September. I bought a beautiful cd off her and will treasure it. Gorgeous songs beautifully sung. She even asked me to sing a couple of songs in September. I am very sad to hear of her passing. Sonia Bennett.

  • Christina says:

    How very sad she really was a wonderful jazz singer . We always went and saw her when she was performing in Canberra and when we moved up to Queensland. She will be very sadly missed.

  • Lynette Dugmore nee (Weinert) says:

    So sad to hear of Janets passing. She was a school friend who went on to become a beautiful singer.
    R.I.P lovely lady of jazz. Your music will live on.

  • Eugene Morrow says:

    I knew Janet Seidel 10 to 15 years ago. I own around 6 of her CDs and very much enjoy them. I met Janet as a friend of other jazz musicians in Sydney. I really liked her very relaxed and friendly personality. I asked her to sing Masquenada one day, and she was able to give a great performance accompanying herself on the piano even though she has not sung the song for over a year. She was always warm and friendly, and was especially considerate to other Jazz musicians, who she treated like family. I am shocked to hear of her death at such a young age (62). I was hoping one day to meet her again and thank her for the pleasure she had given with all her recordings and performances. I miss her and send my condolences to her partner Chuck Morgan and all the jazz musicians who played music with her and enjoyed her company. We have lost a star of Australian jazz.

  • Anne Fleischer says:

    Sincere condolences. We loved listening to Janet and the trio and watching them perform. We treasure all of her cd’s

  • John Webb says:

    I first heard Janet on Humphrey Lyttetlon’s “Best of Jazz” programme nearly 20 years ago – “Lazy River” I think, or maybe “Poor Butterfly” – and she’s been my favourite Australian ever since. Lovely, swinging lady, always a pleasure to listen to. RIP.

  • Judy Hartman says:

    I first heard Janet some years ago, and have managed to acquire all of her CDs. She even was kind enough to send me two that I couldn’t get here in the US. I appreciated that so very much. She was a wonderful singer and I will always remember her fondly and play her music over and over again! My condolences to her family and friends.

  • David King says:

    Janet was a personal heroine of mine because she had a talent that was even greater than her delightful sense of humour, gift for friendship and humility, something she shared with her brother David, and also with the wonderful Chuck Morgan. I have most of her CD’s to enjoy, and very fond memories of her live performances in little places like Bundanon on the Shoalhaven River, and at
    Camden. We were blessed to have had her for as long as we did, but she left us far too soon.

  • David Seidel says:

    Not sure if this the right place to update this but just over a year later JANET’s partner and amazing guitarist Chuck MORGAN has also passed away after 4 months in hospital following a stroke and heart attack. He died on August 23 2018.