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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

New Zealand born Judy Bailey commenced formal piano studies at the age of ten, obtaining her ATCL (Perf.) qualification just six years later.

During the 1960s, Judy 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). Over a period of eight years, Judy was permanently employed with Tommy Tycho's Orchestra (Channel 7), Don Burrow's Septet (Channel 2), John Bamford's Orchestra (channel 9) and Jack Grimsley's Orchestra (Channel 10) as pianist/arranger.

In the seventies, Judy 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 also appointed musical director (jazz) for the immensely 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 eighties and nineties saw more performing, composing, teaching, recording and touring, while Judy also became musical director for the Sydney Youth Jazz Ensemble Association, an umbrella organisation for a big band known as the Jazz Connection.

Judy has gained several prestigious awards, including the inaugural APRA Award for jazz composition, an Australian Entertainment Industry 'MO' for jazz performance, and in 2004 an OAM for services to music and education. In July 2008, as part of the Annual Classical Music Awards (APRA and AMC), Belinda Webster and Peter Rechnewski presented Judy with the Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music. Judy's nomination is unique in that it was the first ever granted to an outstanding jazz musician. In 2014 she was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame (Bell Awards).

Judy has also been included in a list of Sydney's '100 Most Influential People'.

Jazz Connection/Sydney Conservatorium/AMC — current to October 2017

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2022 Don Banks Music Award Recipient
2014 Australian Jazz Bell Awards - Hall of Fame Inductee
2008 Classical Music Awards - Distinguished Services to Australian Music Winner

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Another Journey : for jazz orchestra and string orchestra Commissioned by Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Out of the wilderness : for symphony orchestra and improvising soloists Commissioned by the Wilderness School, Adelaide
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.
You can take it anywhere : flexible instrumentation (2000) Written for clarinetist Gerard Errante on one of his visits to Australia

Analysis & Media

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