Culture and heritage

Meet Melbourne’s youngest buskers

1 February 2023

Meet Daniel and Jade – some of Melbourne’s youngest buskers. At just 11 and 15 years old, this musical sibling duo is taking the city streets by storm.

Performing covers of popular chart-toppers on their saxophone and violin, as well as their own original and improvised arrangements, Daniel and Jade amaze audiences with their skill and passion.

Melbourne is a creative city and has a long history of busking. We’re internationally recognised as a city that supports music and the arts, with busking and street entertainment adding to the vibrancy and unique identity of our city.

Eleven-year-old Daniel started playing saxophone about three years ago, picking up the instrument after seeing a movie with his dad.

“We watched a movie and there was a saxophonist who drew everyone’s attention in the scene, and I thought that was so cool. We started to investigate it more and it became my second instrument,” Daniel said.

Like her brother, the violin is 15-year-old Jade’s second instrument.

“I was learning the piano and wanted to learn a second instrument,” Jade said.

“I picked the violin, which is arguably the most difficult instrument to learn. It needs a combination of many challenging techniques. It is one of the most beautiful instruments to me.”

Jade was the first in the family to start busking, originally wowing audiences on the piano at Eastland in 2020.

“My parents thought that was a great opportunity to build up my confidence. I received a lot of encouragement and it really helped me,” Jade said.

Over the following years in and out of lockdowns, Jade and Daniel honed their skills, until one day they were inspired to begin busking in the central city alongside some of the country’s most talented performers.

“We saw many people busking in the city and thought that would be great for us. And this time my brother could play along with me,” Jade said.

Jeff, Daniel and Jade’s father and biggest fan, said applying for permits for his children was a simple process.

“The application process for a permit was easy and help was always available from City of Melbourne,” Jeff said.

“City of Melbourne promotes and support musicians and buskers so much. Parents can ring up City of Melbourne if there are any queries.”

For Daniel and Jade, busking allows them to get creative with their musical skills and expression, trying out some improvisation or introducing their own melodies to popular songs.

“I really like performing Perfect [Ed Sheeran] because we both have really nice parts we made up ourselves, especially the harmonies. It sounds so soothing and beautiful,” Jade said.

“I like Lemon tree the most because there are more interactions and acting elements in our playing, and I find it really fun – come and see us one day,” Daniel said.

For dad Jeff, watching his kids perform in the city is an absolute joy.

“Watching Daniel and Jade play their music is just like watching them grow,” he said.

“I enjoy every bit of their performance. They keep surprising me each time they go out and play.”

Catch Daniel and Jade performing in the city during school or public holidays and keep up-to-date with them by following @dj_music.mode on Instagram or on their YouTube pages @danielcheung7048 and @jadecheung6117.

Easier busking permits for performers

Are you a performer interested in busking in Melbourne? You can now apply for busking permits through our new digital permits platform. All busking permits are free until 30 June 2023.

To find our busking handbook, induction video and answers to common questions, visit Busking.

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