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posted 05/07/2018

2018 Freedman Jazz Fellowship Finalists


After a nation-wide search for the greatest jazz artist aged 35 and under, the distinguished judges for the 2018 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, Judy Bailey, Matt Keegan and Stuart Vandegraaff – all musicians, composers and educators themselves – have today announced the three finalists from a list of 16 nominees from across Australia.

These three finalists will compete live in concert at the Sydney Opera House on Monday 30 July for the title of the 2018 Freedman Jazz Fellow:

Nick Garbett (trumpet), nominated by NSW nominator Phil Stack

Angus Mason (drums), nominated by SA nominator Mark Ferguson

Carl Morgan (guitar), nominated by Vic nominator Barney McCall

All three have already forged strong careers as both composers and outstanding instrumentalists. The Freedman Jazz Fellowship, Australia’s most prestigious jazz award and a 16-year institution, enables them to take the next step in their careers with a $20,000 cash prize and studio recording time.

The winner will be decided in an extraordinary night showcasing some of the best jazz in the country Freedman Jazz 2018 on Monday 30 July at Sydney Opera House.

On this, the final night of the competition, each finalist will showcase their greatest artistry – composition and musicianship – with their bands or ensembles, as a final bid for the title and prize.

2015 Freedman Fellow, pianist Tal Cohen, will fly out from the USA to perform in the second half of the concert while the judges deliberate. The winner of the 2018 Fellowship will then be announced.

Media Partner ABC Jazz will cover the event and broadcast the concert in the following days.The nominees for the 2018 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, from whom the judges selected these three finalists, were Hugh Barrett (piano); Alex Boneham (double bass); Flora Carbo (alto saxophone); Angela Davis (alto saxophone); Brenton Foster (piano); Nick Garbett (trumpet); Reuben Lewis (trumpet); James Macaulay (trombone); Ricki Malet (trumpet); Angus Mason (drums); Scott McConnachie (saxophone); Harry Mitchell (piano); Carl Morgan (guitar); Mary Rapp (bass); David Rodriguez-Lovibond (guitar); Hugh Stuckey (guitar).The nominators were Adrian Lim-Klumpes, Phil Stack and Zoe Hauptmann for NSW; Kristin Berardi for Qld; Mark Simeon Ferguson for SA; Jamie Oehlers for WA; Tamara Murphy and Barney McAll for Vic; Miroslav Bukovsky for ACT and Julius Schwing for Tas.

The number of nominees made from each state is roughly proportionate to population.

About The Finalists:

Nick Garbett (trumpet)

Nick Garbett

Since completing his BMUS in Jazz Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2005, Nick Garbett has gone on to build a diverse and exciting career as a trumpet player, composer and band leader in Australia. Nick is a founding member, co-leader and composer for Sydney based groups The Vampires and The Strides along with his own groups Garfish and the Nick Garbett Quartet. He was also a long time member of Colombian roots band Watussi. Over the years performing, composing for, and co-leading these original groups he has also co-produced 10 albums and toured both nationally and internationally to countries including Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Borneo, USA, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, UK, Canada and New Zealand. Developing a career as a session artist has also been of high priority for Nick, and over the past 12 years he has worked with many high profile international and Australian artists including Don Henley, Passenger, Noel Gallahger, Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Bernard Fanning, Lionel Loueke, Angus Stone, The Beautiful Girls, Mat Mchugh, Jessica Mauboy, Tex Perkins, The Presets, Nova Lima, Karise Eden, Lisa Mitchell, Mahalia Barnes, Tijuana Cartel, Lilly Dior and the The Panics. For the past six years Nick has been the house trumpet player on The Voice -Australia. In 2009 Nick was awarded third place at the National Jazz Awards held in Wangaratta Victoria. Along side his performance and recording career Nick has also been highly committed to music education, teaching Trumpet and Jazz improvisation at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music since 2005

 Angus Mason (drums)

Angus Mason

Angus Mason is a jazz and contemporary drummer from Adelaide, South Australia. Over the last five years Angus’ practice has seen him work as both a band leader and a sideman and, in turn, he has risen to be one of the most prominent voices in the South Australian jazz scene.Angus has been the recipient of three prestigious awards in the last two years. A Helpmann Fellowship in 2018, a Carclew Fellowship in 2017 and the Mike Stewart Memorial award in 2016. With these awards he has undertaken projects in Australia, America and Europe. In 2017 Angus released his debut album, FLATLANDS, which featured prominent New York saxophonist, Will Vinson, as well as Australian jazz powerhouses James Muller and Sam Anning.Angus performs regularly with acts such as the New Cabal and James Muller’s Adelaide Quartet and is often prominently featured in new ensembles at COMA (Creative Original Music Adelaide).As well as these regular appearances, Angus has shared the stage with prominent national and international artists such as Will Vinson, Jo Lawry, James Muller, Ted Piltzecker, Matt Sheens, Mike Stewart and Sarah Mckenzie.He graduated from the university of Adelaide in 2015 with first class honours in Jazz Performance. This year he will be undertaking a masters of music degree at Manhattan School of Music, to be completed in 2019.

  1. Carl Morgan (guitar)

Carl Morgan

Carl Morgan was born in Central Tilba on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. He picked up the guitar at age nine. After finishing high school he studied at the Australian National University where he received a Bachelor of Music degree. In 2014 Carl was awarded first place at the National Jazz Awards, which featured the guitar. He was awarded an Artstart grant in 2012 and attended the 2013 Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music held in Banff, Canada. Carl was awarded the Peter and Lena Karmel anniversary Award for most outstanding graduating student from the ANU School of Music.Carl has performed with many Australian and International artists including Chris Potter, Charlie Watts, The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, James Muller, Virgil Donati, Mike Nock, Katie Noonan, Bob Mintzer, Kristin Berardi and James Morrison. Most recently he was featured on Barney McAll’s album Hearing The Blood, which received awards in three categories at the 2018 Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards.He has released an album, Stone, which features his original compositions.

About The Fellowships: 

The Jazz Fellowship is funded by the Freedman Foundation, a philanthropic foundation chaired by Laurence Freedman, which assists and supports young Australians in many areas including medical and scientific programs and the arts. In 2001, Laurence Freedman was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the community, to medical research, the arts, and to business and investment in Australia.

Past winners of the Freedman Jazz Fellowships read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Australian jazz. They include guitarists Ben Hauptmann and James Muller, saxophonists Julien Wilson, Andrew Robson and Matt Keegan, pianists Andrea Keller, Matt McMahon, Marc Hannaford, Aaron Choulai and Tal Cohen, trumpeter Phil Slater, bassist Christopher Hale, vocalist Kristin Berardi and drummer James McLean who are all leaders in Australian jazz. The Fellowships are supported by The Music Trust and administered by the Sydney Improvised Music Association.

ABC Jazz is the media partner for the Freedman Jazz Fellowships and will be covering the event and will broadcast the concert. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will receive three days studio time in the superb ABC Jazz Studios to record and produce a CD. The addition of this recording package makes the Freedman Jazz Fellowship Australia’s most lucrative Jazz award.

What: Freedman Jazz Fellowship Finalists

When: 7pm Monday 30 July

Where: The Studio @ Sydney Opera House

To Find Out More and Book Online Click Here

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