by Ian Hawley
posted 17/10/2017

Freedman Jazz Fellowship Concert 2017

A landmark event in the Australian music calendar, the Freedman Jazz Fellowship Concert presents jazz luminaries performing competitively in this thrilling showcase that decides the 2017 Freedman Jazz Fellow.

Freedman Fellowships are for established artists at the top of their profession. The Fellowship assists them in the next step of their career.The 2017 finalists are trumpeter Nick Garbett, trumpeter, composer Ellen Kirkwood and  pianist, composer Emma Stephenson. Each performs a set of music to contend for the prestigious $20,000 award.

Past winners read like a Who’s Who of Australian jazz – guitarists Ben Hauptmann, saxophonists Julien Wilson, Andrew Robson and Matt Keegan, pianists Andrea Keller, Matt McMahon and Tal Cohen, trumpeter Phil Slater, bassist Christopher Hale and vocalist Kristin Berardi.

The judges, distinguished jazz musician/composers Stu Hunter, pianist, Mike Nock ONZM pianist, composer and educator and Dr Phillip Johnston, saxophonist, selected the three finalists from a group of 16 national candidates nominated by outstanding musicians around Australia.  The finalists were judged in part on their proposed career enhancing project for which the prize money would be used.
The Proposals
Nick GarbettNick Garbett plans to co-ordinate a European tour in October 2018 with Sydney based group The Vampires and West African born, now Europe-based guitarist Lionel Loueke. Nick would take this opportunity to compose new music for the tour. This tour would involve and feature all four regular members of The Vampires: Jeremy Rose, Alex Masso, Alex Boneham and Nick.
Since completing his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2005, Nick Garbett has gone on to build a diverse and exciting career as a jazz and contemporary 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 a 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. Alongside 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 and at several schools in the greater Sydney and Illawarra regions.

EllenKirkwoodcropEllen Kirkwood would like to use the Freedman Jazz Fellowship to fund a tour of her ground-breaking, one hour suite for big band, entitled ‘[A]part’, recently presented in concert at the UNSW.  This tour would involve performances at popular jazz festivals around Australia, with three of the country’s best jazz orchestras. The tour would also serve as promotion for a studio-recorded album of the suite by Sirens Big Band in mid-2018.

Ellen Kirkwood is a jazz composer, trumpeter and long-time member of Sirens Big Band. Rapidly gaining recognition for her imaginative writing style, Ellen’s works are both challenging and accessible, with strong grooves, angular melodies and non-Western influences. Ellen has received commissions from Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival, SIMA and Ars Musica Australis. Her works are performed across Australia by ensembles such as Captain Kirkwood, The Mieville Project, Sydney Women’s Jazz Collective, Fat Yahoozah and Mister Ott. She has recorded and released her own music with the ABC.

Emma Stephenson would devote most of her Freedman Fellowship to recording an album in New York comprising eight songs for piano trio and voice. The album would feature New York based vocalists including Australians Jo Lawry, Jane Irving and Liam Budge. She would also invest the award in her podcast ”Stuff You Can’t Say with Jazz Piano”, as well as piano lessons in New York and the development of an online distribution system for creative people to self-publish their own work on their own terms.
Emma Grace Stephenson is an Australian pianist and songwriter who has shared the stage with prolific musicians and bands such as Ingrid and Christine Jensen (Canada/US), Gian Slater, the Sirens Big Band, Sandy Evans, Greg Gould (Australia’s Got Talent 2013), and Brittanie Shipway (The Voice 2014). Her music combines rhythmic, harmonic, and improvisational elements from her roots as a modern jazz pianist, with folk-pop song writing influences. Emma is the latest recipient of the ‘Jann Rutherford Memorial’ award for young women in the Australian jazz scene. This award facilitated collaboration with the award winning Australian vocalist, Gian Slater, culminating in performances for the Melbourne and Sydney Women’s Jazz Festivals, and a recording at the ABC studios in late 2016.
2016EmmaStephensonSession-6 (1)
WHAT: Freedman Jazz Fellowship Concert
WHEN: Monday, October 30
WHERE: Sydney Opera House
To Find Out More & To Book Online Click Here

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