The Idea of North


In short, a quintet of musicians, serious about their music without taking themselves too seriously.

Their instrumentation is all voice (soprano, alto, tenor, bass, vocal percussion), but that’s not the point. The point is great music, impeccably performed with creativity, passion, emotion and energy.
The Idea of North has a beautifully distinct sound and style, but they cross many musical genres: jazz, folk, pop, comedy, gospel – although exactly what you’ll experience at a concert is difficult to describe.

With a discography of over twelve albums and a significant local and international fan base, it would seem that despite this difficulty, people are getting better at describing The Idea of North to their friends. You may have heard some of their recordings, but the best stuff actually happens live and can’t be digitised,
no matter fast your internet connection is.

Get along to a gig and experience this incredible group for yourself. You’ll be bringing friends along the next time.


  • Founded in 1993
  • Went ‘pro’ in 1998, with their first US tour and appearance at the San Jose Jazz Festival
  • Won the USA’s ‘Harmony Sweepstakes’ – the largest open a cappella competition in the world, and were the first non-US group to win in its then 19-year history
  • Have been Australia’s only fully professional contemporary a cappella group for 20 years
  • Have been nominated for 5 ‘ARIA Awards’ (Australia’s Grammy’s), and won 2 of these
  • Have toured Australia and the world consistently for the last 16 years


Nick Begbie, Tenor

The group’s sole remaining founding member, Nick has a rich history of singing in piano bars, vocal groups, jazz trios, big bands and musical theatre, and his passion for live performance has seen him weather the birth, adolescence and maturation of his musical baby, The Idea of North.

Naomi Crellin, Alto

As the group’s first non-founding member to join, Naomi came on board as alto just four months after graduating from her music degree in 2001. Her talents and skills undeniable, the role of The Idea of North’s musical director was bestowed upon her very shortly after she joined.

Luke Thompson, Bass

A long-term jazz vocal soloist, jazz choir conductor and tertiary music teacher, Luke’s gorgeous bass tone adds a warmth to TION’s sound that emanates soul through the speakers. Who needs heaters? 

Emma Rule, Soprano

Emma struggles to live up to the ‘diva’ reputation many sopranos spend their lives either avoiding or encouraging, and yet her incredible voice practically commands the reputation without the attitude. The group’s newest member, Emma has taken up the challenge of pro-a cappella and wrestled it into submission with grace and poise.

Kai Kitamura, Vocal Percussionist

A relatively recent (2015) addition to The Idea of North, this incredible artist creates all the sounds of a full-size acoustic drum set as well as a plethora of other percussive sounds and sound effects. A perfect inclusion in this jazz-based vocal ensemble, Kai completes this band with impeccable time and feel.


More detailed biographies available at