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Judy Bailey : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Bells : piano with woodwind instrument by Judy Bailey, from the CD Tuhonohono

Photo of Judy Bailey

Born in New Zealand, Judy Bailey started to play the piano at the age of 10, and became infatuated with jazz at the age of 12 after hearing a Fats Waller record. She went on to study piano at London's Trinity College before moving to Australia in 1960.

In Sydney, Judy Bailey became active on the local jazz scene. During the '60s, she became involved in Sydney's musical life through regular performances at the legendary El Rocco Jazz Cellar with the likes of John Sangster, Don Burrows, and Graeme Lyall. Her prolific early projects include album recordings, television work and live performance.

In the 1970s, Bailey began teaching in the newly established jazz studies program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music while also resident pianist for the ABC Radio program Kindergarten. During this time, she also introduced music and movement programs for young children at Currambena and Lane Cove West Primary Schools. She was appointed musical director (jazz) for the successful Bennelong series at the Sydney Opera House and travelled with her quartet to Southeast Asia on the first of three overseas concert tours organised by Musica Viva.

The 1980s and 1990s saw more performing, composing, teaching, recording and touring. Judy Bailey also became musical director for the Sydney Youth Jazz Ensemble association, an umbrella organisation for a big band known as the Jazz Connection (now Judy Bailey's Jazz Connection).

Today she is one of Australia's leading musicians and composers. A talented pianist who has been influenced by players of all styles, she has performed with every major Australian jazz musician. Her many awards include the inaugural APRA award for Jazz Composition, an Australian Entertainment award for Jazz Performance, the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to Jazz and Education, as well as the Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music, presented at the 2008 Classical Music Awards by AMC and APRA. In 2014 she was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame (Bell Awards).

Judy Bailey continues to lecture on jazz piano and jazz composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Jazz Connection/Sydney Conservatorium/AMC — current to 2015

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2008 Classical Music Awards - Distinguished Services to Australian Music Winner

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
So many rivers : piano trio (2010) Commissioned by NZTrio, Chamber Music NZ.
Digital sheet music sample Four reasons : for jazz soloist and symphony orchestra (2000) Commissioned by SBS Youth Orchestra.

Analysis & Media

Book: An overview of third stream music in Australia, focusing on the compositions of Judy Bailey and Mike Nock / Nadia Burgess.