Forget for a moment the prospect of debates between Opposition (pause) Leader (pause) Tony (pause) Abbott (pause) and fair-suck-of-the-sauce-bottle Kevin (frankly, let be be quite clear about this) Rudd. The musical debate about to unfold tonight in Sydney is bound to be more engrossing, if less bloody.
Tonight four of Australia’s musicians play off in The Studio at the Sydney Opera House for the $15,000 cash Freedman Jazz Fellowship.
All the best to Marc Hannaford, Raj Jayaweera, Aaron Flower and Jeremy Rose as they perform with their bands and front up to interviews before respected jazz musicians Andrew Robson, Tim Firth, and Alister Spence, who will be judging.
The finalists vying for this prestigious fellowship are all exciting. Marc is leaving Melbourne soon for New York soon to take up a five-year fellowship to complete a PhD in music theory; drummer Raj is now based in New York; Sydney guitarist Aaron Flower won the 2007 National Jazz Guitar Awards; and saxophonist Jeremy Rose won the 2009 Bell Award for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year.
The Freedman Music Fellowships, administered by the Music Council of Australia, provide two prizes of $15,000 cash for a jazz and a classical musician.
Publicity material for the concert includes the following profiles (but not the images):
Marc Hannaford (piano, Brisbane) is known as one of the exciting improvising pianists in Australia. His multi-faceted and energetic music combines elements of the American and Australian jazz traditions, South Indian classical music and Flamenco. Marc has released four CDs under his own name and his work has been recognised with awards and nominations.
Rajiv Jayaweera (drummer, New York-based) was born in London of Sri Lankan heritage but grew up in Melbourne. He moved to New York in 2011 to do his Masters in Jazz Studies where he studied with Professor John Riley. He regularly performs at Birdland Jazz Club with The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band and has travelled widely performing at jazz festivals and playing with musicians such as Cyrille Aimee, the Kenny Werner Trio, Gilad Hekselman and Chris Cheek.
Aaron Flower (guitar, Sydney) is a regular on the Sydney music scene and has performed with jazz greats both here and overseas and in 2007 he won the National Jazz Guitar Award. He plays and records with bands including his own, BAZ, whose last album was shortlisted for the Jazz Bell Award in 2011. That same year he started Yum Yum Tree Records a collective and label which aims to promote music from 2003 – 2010.
Jeremy Rose (saxophone, Sydney) has played the saxophone at major festivals around Australia, as well as performances in Japan, Norway and Canada. He has studied with top artists around the world and released nine albums of original music with his various projects. He is becoming increasingly known as a composer for ensembles such as Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic, Sirens Big Band and Compass Quartet.
Established in 1998 by Laurence and Kathy Freedman, The Freedman Foundation also supports visual artists, Australian youth projects, scientific and medical research.