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by reception
posted 06/08/2018

Freedman Jazz Fellowship Winner Announced

photo – Frank Crews

In yet another highly competitive final at the Studio in the Sydney Opera House, trumpeter Nick Garbett emerged as the winner of the Freedman Jazz Fellowship for 2018. Nick plans to use his $20,000 award to compose new music for an album he will will record, produce and release under his own name.  The project will also involve Shannon  Barnett, Mike Majkowski  and Tony Buck and will be recorded in Berlin at Studio P4, also known as the  “Funkhaus  Studios”.

Nick joined the other finalists, guitarist Carl Morgan and drummer Angus Mason in what was a superb night of young Australian jazz talent, making the judges’ decision an extremely tough one.

During their deliberation former Freedman winner Tal Cohen, who had flown in especially from Miami, played a most entertaining set of solo piano which even included an audience sing-a-long on a lullaby that he had recently composed.

With a full house at the Studio, ABC Jazz streamed the entire night on Facebook with a remarkable 10,000 people tuning in – an indication of  the high regard that Australian jazz fans have for this enduring and much loved event.


About 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.

Statement from judges – Judy Bailey, Matt Keegan and Stuart Vandegraaff:

The recordings and submissions from the 16 candidates are a testament to the quality and diversity of jazz in Australia. As to the choice of the winner among the three finalists, it was like choosing between meat, cheese and wine: each of them had their own strong essence. It was an inspirational experience to listen to and find out about the fine work of younger Australian jazz musicians. We have engaged with so many important issues as we moved towards our decision, and it’s very encouraging to know that this opportunity will be available to musicians – and judges – in coming years. We congratulate and thank the Freedman Foundation for giving such rare and important encouragement to Australian jazz.

About The Fellowships:

The Jazz Fellowship is made possible 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 are 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, vo​calist Kristin Berardi and drummer James McLean who are all leaders in Australian jazz. The Fellowships are a Music Trust program, managed by the MusicTrust.Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) administers the Fellowship programs and produces the Freedman Jazz concert.

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

To follow the Freedman awards and see more pictures from the event, click here

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