• Wilma Reading spent 40 years performing with some of the world's biggest stars. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
This weekend's Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival will star one of the nation's great music exports.
NITV Staff Writer

1 Nov 2019 - 2:49 PM  UPDATED 1 Nov 2019 - 2:52 PM

Singer, Wilma Reading, spent decades performing with some of the world's biggest names and places in musical entertainment. 

She shared the stage with legendary bandleader Duke Ellington, held a residency at New York's Copacabana Club and appeared as a guest on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Ms Reading, is one of Australia's great music exports, but remains largely unknown on home soil.

She grew up in a musical family in Cairns with Torres Strait Islander heritage on her mother’s side and an English and Irish background on her father’s side.

A music career dropped at her feet when Reading was a teenager and soon she was travelling the world.

“The 1970’s was probably the best time of my life, musically speaking”, she says. 

“The swing away from pop and rock to disco and soul music was a challenge.

“The inspiration was enormous suddenly - the real adult world of lyrics, the style of singing where the male voice was competing with the female vocal range, together with the excitement of ‘Shaft’ and soul music, Aretha and the girl groups… So many stars came out of that era.”

Wilma Reading will be performing songs from her new record Now You See Me and her back catalogue at the