Band Members

  • Mark Simeon Ferguson

    Mark was born into a musical family and raised in country SA. He began piano lessons with his mother at age five and at nine he had informal composition lessons. He developed an interest in Jazz at High School and went on to complete a Master of Music in Jazz Performance at the University of Adelaide (where he now holds the position of Lecturer in Jazz Piano). He was also a semi-finalist in the National Jazz Awards in 1999. 

    Mark has performed with artists across many different musical styles including Rufus Wainwright, Mark Murphy, Ray Vega, Lior and Beccy Cole. He has toured as Musical Director for Johanna Allen, Camille O’Sullivan (including her 2015 Helpmann Award winning show Changeling) the musical Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life and the Musica Viva in Schools group Marmalade Jam. He was MD for the Closing Gala of the 2017 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and has been part of the MD team at the Cabaret Festival Backstage Club since 2014.

    In 2007 Mark completed his first commission for the ASO; rearranging Handel’s Messiah as Gospel Messiah. In 2015 he composed The Bush Concert for the ASO which was followed by Herman and Rosie in 2017. In 2013 he wrote the song cycle The Moral of the Story for the SA Public Primary Schools Music Festival and he has just completed their major commission for 2018. Mark composed the Nexus World Music Series Commission Whit Dae Ye Cry Thon Yin in 2013. He also composes regularly for the JazzSA Youth Superbands and the Adelaide University Latin Ensemble.

    Mark’s ensemble Marmalade Circus performed at Jazz in the Domain at the Sydney Festival in 2002 and Carols by Candlelight in Elder Park in 2012. He has recorded five albums with his Marmalade ensembles.


  • Jonathan Hunt

     Jonathan Hunt is one of the most versatile reed players in South Australia, graduating with Honours from the University of Adelaide in 2003 gaining an award for his achievement as the Best Post Graduate that year. He has performed in a Traditional Jazz context with Bob Barnard, The Phoenix Jazz Band, and his own Atlantic Street Band. Jon has toured Australia and New Zealand as a member of The Transatlantics and the Adelaide Sax Pack, and as part of the  Shaolin Afronauts he has performed at Womadelaide and been nominated for an ARIA award. He travelled to the US to study with Don Byron, Ken Peplowski and Martin Ehrlich in 2007. He joined Marmalade Circus in 2005 and is currently studying for his Masters degree.

  • Thomas Pulford

     Tom Pulford is a gifted multi-instrumentalist most notably known for his work with The Adelaide Sax Pack (recently accompanying Katie Noonan) and The Mike Stewart Big Band. Completing his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at the Elder Conservatorium in 1998, Tom's achievements include winning the Barossa Valley Winemakers' Jazz Scholarship in 2003, enabling him to travel to New York in the following year and study with saxophonists Vincent Herring and Rich Perry. Tom has performed with jazz artists Vincent Herring (USA), Bob Mintzer (USA), Don Burrows, Jon Gordon (USA), Ray Vega (USA), Rhonda Burchmore, David Campbell, the Bob Johnson Big Band, the Boss Quartet, Bottleneck, the Adelaide Art Orchestra, the Martini Orchestra and his leads his own projects Van Gelder and Isotope. Since graduating Tom has also been involved in music education, teaching saxophone and clarinet and leading stage bands at several high schools and colleges throughout Adelaide. He joined Marmalade Circus in 2005 and is also known for his unique style of dancing.

  • Warren Heading

    Warren Heading is a powerful lead trumpet player with twelve years experience in Latin bands, and 30+ years of experience as a classical, music theatre and pop musician. He has performed with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera, played in countless shows such as Fame, The Boy From Oz and The Main Event, backed countless artists including Cleo Laine, Lou Rawles, Chuck Findley, Phil Wilson, Ben Folds, Tito Puente Jr. and Tom Burlinson and supported artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Courtney Pine and UB40. He joined Marmalade Circus in 2000.

  • Shireen Khemlani

    Shireen Khemlani is one of Adelaide’s most in-demand bass players, known particularly for her mastery of Latin styles. While completing her Honours degree from the University of Adelaide she toured with ‘LA Maid’, an award winning all-female hard rock band touring from 1991-1994, supporting artists such as Metallica, Dynissty and The Zep Boys. Since then she has worked with artists such as Todd McKenney, Doug Parkinson, Paulini, James Morrison, Tito Puente Jr, Don Burrows and Kevin Hunt and toured nationally with Eric Johnson, and Will Ray and Jerry Donahue from The Hellecasters. She joined Salcedo (formerly TNTLatinoz) in 2003 with whom she has performed across Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.

    In 1998 she joined Marmalade Trio then became a member of Marmalade Circus in 2001and has been a key player in every major project Mark Simeon Ferguson has been involved in—see his bio above.


  • Jarrad Payne

    Drummer Jarrad Payne joined the Marmalade Circus in mid-2011. One of the most creative musicians on the Adelaide scene, drummer, producer, songwriter and all-round good human Jarrad has a wealth of experience in jazz, pop, and indie rock with artists such as Ronnie Taheny, The Raucoustra, Emily Smart, 1.1 Immermann, voiceROM and Läther (the Frank Zappa tribute band). Expect the Circus to get a tad quirkier with Jarrad around!