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Dianne Reeves to Perform in Sydney Tues 6th June City Recital Hall

Dianne Reeves
“The most admired jazz diva since the heyday of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday” The New York Times
Dianne Reeves is one of our generation’s definitive jazz masters, a vocal stylist of extraordinary skill and vivacity” The Huffington Post
Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world today – her arsenal of talents is richly on display in each and every song of her limitless repertoire.
As a result of her virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Dianne has received five Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album and an honorary doctorate of music from Julliard. Dianne’s magical, timeless voice combined with the sheer force of her performance mark her as a captivating world-class artist.
Wynton Marsalis exclaims, “she has one of the most powerful, purposeful, and accurate voices of this or any time.” Dianne’s recent Grammy Award winning album, Beautiful Life, epitomises the spirit of her storied and extraordinary career, traversing many genres and collaborating with a diverse collection of artists.
Adored by audiences and critics alike throughout the world, Dianne Reeves is a natural wonder not to be missed.
Duration: approximately 90 minutes, no interval

17/05/2017 Stu Hunter Claims Two of Five Nominations at 2017 Bell Awards

By Kaye Blum
Recipients of the Australian Jazz Bell Awards 2017 were announced at a ceremony hosted by Birds Basement in Melbourne on Monday night. Named after Graeme Bell (MBE, AO), the awards were established in 2003 to recognise and encourage excellence in the performance, creativity, recording and presentation of jazz in Australia, with a $5000 prize for each sponsored award category.
Stu Hunter’s The Migration was nominated in all five open voting categories and took out two awards. Congratulations to all the nominees and award recipients:
Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album (TarraWarra Estate)
Nominations: Kristin Berardi Just As You Are; Michelle Nicolle Quartet A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing; Stu Hunter The Migration.
Awarded to: Michelle Nicolle Quartet
Best Australian Instrumental Jazz Album (Brand Partners)
Nominations : Jeremy Rose and The Earshift Orchestra, Iron In The Blood; Andrea Keller & Tim Wilson Duo, Consider This; Stu Hunter, The Migration.
Awarded to: Andrea Keller & Tim Wilson Duo.
Best Produced Album (Alfie Records)
Nominations : Jeremy Rose and The Earshift Orchestra, Iron In The Blood; The Vampires, The Vampires Meet Lionel Louke; Stu Hunter, The Migration.
Awarded to: Jeremy Rose and The Earshift Orchestra
Best Australian Jazz Song/Composition of the Year (APRA/AMCOS)
Nominations :   Eugene Ball 4tet, Hi(gh) Curious song Es Muss Sein; Andrea Keller & Time Wilson Duo, song Consider This; Stu Hunter, The Migration song Eagle Fish.
Awarded to: Stu Hunter
Best Australian Jazz Ensemble of the Year (Monash University)
Nominations : Michelle Nicolle Quartet A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing; Stu Hunter The Migration; The Vampires, The Vampires Meet Lionel Louke.
Awarded to: Stu Hunter
Can an album be nominated for both Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album and Best Australian Instrumental Jazz Album? According to the guidelines published on the Bell Awards website, the selection criteria for a vocal album nomination must be “an album led by or featuring a vocalist”. To qualify for nomination in the instrumental album category, “the recording must be free of lyrics” – unless it has only one or two tracks out of 10 with lyrics. Hunter’s The Migration has two vocal tracks.
Keeping it loose, the Best Australian Jazz Ensemble criteria specifies “the minimum size of the band must be 7 members”, yet a quartet was nominated in this category. So how do nominations work for the Bell Awards and who votes?
The nomination and voting process was opened up to members of the Australian Jazz Awards Academy last year to make it “transparent and more democratic”. Academy membership is open to all jazz enthusiasts, with a $10 joining fee each year.
In his opening presentation, Bell Awards founder and Chairman Albert Dadon (Albare) commented that the number of Academy members exceeded 250 this year.
Members can nominate then vote for their top three preferences in all award categories excluding the Graeme Bell Hall of Fame award – this one is determined only by the panel of judges. The Hall of Fame award recognises outstanding artistic achievement and contribution to Australian jazz by a living artist, with this year’s honour going to drummer Ted Vining.
The Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year, this year sponsored by Fender Katsalidis Architects, was awarded to West Australian pianist Harry Mitchell.
The 2017 judging panel comprised Albare, Adrian Jackson, Martin Jackson, John McBeath, Gerry Koster and Carl Griffin. At the risk of banging the Boys Club drum a little loud, one has to raise the issue of gender imbalance here. Surely there are plenty of women who could be – and should be – part of the judging panel every year.
How about Dr Louise Denson, or ABC Jazz broadcaster and journalist Jessica Nicholas? If previous Bell Award recipients aren’t excluded from judging, how about international vocalist and composer Chris McNulty (her prestigious career includes a DownBeat readers poll top 11 album of the year)? Or Judy Jacques, Andrea Keller, Judy Bailey? C’mon fellas, it’s time to move Australian jazz into the 21st century.
Photo caption:
L-R: Tony Gould, Albert Dadon, 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Ted Vining, Jo Chindamo, and Hon. Heidi Victoria. Photo: © 2017 Kaye Blum.

