Bass player Jess Dunn is the featured musician in this Changing the Face of Jazz. Jess says of herself that she came to playing music fairly late, by which she means her late teens. She progressed from a hand-me-down electric bass to a stand-up acoustic one and then developed a taste for jazz. She graduated through the SIMA Young Women’s Jazz Workshops to the Sydney Conservatorium, winning the Jann Rutherford Award, with Harri Harding, along the way. Harri and Jess won the award to set up the all women’s Sirens Big Band which was performing for over a decade and included some of Sydney’s best know female jazz instrumentalists.
This profile of Jess is accompanied by music from the Sirens, of which Jess was the co- leader, taken from a live recording and from their CD, Kali and the Time of Change.
The podcast was produced by Mick Paddon. It was originally broadcast on Eastside Radio in the show Jazz Made in Australia and re-broadcast on Mick’s weekly show, Time and Space in September 2023
After this podcast was produced, Jess and the Sirens were given an APRA Award in 2020 for their performance of Bridge of Dreams. Premiered at the Sydney Festival, the performance was a collaboration with Sandy Evans, Shubha Mudgal, Aneesh Pradhan and Bobby Singh. Bridge of Dreams was recorded as a CD.
In recent years Jess has also been making her name as a composer and sound designer. Her projects have included working with the Sydney Theatre Company on productions of Julius Caesar, the Tempest, Chalkface and Wonnangatta