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Mark Ginsburg

David Theak

07/05/2019 Australian Film with an All-Jazz Score

Me and My Left Brain
Star of Catching Milat and Logie Award nominee Mal Kennard, Rachael Beck (star of hit TV sitcom Hey Dad), Chantelle Barry (Entourage, Beverly Hills 90210), Laura Dundovic (Ruben Guthrie) star alongside Alex Lykos in this original, surreal, abstract romantic-comedy which pays homage to the rom- coms of the 70s. “Alex & Eve was a broad comedy of which most of the comedy relied on ethnic stereotypes. As a Greek Australian I wanted to tell a comedy which didn’t rely on ethnic stereotypes,” said Lykos. “When searching for actors to play Left Brain, I was interested in casting against type. The Left Brain character drives Arthur mad throughout the night. So I thought, the actor who played Milat would be perfect for this comedic role,” said Lykos. Whilst half of the film will be set inside Arthur’s house, the flashback scenes will showcase a side of Sydney that hasn’t been explored on our screens. “Sydney is a beautiful city. There are some beautiful pockets of old Sydney which don’t necessarily make the tourism brochures. I am really excited about showcasing this other side of Sydney,” said Lykos. The screenplay is an original work written by Alex Lykos -- writer of the hit film and stage shows Alex & Eve, Better Man, The Negotiating Table, It’s War, A Long Night and the original musical Australia’s Game.
Arthur is in love with Helen, has a job interview in the morning but can’t sleep! The conventional romantic-comedy is flipped on its head with the comical physical representation of Arthur’s inner-critic in what is the first ever Australian film with an all-jazz score by award winning composer Cezary Skubiszewski (Red Dog, The Sapphires, Two Hands). From award-winning writer/director Alex Lykos (Alex & Eve) and starring Rachael Beck (Hey Dad) and Logie nominee Mal Kennard (Catching Milat), Me & My Left Brain is an intelligent romantic comedy about love, career choices and the paralysing effect of over-thinking. ME & MY LEFT BRAIN is in cinemas from 16 May 2019

