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Jenna Cave : Represented Artist

Jenna Cave composer and arranger, bandleader and conductor, and saxophonist. She composes music for large and small jazz ensembles with varying degrees of improvisation, as well as fully notated chamber music.

Random Audio Sample: Jazz euphoria on Frenchmen Street : for jazz big band by Jenna Cave, from the CD opening statement


Photo of Jenna Cave

Photo: Frank Crews

Jenna Cave (b.1984) is an Australian composer, arranger, bandleader, conductor and saxophonist, based in Sydney. She is best known for her contemporary jazz music for large ensemble. She co-leads the 18-piece Divergence Jazz Orchestra as resident composer and conductor, collaborates in and leads other other projects as a saxophonist, vocalist and composer/arranger, and teaches saxophone and jazz ensemble performance to school-aged students. Her music has been performed, broadcast and warmly received around Australia and internationally.

She began her professional musical life as a young jazz saxophonist in Canberra, where she studied saxophone with John Mackey and jazz arranging and composition with Miroslav Bukovsky at the ANU School of Music, graduating in 2006 with first class honours. She was awarded the Peter and Lena Karmel Memorial Prize and Bernhard Neumann Memorial Prize for the most outstanding graduate of the ANU School of Music that year. Cave moved to Sydney in 2008 to study a Master of Music (composition) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Bill Motzing, and was the recipient of a two-year University of Sydney Postgraduate Award Scholarship.

In 2012 Divergence Jazz Orchestra was formed by Cave with Paul Weber (trombone) as a vehicle to perform and record her own music alongside music by other contemporary Australian composers. In five years they have performed over 20 shows of original Australian music under Cave's direction. Cave produced their two albums, The Opening Statement (2013), featuring her works, and Fake it Until You Make It (2016); featuring her works alongside those of composing colleagues. The albums have been broadcast in Australia and abroad, receiving glowing 4-star reviews in The Australian and on the international jazz blog All About Jazz.

Performing music by 17 composers to date, Divergence have appeared at major Australian jazz festivals (Capital Jazz Project Canberra and Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival), underground venues, in concert series, and have produced many of their own shows. They have collaborated with Australian jazz luminaries Judy Bailey, Miroslav Bukovsky and Paul Cutlan; showcased the music of emerging and younger musicians such as Rafael Karlen and Michael Griffin, and shone a light on the outstanding improvisational and compositional talents within the orchestra.

As a freelance composer, Cave has been commissioned to write music by jazz festivals and ensembles, including two works for the 2016 Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival for 10-piece ensemble (featuring Sandy Evans), and a piece for sextet (featuring Norwegian saxophonist Froy Aagre and pianist Andrea Keller and Shannon Barnett) for the 2010 Melbourne International Women's Jazz Festival. Cave was the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra in composer-in-residence 2011.

In 2016 her chamber works String Quartet no. 1 and its' adaptation Trilogy for Strings were performed internationally in NYC by the Yates String Quartet (directed by Ron Wasserman) and in St Petersburg by the string orchestra Warm and Peace (conducted by Hoshimi Sakai). She has also been commissioned to compose for the screen, including the score and songs for a short musical Blackbuster, broadcast on ABC TV and screened at the 2012 Sydney International Film Festival.

In 2015 Cave was awarded full composer representation with the Australian Music Centre.


Jenna Cave — current to July 2017

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2010 Sprogis Woods Jazz Composition Competition Runner Up Dear Miss Upstill

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Mrs Party Pants : big band Commissioned by Graham and Jenny Cook
Jazz euphoria on Frenchmen Street : for jazz big band (2011) This piece was commissioned by WAYJO (the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra) as a part of Jenna Cave's role as WAYJO's 2011 composer-in-residence.
And then there was one : for jazz orchestra (2011) Commissioned by WA Youth Jazz Orchestra. Commissioned as part of my 2011 composer in residence with WA Youth Jazz Orchestra
The opening statement : big band (2011) This was one of three works Jenna Cave composed on commission as the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra Composer-in-residence.
Digital sheet music sample And then there was one : small jazz ensemble (2010) Commissioned by the 2010 Melbourne Women's International Jazz Festival

Analysis & Media

- Video: Jazz euphoria on Frenchmen street

- Video: Dear Miss Upstill