The Australian Heartland of Jazz Stages its First International Jazz Festival

The University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, the heartland of the country’s finest jazz musicians and the first tertiary jazz course in Australia, is hosting an inaugural international jazz festival on Sunday 4 June. The one-day festival, a part of the Con’s new music program for Vivid Sydney, will feature more than 100 musicians in 26 events across five venues.
Through unique, international and Australian collaborations, new commissions and masterclasses, Artistic Directors David Theak and Simon Barker have curated a program that sets the Sydney Con International Jazz Festival apart from other Australian jazz festivals.
David Theak, head of the jazz program at the University’s Conservatorium of Music said: “It is with a great feeling of excitement that Simon Barker and I have been able to put together a program that features Australian artists at its core. We have gathered the best of the best from around the country to perform alongside our international guests. It will be a rare treat for Sydney audiences to hear Blue Note recording artist Greg Osby alongside prodigious Miami-based Tal Cohen and Perth heavy-weight Jamie Oehlers, Adelaide’s luminary guitarist James Muller with potent British saxophonist Will Vinson followed by a new quintet by Sydney’s profusely creative trumpeter Phil Slater - playing back to back - across one epic day.”
Headlining the festival on his first visit to Australia is prolific Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan. Tigran, who has won a swag of awards including top prizes at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, is shining a light on contemporary piano with his ability to seamlessly blend jazz, folk, progressive rock and classical forms. His soulful approach, owing largely to his Armenian roots and undisputable technical skills, will be on display in a special solo performance of his new release An Ancient Observer which is available now on Nonesuch Records.
The revolutionary American drummer Jim Black, who has a reputation of taking the listener to places rarely travelled, will together at the Sydney Opera House in 2005, when their performance was described by The Sydney Morning Herald as having “boundless imagination”. For this performance, the pair will be joined by celebrated Melbourne artists, bassist Christopher Hale and tenor saxophonist Julien Wilson.
Other festival highlights include the debut performance of the newly formed Australian National Jazz Orchestra, featuring the James Morrison Scholarship Award winner and Stan Getz Fellow, Mat Jodrell, on trumpet with the legendary New Zealand tenor saxophonist, Roger Manins. The orchestra will perform the world premiere of newly commissioned works by Victorian big band composer, Nick Mulder.
Theak, who is a tireless advocate for large jazz ensembles and education in Australia, added: “Central to the festival program is not just the performance of the music, but the educational elements. We will draw on an impressive calibre of artists in our masterclass program to unlock the mystery of jazz and help audiences to gain an insight into how the music in constructed.” In support of their mission, Theak and Barker have devised a mentoring program that sees Conservatorium students work with esteemed leaders of the Australian jazz scene, such as saxophonist and composer Sandy Evans. Students will rehearse and perform with their mentors during the festival.
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 three big bands and 11 small ensembles, with many opportunities for performance at the Con and at jazz festivals. In 2018, the University will launch 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.
Event Details: What: Sydney Con International Jazz Festival When: Sunday 4 June, 9am-9pm Where: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, 1 Conservatorium Road, Sydney Tickets: http://music.sydney.edu.au/jazzfest

