Zoey Pepper

Zoey has been a true musical chameleon across various genres and musical employment, nationally and internationally. Trained in bassoon and voice, Zoey is an ANU graduate with B.MUS and M.MUS Performance degrees. A decade long freelance career in Melbourne’s big smoke as both classical bassoonist and multi-genre vocalist, combined with a yearning for sea, mountains, bush and a simpler life, ultimately culminated in finding a unique musical path on NSW’s South Coast as a classically transgressing contemporary folk-pop singer-songwriter and instrumentalist.

As an ARTS ACT grant recipient, Zoey has worked with national and international creators and composers including Canberra- based British composer Ian Blake who was commissioned to write The River Daughter, a multi layered piece for Zoey’s classical soprano voice, bassoon and CD. This piece tells the Classical Greek story of the nymph Daphne’s transformation from woman to tree and perfectly encapsulates Zoey’s chameleonic transgression between her voice and her bassoon. The unique piece was featured at the International Double Reed conference, where Zoey was guest artist and ran masterclasses in the vocal qualities of the bassoon. It is available for viewing as a live performance on Youtube and is housed permanently at the Australian Music Centre.

Since moving to Tilba on the NSW south coast in 2018, Zoey has been busy as a vocal teacher, working with children and adults from her home studio and in schools, teaching classical to jazz to pop, as well as running young vocal ensembles and putting on regular student shows. As freelance bassoonist she has continued casual work the Canberra International Music Festival and Opera Australia, as well as performing regularly in various guises at Four Winds, Navigate Arts and at many local venues. Her quirky duo Stitch was awarded Australian National Busking Champions in 2020, with her their unique patchwork of jazz and pop covers. As an emerging songwriter Zoey composed, scored and put together a show for her “Oom Pah Pah” ensemble, featuring new original songs and mysterious arrangements that wowed a sell-out audience. as part of the nationally funded Great Southern Nights touring program. The show was a perfect culmination of Zoey’s varied musical influences, from Joni Mitchell to Sting to Kate Bush, woven together with a penchant for gypsy sounds from Klezmer to the Middle East

A quirky talent of Zoey’s is her ability to embody Kate Bush, and thus a touring tribute show complete with band, costumes, dancing, headset and crazy eyes is taking shape after a wow-factor miniature trial show locally at the end of 2023. This is Zoey’s alter-ego at its best!

And then, most importantly, there’s Pepper & Davies. A chameleon’s existence can be varied, but also confusing, and in her new duo with partner Damon Davies, Zoey has settled into the Contemporary Folk realm with relish. In this setting Zoey’s songwriting has flourished and she is super excited to head down this new path creating, recording and performing, and featuring at Folk Festivals far and wide.