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Current Line-Up

Legendary underground institution, Checkerboard Lounge, deliver a dynamic, soulful well of emotion and playful abandon in collective improvisation over classic blues, soul and originals.

Singing drummer Carl Pannuzzo, guitar master Shannon Bourne, Hammond virtuoso Tim Neal and groove bassist Amos Sheehan curate shows fitting to events and venues, no two shows being the same, but each unforgettable live experiences, from standing ovations at Wangaratta Jazz Festival to crammed inner Melbourne pubs.

Worldclass Musicianship

With a history of having played with some of Australia’s best blues exponents such as Rev. Mick O’Connor, Ian Collard, Jeff Lang, Broderick Smith, Steve Teacle, Richard Tankard, Andrew Ogburn, Garrett Costigan, Nigel MacLean, Dave Boyle (USA), this current line-up is at its responsive best, boasting world class musicianship and raw unbridled passion inspired by the moment’s music to create seemingly rehearsed pieces out of nothing but great listening and reaction skills.

Collective Improvisation Over

Classic Blues and Soul


Ever since their famed 7 year residency at the Great Britain Hotel in the early 90s, where many budding young musicians would get up to cut their blues teeth with the uncompromising fire of this band’s energy, and a season which inspired the development of some of Australia’s finest musicians and bands (Powderfinger, Dirty Three, Clare Bowditch, Jet, Spoonful/Rocket Science, Kylie Auldist to name a few), Checkerboard’s point of difference had always been playing with different musicians and throwing them into an improvisational hot-seat, a tour-de-force that demands honesty, integrity and the truth of the musician.  Many have come away from a first time playing with the band saying things like “That was the most fun I’ve ever had playing live music” (guitarist, Co Tipping)

You could run a small city off these guys

30 years later, still sees generations of musicians and audiences both national and international, enthralled by the single-minded creativity of this rhythm section-led roots band, in its strongest ever line up, how strongly the spirit of the blues can be felt, all the while through an almost childlike sense of play.

A Dynamic Soulful Well Of

Reckless Abandon

Featured Video

Don’t Worry ‘Bout a Thing

From supporting the likes of Buddy Guy to standing ovations at Wangaratta Jazz Festival, this potent mix of master musicians led by singing drummer Carl Pannuzzo, guarantees the best in blues/soul improvisation. Shannon Bourne, Tim Neal and Amos Sheehan bring virtuosic listening response to create seemingly rehearsed music from nothing.

In performance, these guys listen hard and give %111 of the truth, creating seemingly rehearsed music from nothing.

Some real happening blues

– Bob Sedergreen

You got it boy, it’s you

– Jimmy Smith

Heart and Soul

Carl Pannuzzo and Amos Sheahan

Carl Pannuzzo has been creating inspired, reckless and beautiful music just about his entire life. With the innovative and extraordinary a cappella trio, Acapelicans, he has toured the world. As a singer-songwriter he has for years been a familiar presence at folk festivals around the country. But as drummer and vocalist for Checkerboard he lets his first love, soul and blues music, run free.

With long-time sidekick Amos Sheahan on bass, and an array of Melbourne’s most dedicated guitarists, Checkerboard bring a joyous, raucous fire to the blues. Crowds love this band. Try them once and you will want them back every year.


Sunday January 13, Studio 54, The Gallery, Ocean Grove (2 -5pm)


Saturday February 9, The Jazz Lab, Brunswick, (8 – 11pm)

Sunday February 10, Edinburgh Castle, Brunswick (4-6pm)

Saturday February 16, All Seasons Hotel, Bendigo (9-11.30pm)

Saturday February 23, Eltham Jazz Festival, Stage 2 Commercial Place (1.45 -2.45pm)

Saturday February 23, The Jazz Lab, Brunswick, (8 – 11pm)

Friday March 8, with JoJo Smith,The Jazz Lab, Brunswick, (8 – 11pm)

Saturday March 9, Carl Pannuzzo with JoJo Smith, Blues Tram, Bendigo

Sunday March 24, Royal Oak, Fitzroy North

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