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Charli Holoubek is a guitarist, composer and music educator from Adelaide, South Australia.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Holoubek started touring with a band in the early 1970s and went to play on the lucrative Western Australian music scene.

Back in Adelaide he joined country-rock band Redeye in the mid 70s who attained legendary status at the beach-side Seacliff Hotel The band released an extended (3 track) single entitled Main Street (with Lady and Love Diminished on the other side). (Both Main Street and Love Diminished can be seen on YouTube).

At the beginning of 1980 he formed 'Rhythm Willie', a jazz/rhythm and blues group with the idea of playing Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, Count Basie and various other artists of the era with a three pronged approach. Each soloist would play in a different style. The trombonist, Johann Rhythmbottom, would play in a traditional jazz style, Ralph Franke, the saxophonist would play in a more modern jazz idiom and Holoubek would play with a more rock focused sound.

After the band had run its natural course, he was involved with one of Adelaide's hardest partying bands, Harry and the Heartthrobs. This developed into more 'serious' venture called the 'Hot Frogs'. The 'Frogs' were a mix of off-the-wall humour, mayhem and musical sophistication all the while pushing musical boundaries. Best described as 'somewhere between chaos and exhilaration'.

Holoubek studied composition at The University of Adelaide in the late eighties which eventually led to a teaching degree. After receiving his degree he became musical director of Blackfriars Priory School where he conducted, rehearsed and taught music for 25 years. In 2016 he received the Association of Heads of Music in Non-Government Schools award for Long and Noteworthy Service for his significant contribution to music education.

Although Holoubek has been playing with various bands, his main band has been an 8 piece New Orleans rhythm and blues outfit called Gumbo Ya! Ya!. He put the band together in 1987 because of his great love of New Orleans music. The group performs a range of music from early rhythm and blues to contemporary New Orleans styles. The band still works regularly on the South Australian music scene. They released their first single on popular TV show Hey, Hey, Its Saturday in 1990 called Shake That Blues Thang. (The clip is also available on YouTube). The group has released 2 CDs, Still Kickin', Still Cookin' and Overnight.

Charli has also composed music for radio, musicals, contemporary art music and film (winning the SASA Best Film Composition in 2010 for the film 'The Next El Masri). He was commissioned to write the Big Band set piece for the Australian Band and Orchestra Director's Association (ABODA) in 2018. He has also written for Concert Bands, String Quartets and various ensembles.

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