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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, cross-over works and songs.

Random Audio Sample: A stranger in Helsinki : for jazz orchestra by Jenna Cave, from the CD opening statement

Photo of Jenna Cave

Photo: Noni Carroll

Jenna Cave (b.1984) is an Australian composer, arranger and bandleader. Raised in Canberra, she began performing professionally as jazz saxophonist at the age of 16, and went on to complete a BMus (jazz) Hons1 at the ANU School of Music (2006), specializing in jazz arranging and composition under the tuition of Miroslav Bukovsky. She went on to study a Master of Music (composition) at the Sydney Con (2010) with supervision from Bill Motizing, and received academic prizes and scholarships at both institutions.

Cave has directed the 19-piece Divergence Jazz Orchestra in Sydney as resident composer and arranger since 2012, producing their three critically acclaimed albums Shadows and Light (2023), Fake it Until You Make It (2016) and The Opening Statement (2013), featuring her compositions and arrangements alongside music by other Australian composers. Having performed dozens of shows in jazz festivals, concert series and at Sydney venues; Divergence have featured numerous guest collaborators including Mirosalv Bukovsky, Nadje Noordhuis, Paul Cutlan, Chelsea McBride (Canada) and Judy Bailey.

As a composer and arranger Cave has been commissioned by international jazz festivals, ensembles, individuals, universities and schools. Commission highlights include: Greif, Hope, Love, (2023) for a set of six songs recorded by ABC Jazz featuring vocalist Kristin Berardi; Sleep, In My Arms (2019) for Paul Cutlan's String Project album Living; and two works for the Sydney Women's Jazz Collective (Pharos) featuring Sandy Evans for the 2016 Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival. Earlier commissions of note include a piece for sextet (featuring Norwegian saxophonist Froy Aagre and Australian luminaries Andrea Keller and Shannon Barnett) for the 2010 Melbourne International Women's Jazz Festival, and three works for the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra as their 2011 composer-in-residence.

Other original projects Cave has led/co-led as a performer (saxophone and voice) have included The Truth Seekers (2018-2019); (with Hannah James, Andrew Scott, Will Gilbert and Mike Quigley) and improvised duo For This Moment with Keyna Wilkins (2017-2019).

Her works for string quartet and string orchestra have been performed internationally in NYC (Yates String Quartet) and in St Petersburg (string orchestra Warm and Peace (Cond. Hoshimi Sakai). She has also been commissioned to compose for the screen, and 2015 Cave was awarded full composer representation with the Australian Music Centre. In 2019 Cave was one of 17 jazz musicians nominated nationally for the prestigious Freedman Fellowship.

"Cave has established herself as a top-level composer, arranger and conductor in Australian jazz" - John McBeath, The Australian

Jenna Cave — current to November 2023

Studied with

Miroslav Bukovsky (2004 - 2006)

William Motzing (2008 - 2010)


Awards & Prizes

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

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Sleep, In My Arms (sextets: string, woodwind) (2019) Commissioned by Paul Cutlan for performance by Paul Cutlan String Project.
Digital sheet music sample Long-Lost Frenemy : big band (2017) Commissioned by the 2016 Sydney International Jazz Festival.
Long-Lost Frenemy : large jazz ensemble (2016) Commissioned by the 2016 Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival.
Mrs Party Pants : big band (2016) Commissioned by Graham and Jenny Cook
Digital sheet music sample Chasing Sound (large jazz ensemble with vocalist) (2016) Commissioned by the 2016 Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival
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.

Analysis & Media

- Video: Jazz euphoria on Frenchmen street

- Video: Dear Miss Upstill