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21 October 2021

Hilary Geddes wins the 2021 Freedman Jazz Fellowship

Hilary Geddes Image: Hilary Geddes  

Sydney-based guitarist and composer Hilary Geddes has been announced as the winner of the 2021 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, valued at $21,000. A versatile artist who has gained a reputation for her work in the jazz, indie-rock and art-music sector, Hilary represents an exciting future for Australian jazz.

In a period where women are having an important and lasting impact on the global jazz scene, it was significant that three of this year's four finalists were female. Hilary joins last year's winner, bassist Helen Svoboda, and vocalist Kristin Berardi, as the fourth young woman to win this prestigious award since Andrea Keller received the inaugural Jazz Fellowship in 2001.

The decision to award Hilary Geddes the 2021 Fellowship was unanimous, explained Loretta Palmeiro on behalf of the judging panel consisting of Palmeiro, Nadje Noordhuis, Stu Hunter and Ben Hauptmann. 'Hilary is an intelligent and highly imaginative musician, and a sophisticated composer with an effortless flair for storytelling and the communicating of place through her music. Her distinctive voice, her extensive vocabulary as a jazz guitarist and her ability to communicate brilliantly across diverse styles is world class. Our only regret was to be unable to see the finalists perform due to lockdown restrictions. This is undoubtedly the best part of the Freedman Fellowship competition and we look forward to the return of the live element next year.'

With her Fellowship, Hilary Geddes is taking her quartet, to Goulburn, Canberra and across the Riverina for performances and workshops, fostering a home-grown musical culture from the ground up, and simultaneously building the achievement of the band. The band will also rehearse and record new works for an album.

Hilary Geddes can be heard in 'Visions of Nar' with Jeremy Rose, Zela Margossian and Adem Yilmaz on Friday 19 November as part of the Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival.

The Jazz Fellowship is funded by the Freedman Foundation, a philanthropic foundation chaired by Laurence Freedman, which assists young Australians in music and visual arts, as well as providing support to medical and scientific programs. The Fellowships are managed by the Music Trust and administered by the Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA).   

> Read more about Hilary Geddes and the Fellowship on the SIMA website.

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