Graeme Bell

Jazz great Graeme Bell addressed last year’s awards via video.


On Thursday next week, May 2, at the Regent Theatre Ballroom, the glitterati of the  national jazz scene will gather for the 2013 Australian Jazz Bell Awards.

Sadly, Graeme Bell, MBE, AO, after whom these awards are named, died last year, so it will be the first ceremony without him. One of the most respected Australian jazz musicians, Bell was unable to attend the 2012 awards night, but addressed the gathering via a video link. This year’s ceremony will feature a special tribute to this talented artist.

Hard-working and talented musicians often struggle to find the money to record and release their work, so the $5000 prizes in each category of these awards can make a huge difference. A Bell Award also looks pretty good on a musician’s CV.

No attempt to rate musicians’ work will satisfy everyone, but the 2013 Bell Awards judging panel is a talented bunch of luminaries, drawn from Australia and overseas, who are closely associated with improvised music. They are Adrian Jackson, Albert Dadon, Gerry Koster, Laurence Donohue-Greene, Martin Jackson, Michael Tortoni, John McBeath and Rob Burke.

The awards recognise and encourage excellence in the performance, creativity, recording and presentation of jazz in Australia.

In case you have not caught up with this year’s final nominees in each category, here they are:

Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album:
Chris McNulty – The Song That Sings You Here
Gian Slater/Jamie Oehlers – The Differences
Michelle Nicolle Quartet – Mancini

Most Original Australian Jazz Album:
Barney McAll – Graft
Yitzhak Yedid- Arabic Violin Bass Piano Trio
Marc Hannaford- Sarcophile

Best Australian Contemporary Jazz Album:
Jamie Oehlers Quartet Feat. Ari Hoenig – Smoke And Mirrors
Stephen Magnusson – Magnet
Bernie McGann – Wending

Best Australian Traditional Jazz Album:
Flap! – A Great Day For The Race
Shirazz – Enjoy Responsibly
Zohar’s Nigun – The Four Questions

Best Australian Jazz Song of the Year:
Barney McAll – Nostalgia For The Present
David Ades – Joe The Kid
Mace Francis – Land Speed Record

Best Australian Jazz Ensemble:
David Ades – A Glorious Uncertainty
Jamie Oehlers Quartet Feat. Ari Hoenig – Smoke And Mirrors
Murphy’s Law – Big Creatures & Little Creatures

Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year:
Steve Barry – Steve Barry
Callum G’Froerer – City Speaks
Samuel Pankhurst – Sarcophile

The winner of the Graeme Bell Hall of Fame – in recognition of an outstanding career – will be announced on the night.

The Australian Jazz Bell Awards


Bell Awards winners

Winners of the 2012 Australian Jazz Bell Awards.

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