Blind clarinet player Evette Clague

Evette doesn't need sight to bring the jazz groove

WOODFORD Island and Yaegl woman Evette Clague is unsure whether she would wish sight upon herself.

But she does say life would not be the same without music.

As a school student she heard the clarinet on Classic FM and was hooked.

"Being blind doesn't worry me," she said.

"I listen to the notes or just read the sheet music, which is Braille."

Every Thursday Evette finds herself in her element, performing with the Grafton Jazz Club.

"I love old time jazz," she said.

"James Morrison is among my favourite performers."

Grafton Jazz Club members all say she is handy with the clarinet.

Evette's father Colin Clague said a turning point came while she was performing at a local concert one day.

"Sydney Symphony Orchestra clarinet principal Donald Westlake heard her play," Colin said.

"He was so taken aback by her playing he offered to tutor her for free.

"From there her skills lifted off."

Evette has since taken her music to England, where she passed on a message from former Clarence Valley Council mayor Ian Tiley to an English local politician.

"It was in the middle of winter," Evette said.

"I was waiting in the car with gloves on and the heater up, waiting for my turn to play."

Evette said she spent half her day listening to music.

"I like jazz, it gets you grooving," Evette said.

"Life would be pretty boring without it."



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