07/05/2019 Australian Art Orchestra celebrates 25 years

A silver jubilee of sound and improvisation
To mark their impressive 25-year milestone, this year the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) has a full schedule of performances, tours, developments, collaborations and each month will place a spotlight on some of their individual musicians through the AAO 25th Anniversary Solo Series digital gallery.
Founded in 1994 by Paul Grabowsky AO, the AAO has a long history of creating visionary contemporary music and initiating ground-breaking cross-cultural collaborations.
As AAO artistic director since 2013, trail blazing trumpeter Peter Knight has guided the company to be a leading force in the Australian music scene with an orchestra now morphed into a shape-shifting ensemble featuring some of Australia’s most remarkable performers.
“The AAO’s pioneering vision recognised that jazz musicians and artists need to respond to what’s directly around us – rather than look primarily to America and Europe for inspiration. A quarter of a century on, I believe that vision is more relevant than ever,” said Knight.
“We certainly sound very different now and there are new faces, but there is a thread we have woven through each of our projects that traces back to the AAO’s beginnings and continually blend into our collective dialogue,” Knight explained.
As the AAO reflects on the past 25 years, they maintain their commitment centred on sound improvisation and also give space for individual creativity and acknowledge that each AAO musician has a highly refined, idiosyncratic and personal language on their instrument.
Each month throughout 2019, the AAO 25th Anniversary Solo Series will expose individual improvisations recorded by a selection of AAO artists – it will eventually culminate to form an ‘orchestra of individuals’ and montage of digital portraits that highlight the company’s incredible musical skills and rich cultural backgrounds.
The AAO 25th Anniversary Solo Series has already featured Aviva Endean (clarinet), Sunny Kim (vocals), Joe Talia (electronics) and over the coming months will reveal Vanessa Tomlinson (percussion), Daniel Wilfred (voice), Mindy Meng Wang (guzheng), Erkki Veltheim (violin), Andrea Keller (piano), Martin Ng (turntables), Simon Barker (drums), Peter Knight (trumpet and electronics) and Jacques Emery (bass).
With a generous program of activities filling their silver jubilee year, the AAO have already kicked off 2019 with Striborg meets the AAO at Mona Foma and the Art by Twilight Series at the Heide Museum curated by AAO artist associate, Aviva Endean.
Following the world premiere in November 2018 as headline acts at the Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, two AAO works will have their Australian premiere at the Stonnington Jazz Festival this May: The Plains by Peter Knight and Hurry Slowly 2 by Andrea Keller.
Creative developments and experimentations will continue throughout the year, including with the Hand to Earth Trio featuring Peter Knight, Sunny Kim and Daniel Wilfred as well as the annual 10-day group Creative Music Intensive in Tasmania which brings together over 30 musicians including international guests.
For over fifteen years the AAO has built a friendship fostered through musical exchange and collaboration with The Young Wagilak Group from Ngukurr (Northern Territory) – in particular with Daniel and David Wilfred who have shared their songs and culture with musicians and audiences around the world with the AAO.
In June the AAO will visit the Wilfred brothers on their country and also perform at the Barunga Festival in Arnhem Land; and later in the year, Daniel and David will participate in the Indigenous Storytellers and Spoken Word Residency at the Banff Centre (Canada).
2019 AAO activities include:
  • AAO 25th Anniversary Solo Series – a series of monthly solo digital portraits
  • Striborg meets the AAO – at Mona Foma in Launceston
  • Art by Twilight Series at the Heide Museum – curated by AAO artist associate: Aviva Endean
  • The Plains by Peter Knight – Australian premiere at the Stonnington Jazz Festival
  • Hurry Slowly 2 by Andrea Keller – Australian premiere at the Stonnington Jazz Festival
  • Sharp Folds by Peter Knight – Stonnington Jazz Festival
  • Lacuna by Peter Knight – creative development
  • Hand to Earth Trio – development, workshop and showcase with Peter Knight, Sunny Kim and Daniel Wilfred
  • Barunga Festival (Arnhem Land) – collaboration with First Nations artists: Daniel and David Wilfred
  • Indigenous Storytellers and Spoken Word Residency at the Banff Centre (Canada) – Daniel and David Wilfred
  • Meeting Points Series: New Grooves For Old Streets – featuring Dung Nguyen and Ray Pereira 
  • Creative Music Intensive – annual 10-day group residency in Tasmania followed by an intervention performance at Mona
  • Swing Bridge – listening party to celebrate the release of AAO’s Swing Bridge composed by Alvin Lucier on Mode Records
  • Pathfinders – AAO music leadership program
Australian Art Orchestra
Founded in 1994 the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) is one of Australia’s leading contemporary ensembles. Led by daring composer, trumpeter and sound artist: Peter Knight , its work constantly seeks to stretch genres and break down the barriers separating disciplines, forms and cultures. AAO explores the interstices between the avant-garde and the traditional, between art and popular music, between electronic and acoustic approaches, and creates music that traverses the continuum between improvised and notated forms. The AAO nods to the hugely influential, Art Ensemble of Chicago in its name, as do a number of other famous groups including the Vienna Art Orchestra, and in doing so it builds on a set of ideas that stretch back to the beginnings of jazz. These ideas in turn draw on an extraordinary collision of cultures, ways of thinking, and folk traditions that are so old that their beginnings are untraceable. The AAO’s music may sound very little like American jazz these days, but the restless energy that made jazz such a force in the twentieth century still drives the projects it makes, including with the traditional songmen from Ngukurr in Arnhem Land (Crossing Roper Bar), with Bae Il Dong, the Korean p’ansori singer (The Return of Spring), with Guru Kaaraikkudi R. Mani from Chennai (Two Oceans), with Nicole Lizee, Alvin Lucier (Exit Ceremonies) and with an extraordinary range of Australian artists from a range of disciplines. The AAO has received numerous awards and much praise for their work, including three Australian Jazz Bell awards, the 2014 AMC/APRA Art Music Award for Excellence by an Organisation, the 2013 AMC/APRA Art Music Award for Performance of the Year, the 2010 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards (Group Award), the 2010 H C Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship, a 2004 Helpmann Award and a 2009 Classical Music award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Music in a Regional Area. The AAO regularly tours both locally and internationally, including Sydney (Sydney Festival), Bremen (Germany), Hong Kong, Toronto, Paris, London, Brisbane and Chennai.
Peter Knight – Australian Art Orchestra artistic director
Information peterknightmusic.com
Australian trumpeter, composer and sound artist, Peter Knight is a multidisciplinary musician who has gained wide acclaim for his distinctive approach, which integrates jazz, experimental and world music traditions. As a performer and composer, Peter’s work is regularly featured in a range of ensemble settings and he also composes for theatre and creates sound installations. Perpetually curious, Peter’s practice defies categorization – he works in the spaces between categories, between genres and between cultures.
Web aao.com.au
Facebook @theaustralianartorchestra
Twitter @AustArtOrch
Instagram @australianartorchestra
Vimeo @australianartorchestra

