Adelaide Music Wiki

Marmalade Circus began as a Jazz ensemble in 1997, then known as the Mark Ferguson Quintet.


The group first performed at the 1998 Adelaide festival. Marmalade Circus have since expanded to their current 6-piece line-up playing music that is often far-removed from typical jazz. They have played across Australia, with a few particularly well attended gigs (including the Sydney Festival Jazz in the Domain Concert to 80,000 people).

Mark formed his Mark Ferguson Quintet in 1997 with trombonist Nick Mulder, the late alto saxophonist Scott Griffiths, bassist Tim Bowen and drummer John McDermott. They performed as emerging artists in the 1998 Adelaide Festival with the late tenor saxophonist Mike Stewart replacing Griffiths. Later that year the group was renamed Marmalade Circus and performed at the Glenelg Jazz Festival with Dusty Cox joining on lead alto. The group performed at the Thredbo and Manly Jazz Festivals in 2001 and the 2002 Sydney Festival's Jazz in the Domain concert.

Over the years the group has varied in size from a sextet to tentet. Leading Adelaide jazz players have been regular members of the ensemble including reed players Adam Page, Chris Soole, Tom Pulford, Mike Stewart, Dusty Cox and Jon Hunt, trumpet players Warren Heading, Pat Thiele and Chris Weber, trombonists Nick Mulder, Gareth Davis, Alex Taylor and Tom Voss, bassists Shireen Khemlani, Tim Bowen and Ross McHenry, drummers John McDermott, Ben Todd, Gilli Atkinson and Jarrad Payne, and percussionist Steve Todd.

In 2014 Ferguson expanded the ensemble into the 20-piece latin jazz orchestra Orquesta Mermelada featuring Fabian Hevia on percussion and Christian Cifuentes on vocals and percussion.

Marmalade Circus went on hiatus from 2013-2018, but returned for the Umbrella Winterfest in July 2019.

They also perform as a smaller line-up under the name of Marmalade Trio.



  • Mark Ferguson's Marmalade Trio - (1999)
  • Tropical Fruit Chunks - (2001)
  • True Colours - (2004)
  • ... and then there were ten - (2005)
  • YUP and other words of affirmation - (2009)