Strada9 was the brainchild of Italian businessman Peter Valentino. He scoured Melbourne to assemble a collection of musicians to fuse ska and rap into his dream band. Jon was part of the ensemble, which, at its largest, comprised 3 singers, a rapper, 3 brass players, keyboards, guitar, bass and drums. The repetoire mixed original tracks with ska covers of well-known tunes. Peter was a stream of innovative ideas, the most amusing of which was an ep of ska carols. The coming and going of musicians was at such a rate that momentum was often hard to maintain but, at its best, Strada9 was a collective of excellent musicians, playing a very funky brand of ska. The band played in Melbourne and interstate during 2012 and 2013, and was for a short time fronted by the supremely talented Riv Ngwenya, before she was whisked off to stardom via the X-Factor!

No One’s Content

Blue Christmas

Jon Mellor on Bass