07/05/2019 Sydney Con International Jazz Festival

International stars and Australian jazz heavyweights descend upon Sydney as The University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music hosts its third annual International Jazz Festival on Sunday 2 June.  Tickets now on sale.
The festival was formed in 2017 with Australian jazz at its core. Artistic Director and Head of the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Studies Program, David Theak, a tireless advocate for jazz in Australia, has again made education a central component to this year’s program. He was thrilled with the response to the 2017 & 2018 festivals which celebrated the very best International, national and local music and will be programming 2019 with the same principles.
The 2019 program is inclusive, diverse and unique featuring over 100 musicians in 20 master-classes and concerts.
International artists include US icons, Bill Frisell Trio, Bill is considered “the most innovative and influential jazz guitarist of the past 25 years” Wall Street Journal, along with Billy Childs Quartet, the five time GRAMMY winning piano virtuoso and prolific composer, plus award winning Italian pianist Vittorio Mezza performing with the Mark Ginbsurg Ensemble .
In the third annual SCIJF, this year presented in association with the Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA), International artists will be collaborating with Australian musicians, rarely-heard national ensembles of excellence, cutting-edge Sydney artists and dynamic artists of tomorrow mentored by our top jazz musicians.
Nestled in the Royal Botanic Gardens on the spectacular Sydney Harbour, this year's festival will take advantage of world-class performance facilities of the University of Sydney's Conservatorium of Music. With the exception of vocal support, Theak has taken an “acoustic performance philosophy” by selecting artists who perform without amplification so audiences can enjoy the music as it was designed it to be heard. "The beautiful acoustics of the Conservatoriums concert halls respond superbly to acoustic instruments and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive from last year's patrons" says Theak.
The University’s Conservatorium of Music’s jazz program is one of the most highly regarded in Australia and overseas. Students work alongside some of Australia’s best-known jazz musicians and composers, and are trained in improvisation, ensemble playing and repertoire development. Classes in jazz music business skills prepare graduates for the non-musical aspects of their career. The program includes four big bands and 12 small ensembles, with many opportunities for performance at the Con and at jazz festivals. In 2018, the University launched a revamped Bachelor of Music to include a new program in Improvised Music  focused on research-based improvisation, including but not limited to the jazz tradition.
What : Sydney Con International Jazz Festival
When : Sunday 2 June, 10am -9pm
Where : Sydney Conservatorium of Music, 1 Conservatorium Road, Sydney
Tickets now on sale : www.sydneyconjazzfest.com

07/05/2019 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

31 May – 9 June 2019
The 2019 Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) returns for its twenty-second year. A 10-day celebration of jazz music and culture, MIJF 2019 will feature more than 500 Australian, international and emerging artists, in over 25 venues across Melbourne. Ranging from grandiose concerts in the world-class Hamer Hall to intimate jazz clubs, plus vibrant café gigs in Melbourne’s west and free community events, MIJF will continue to deliver events reaching thousands right across Melbourne and Victoria. The 2019 program will feature nine Australian/international collaborations, numerous MIJF exclusives as well as cultural partnerships with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne Museum, The SUBSTATION, Federation Square and others. Illustrating the ongoing importance and breadth of jazz the 2019 program offers a diversity of experiences and showcases many outstanding Australian and international artists, with new projects from leading local artists. Experience the world’s best jazz artists right here in Melbourne and immerse yourself in a stunning program which offers something for everyone.
Web melbournejazz.com
Facebook /melbournejazzfestival
Twitter @MelbJazzFest
Instagram @melbjazzfestival

07/05/2019 Kim Sanders Music Book

Exciting news - the book Kim Sanders' Music is at last ready for the world - and just in time for his birthday on March 30th.  He was one of the trail-blazers in Australia of so-called "World Music", playing traditional instruments and traditional musics, but also composing for modern Australia using rhythms and scales from Turkey, Bulgaria, Africa and other places.
Kim died in November 2013 leaving a lot of music behind him, much of which is now in the book Kim Sanders' Music.   Some of these compositions had been played by his  bands which included such amazing musicians as Sandy Evans, Llew Kiek, James Greening, Bobby Singh, Steve Elphick and so many more.
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