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Tom Vincent : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: Jelly Morton blues : small jazz ensemble by Tom Vincent, from the CD Just enough

Photo of Tom Vincent

Photo: Christopher Hockings

Tom Vincent is a unique jazz stylist both as a composer and as a performing improviser. The rich harmonic language inherent in his compositions is directly informed by thirty years of continual improvisation, and his compositional development is likewise enriching his scope as an improviser. Vincent studied jazz composition at the Sydney Conservatorium with George Golla and Don Burrows, graduating in 1989. In the 1990s he worked as a composer and performer in New York City where he also studied at the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop with Jim McNeely and Roger Kellaway.

For twenty years Vincent has been composing for his own ensembles, living and performing mostly in Sydney, New York, Melbourne, Amsterdam and now Hobart. Since 2005 he has been composing both theme tunes and incidental music for ABC TV shows. In August 2012 the Tom Vincent Septet performed its inaugural concert to a full house at the Bahai Centre in Hobart with all music composed and arranged by Vincent. Since 1999 Vincent has released four self-produced CDs with original compositions, and since 2000 he has toured Europe, Australia and the world several times with his trios and quartets

In his composition and piano playing, Vincent is working on exploring new possibilities in rhythmic and harmonic organisation. Rhythmically, the platform for standard jazz syntax is triplets in 4/4 time, resulting in 12 triplets per bar. Jazz musicians have been superimposing long running lines that create a faster tempo on top of the existing tempo by playing three bars in the time of two, thus phrasing triplets as if they are quavers in a faster tempo. In a similar way, Vincent is working on phrasing lines by dividing bars into 11s and 13s, rather than 12. Slightly slower and faster, this creates a curious drifting sensation while his note choice and phrasing maintain the essential swing feel, both in composition and improvisation.

Harmonically, Vincent is working with four and five-part harmonisations of running lines of quavers and quaver triplets where no notes are repeated consecutively. Once harmonised, inner voices are carefully analysed and notes are swapped around between them, giving the most tuneful and interesting lines possible to each player, and creating rich, flowing, kaleidoscopic textures.

In 2012 Vincent started composing for Michael Kieran Harvey and also for his new Tom Vincent Septet. At the end of 2012 Vincent was awarded a grant of $14,000 from Arts Tasmania to compose for his Septet. In mid 2013 Vincent spent a month composing music in Spain at an international artists residency in Almeria.

Current releases include the 2015 release Tom Vincent Septet (seven original compositions and arrangements), and the 2016 release Tom Vincent Octet - Dhāraī (new suite composed for Dark MOFO 2016).

Tom Vincent is assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.

Tom Vincent — current to May 2016

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Blues in twelve keys (solo piano) (2012) Commissioned by Michael Kieran Harvey.