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Sandy Evans : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Spectre of the broken : jazz ensemble by Sandy Evans, from the CD When the sky cries rainbows

Photo of Sandy Evans

Awarded the Inaugural Bell Award for Australian Jazz Musician of the Year in 2003, Sandy Evans is recognised as one of the leading saxophonists (tenor and soprano) and composers in contemporary jazz in Australia. A graduate of the Jazz Studies Course at the NSW Conservatorium of Music, Sandy also completed studies in the US, Germany, Hungary and the UK with the assistance of an Australia Council study grant.

During the 1980s Sandy played with and wrote music for some of the most important groups in Australian jazz including Great White Noise, The Bruce Cale Orchestra, the KMA Orchestra, the Bernie McGann Trio, Judy Bailey, the Gai Bryant Quartet and Jeremy Sawkins.

Her group Women and Children First was a ground–breaking ensemble during the 1980s, undertaking an epic seven month tour by bus around the whole of Australia. Sandy also undertook tours in Australia, America and Europe – performing with both the Bulgarian folk–jazz fusion group MARA! and in the award winning show, The Theft of Site. This extraordinary collaboration between Balinese and Australian musicians and puppetteers was written and directed by Nigel Jamieson with music by Paul Grabowsky and I Gde Yudana.

Sandy's composition Testimony about the life and music of Charlie Parker, with poetry by the Pulitzer prize winning American poet Yusef Komunyakaa, has been a highlight of her career in recent years. Originally commissioned by ABC Radio, Testimony was premiered by the Australian Art Orchestra in the Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House during the 2002 Sydney Festival.

Other recent projects include Sweet Freedom, a concert of spirituals and liberation songs featuring Tina Harrod and Jackie Orszaczky which premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2003. In 2000 Sandy was seen by a worldwide television audience on the roof of the Sydney Opera House at the dawn of the new millennium playing Ross Edward's Dawn Mantras.

Currently, Sandy leads the Sandy Evans Trio, and co–leads the internationally acclaimed Clarion Fracture Zone. She is a member of Ten Part Invention, The catholics, the Australian Art Orchestra, austraLYSIS, The Kristen Cornwell Quintet and Guy Strazzullo's Passionfruit. With percussionist Tony Lewis and koto player Satsuki Odamura, she co–leads the innovative world music trio Waratah. In 2004, together with composer Tony Gorman, she will launch a new 8 piece ensemble GEST8.

Sandy performs regularly in Sydney for The Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) at The Side On Cafe. She is an experienced teacher and, in addition to teaching privately, she heads a Jazz Improvisation Course for Young Women run by SIMA.

Biography provided by the composer — current to December 2008

Teacher/Influence on

Victoria Pham

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2018 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Jazz Finalist
2018 Art Music Awards: Award for Excellence in Jazz Winner
2013 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Jazz Finalist Meetings at the table of time
2010 Order of Australia Order of Australia Medal

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Ash (chamber orchestra with jazz ensemble) (2020) Commissioned by the New Zurich Orchestra, supported by the School of Arts and Media, UNSW
Digital sheet music sample Lighthouse Keepers : Beacons of Light (2020) Commissioned by the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival for the 10-piece all-female jazz ensemble, Pharos.
The Drunkard's Walk : Step 3, Step 5, Step 1, Step 11 (2018) The Drunkard’s Walk was developed with the assistance of an Australia Council Fellowship and supported by the Monash Art Ensemble
Digital sheet music sample Program for ten : a tribute to Dr Roger Frampton (2000) Commissioned by Ten Part Invention.
Testimony (large jazz ensemble with vocalist) (1999) Commissioned by ABC Audio Arts with the assistance of the Music Fund of the Australia Council.