29/4/2017 Donny McCaslin Group One Night Only in Sydney

With three Grammy nominations and twelve albums to his name, saxophonist Donny McCaslin is widely regarded as one of jazz’s most innovative artists and band leaders. In 2014, David Bowie  made a visit to hear McCaslin and company at the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village. Soon after, Bowie began corresponding with McCaslin, forming a new collaboration and friendship that transpired through the recording of Blackstar until Bowie’s passing. Now McCaslin has released the much acclaimed album Beyond Now, which documents “David Bowie’s Last Band” and features an exceptional group of musicians.
“Replacing Michael Brecker in Steps Ahead back in the 90s, and making an especially telling contribution to the orchestral sweep of Maria Schneider’s Orchestra, McCaslin has led a string of small bands of distinction. The most recent, with keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Mark Guiliana had already become one of the signature bands of the day, playing a free-wheeling, grooving form of electric jazz, before being heard by Bowie in a tiny New York bar and thence providing the instrumental muscle behind his final recording, with the singer plugging into the band’s ‘intensely responsive metabolism’” -  (New York Times)
The Basement Wed 31st May 2017

29/4/2017 Influential Guitarist Bill Frisell in Sydney

Guitarist and composer Bill Frisell is a revered musician and Grammy® award-winner whose career spans more than 35 years and 250 recordings. Recognised as one of America’s most vital and productive performing artists, this bold and inventive musician has stayed true to jazz, but that hasn’t prevented him from trying his hand at avant-garde, noise, bop, folk, country, bluegrass, rock, blues, American popular music and even classical music.
Frisell is a twelve-time Best Guitarist winner in the Down Beat Critics Poll (including 2013), a four-time Guitarist of the Year at the Jazz Awards (including 2013) and has collaborated with artists and ensembles as diverse as Sting, Rickie Lee Jones, Elvis Costello, Bono, T-Bone Burnett, Marianne Faithful, Paul Motian, Ron Carter, Eberhard Weber, John Zorn, Dave Holland, Lucinda Williams, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Brian Eno, Paul Simon, The Frankfurt Ballet, BCC Symphony Orchestra and The Los Angeles Philharmonic.
In concert, Frisell is joined on stage by vocalist Petra Haden (The Decemberists, Beck, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age), bass player Thomas Morgan (Paul Motian, Dave Binney Quartet, Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet) and drummer Rudy Royston (Branford Marsalis, Dave Douglas, The Mingus Big Band).
The concert includes music from Bill’s latest Grammy® nominated release, When You Wish Upon a Star – featuring his interpretations of classic American cinema music from Hitchcock’s Psycho through to Ennio Morricone ‘s score to Once Upon A Time In The West, via Nino Rota ‘s music for The Godfather.
“Bill Frisell is the most innovative and influential jazz guitarist of the past 25 years.” The Wall Street Journal
“Frisell is a revered figure among musicians – like Miles Davis and few others…” The New York Times
York Theatre Seymour Centre 3rd June 2017-03-29

29/3/2017 Kenny Barron to play The Basement

Kenny Barron is unrivalled in his ability to mesmerise audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and dynamic rhythms.
Spotted by Dizzy Gillespie when still in his teens, Barron has illuminated the jazz world for over five decades, working with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz and Roy Haynes.
Named by Los Angeles Times as "one of the top jazz pianists in the world", Barron has received nine Grammy nominations, six Best Pianist Awards from the Jazz Journalists Association, and consistently won jazz critics and readers polls in Downbeat, Jazz Times and Jazziz magazines. He was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame in 2005 and as an NEA Jazz Master in 2010.
With deep respect for the jazz tradition and irrepressible warmth and creativity, this unforgettable performance will feature works from Barron's most recent Grammy-nominated release, Book of Intuition.
Thursday 1st June 2017
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