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Bernie McGann (1937-2013) : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Spirit song : small jazz ensemble by Bernie McGann, from the CD Beyond El Rocco

Photo of Bernie McGann

Born in 1937, alto saxophonist Bernie McGann grew up in Sydney where he trained as a fitter and turner, and played drums as a teenager. He picked up the saxophone relatively late, at the age of 18. From early gigs with a jazz trio in a Sydney club in the 1950s, McGann gradually progressed to become a highly respected figure in the Australian jazz community. He was admired for his unique saxophone sound - frequently described as 'dry', 'dark', and 'gravelly' - as well as his originality as improviser and composer.

A multiple ARIA Award winner, McGann received the Australia Council Don Banks Music Award in 1998. He continued his performing career until the very end, playing in his own Bernie McGann Trio and Bernie McGann Quartet (McGann, Warwick Alder, Brendan Clarke, Andrew Dickeson), as well as with other Australian and international musicians. Bernie McGann died on 17 September 2013 at the age of 76 from complications after heart surgery.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
1998 Don Banks Music Award Recipient