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9 May 2013

Jazz in Australia # 6

The Bells plus festivals in Perth and Melbourne

Awards ceremony at Melbourne's Regent Theatre, with Chris McNulty on the big screen Image: Awards ceremony at Melbourne's Regent Theatre, with Chris McNulty on the big screen  
© Roger Mitchell

This article is, for now, the final instalment in Miriam Zolin's series of jazz news columns for Resonate. The AMC would like to thank Miriam for her valuable contribution. Read earlier columns: Jazz in Australia #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5, and a separate new jazz releases article.

The 11th Annual Jazz Bell Awards were presented in Melbourne's Regent Theatre on Thursday 2 May 2013. This was the first awards night to be held since the passing of Graeme Bell in 2012 - the transition to a new era was noted by many on the night.

Straight off the plane from New York, vocalist Chris McNulty was thrilled to receive the best Jazz Vocal Album award for The Song That Sings You Here. Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year Steve Barry was in New York and unable to attend. David Ades was in Germany and his awards were received by daughter Amelia Thomas on his behalf. The music awarded on the night was a wide range: the Best Australian Traditional Jazz Album went to Flap! who expressed their gratitude to the judges for their broad definition of jazz.

2013 Australian Jazz Bell Awards - winners

TarraWarra Estate Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album: Chris McNulty for The Song That Sings You Here. The band on the album is Paul Bollenback, Ugonna Okegwo and Marcus Gilmore (USA), Andrei Kondokov and Igor Butman (Russia), Graham Wood (Australia) and Anita Wardell (UK). As Chris has put it, for her 'these musicians have played a key role in performances that I've done around the globe - Russia. Australia, the UK and of course, New York City'.


Palace Cinemas Most Original Australian Jazz Album: Marc Hannaford for Sarcophile (Marc Hannaford, piano; Sam Pankhurst, bass; James McLean, drums). 'The majority of Sarcophile's eight pieces are based on rhythmic and pitch construals that are utterly rigorous in their construction. But not one of these players is overwhelmed by structure per se. In fact, they meet these complex structures with apparent ease, enabling space for creative engagement', writes Phil Treloar about the album in his essay.

Ubertas Group Best Australian Contemporary Jazz Album: Magnet for Magnet (Stephen Magnusson, guitar; Sergio Beresovsky, drums; Eugene Ball, trumpet; Carlo Panuzzo, vocals). 'In the studio we found each other, said "Hi, how are you?", found the tunes and came up with some road maps of how to develop the compositions. So that was that and then we went and did a gig afterwards', said Magnusson in an interview on AusJazz.net.

Brand Partners Best Australian Traditional Jazz Album: Flap! for A Great Day for the Race.

APRA/AMCOS Best Australian Jazz Song of the Year: David Ades & Friends for 'Joe The Kid'

Monash University Best Australian Jazz Ensemble: David Ades & Friends. 'The truth is that his sound is an asset that places him in the highest echelon of Australian jazz', wrote John Shand about Ades in an interview for australianjazz.net.

Fender Katsalidis Architects Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year: Steve Barry

> More info: the Australian Jazz Bell Awards website.
> More about Graeme Bell (AMC - news article with links)

Perth Jazz Festival

After a few years of discussion and planning, and fuelled by the prodigious energy of Graham Wood, the Perth Jazz Festival has come to life this year and runs from for a weekend from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 May. Perth, and specifically the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), have produced some of Australia's most active, vibrant and awarded young musicians in recent years, so it's great to see this festival happening, and hopefully the festival will continue from strength to strength.
Check out the full program at www.perthinternationaljazzfestival.com.au or Australian highlights in the AMC's Australian Music Calendar.

Melbourne festivals

Melbourne International Jazz Festival (31 May - 9 June) and Stonnington Jazz (16-26 May) are also on this month over on the eastern edge of Australia. Stonnington Jazz has its usual focus on Australian jazz and improvised music. MIJF meanwhile includes a mix of local and overseas visitors. Stonnington Jazz is online at www.stonningtonjazz.com.au, and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival at www.melbournejazz.com.

Melbourne Jazz Fringe this year (5 May) featured APRA Commission recipient Darrin Archer, who created a piece called Drunken Taxicabs of Absolute Reality, putting Allen Ginsberg's famous 1955 poem 'Howl' to music. More about the Melbourne Jazz Fringe at www.melbournejazzfringe.com. (You can read 'Howl' here or listen to Allen Ginsberg reciting his poem on YouTube.)

ABC Jazz - worth a visit

If you haven't checked out ABC Jazz recently, it's worth a visit - their content is constantly updated and their digital offering includes flagship programs such as Jazztrack and Jazz Up Late, as well as magazine programs presented by Jessica Nicholas and Ivan Lloyd. Browse and listen online at abcjazz.net.au.

Jazz in Sydney - and lots of it!

A relatively new site called Jazz in Sydney is doing a great job of promoting all forms of jazz in Sydney, and tapping into social media trends by allowing site visitors to vote for gigs, in addition to providing information and the ability to upload gigs. If you're in Sydney and looking for jazz, definitely check it out at www.jazzinsydney.com.

Miriam Zolin is the publisher and editor at extempore and australianjazz.net. She has enjoyed listening to a broad spectrum of jazz and improvised music for a number of years. As well as regular writing about Australian musicians and their music, Miriam has recently contributed to PenTales, Griffith Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Book Review and The Sleepers Almanac.


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