SCIJF Artist Information Conservatorium Open Academy

SCIJF Artist Information



Virtuosic percussionist Simon Barker is one of the most persuasive and influential voices in Australia drumming today. In addition to new music projects with East Asian musicians in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam, his collaborative projects include the Matt McMahon Trio, Band of Five Names, Showa 44 (duo with Carl Dewhurst), Lost Thoughts (duo with Scott Tinkler) and Daorum, a group featuring pansori singer Bae Il Dong, Korean traditional percussionist Kim Dong Won, Phil Slater, Matt McMahon and Carl Dewhurst. Equally active in the jazz education field, Simon is a lecturer at the University of Sydney, as well giving workshops and private tuition at universities throughout East Asia and New Zealand.
"Always the myriad sounds arrest and engage, guiding you from thought to thought, so you never feel you’re eavesdropping on a private conversation. Perhaps the title should have been Found Thoughts. Sensational." - John Shand – Sydney Morning Herald on Simon Barker and Scott Tinkler

WATCH - Youtube


Jazz Saxophonist, bandleader, conductor, educator & composer David Theak, has enjoyed an exciting and dynamic career at the core of the Australian jazz scene since the mid 1990’s. David’s big band, theJazzgroove Mothership Orchestra (JMO) enjoys an international reputation as Australia’s leading jazz orchestra.
David continues to be a tireless advocate for big band jazz in Australia demonstrated through his work with the JMO, as the current director of Big Bands at the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Studies course, as convener of the National Big Band Composition Competition and as a former guest artist and current advisory board member of the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO). His newest project, the Australian National Jazz Orchestra will be premiered at the Sydney Conservatorium International Jazz Festival.
As a saxophonist, David has been a finalist in the 2002 National Jazz Awards, 2004 Freedman Fellowship, and a triple nominee for Bell Australian Jazz Ensemble of the year. David has performed concerts at all of Australia’s major jazz clubs and festivals.

WATCH - Youtube



Jim Black is at the forefront of a new school of musicians bringing jazz into the 21st century. A graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Black has influenced a generation of drummers based on the foundation of his virtuosic but highly personal approach to jazz drumming. As leader of the forward-thinking AlasNoAxis, which features long time collaborators Chris Speed, Hilmar Jensson and Skúli Sverrisson, Black’s aesthetic has expanded to include Balkan rhythms, rock songcraft and laptop soundscapes. Though he is revered worldwide for his limitless technique and futuristic concepts, what many listeners treasure in most Jim Black’s work is the relentless feeling of joy and invention he brings to his performances. Jim Black’s smiling, kinetic, unpredictable presence has enthralled and inspired audiences worldwide for over twenty-five years.

"A complete musician and wonderfully fertile composer... Black has produced a masterpiece of future jazz." - Andy Hamilton, The Wire

WATCH - Youtube


Having trained in both classical and jazz styles, Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan earned recognition early in his career when he won the Montreux Jazz Festival’s piano prize at just 16 years of age. Seamlessly blending jazz, ancient Armenian sacred music, rock, folk and electronica, Tigran’s unique sound and style went on to win him a swag of awards including the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition in 2006, the prestigious Paul Acket Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2015 and most recently, the International Instrumentalist of the Year (Piano) at the ECHO Awards in Germany. With seven critically acclaimed albums to his name and a growing dedicated international following, Tigran Hamasyan is one of the most exciting pianists of our times.
"A mature and great and rich and deep artist" - Chick Corea

ARTIST WEBSITE - Tigran Hamasyan
WATCH - Youtube


Saxophonist, composer, producer and educator Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a band leader and solo artist. Highly regarded for his insightful and innovative approach to composition and performance, Osby, who has earned numerous awards and critical acclaim for his recorded works, has released fifteen albums on the Blue Note label before starting his own label, Inner Circle Records. Born and reared in St. Louis, Osby relocated to NY in 1983 and established himself as a notable and in-demand sideman with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Andrew hill, Jim Hall, Jaki Byard and many other improvised and new music ensembles in the New York scene.
"Saxophonist Greg Osby brought dynamism and virtuosity to an erudite, edgy performance" - The Guardian

WATCH - Youtube


Originating from London, Alto Saxophonist/Composer Will Vinson moved to New York City in 1999 and since his arrival, he has worked with a myriad of leading jazz musicians including Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ari Hoenig, Marcus Gilmore, Chris Potter, Kurt Elling, Lage Lund and Aaron Parks.

A formidable leader and sideman, All About Jazz New York describes Will as playing “with a relentless force”. John Fordham of The Guardian described his playing as having “secure control and storming energy”.

"Potent, big-toned alto saxophonist... exhilarating, cascading improvisations... Outstanding playing" Jazz Times

WATCH - Youtube


Australian National Jazz Orchestra

David Theak – Artistic Director
Nick Mulder – Composer
Mat Jodrell – Guest trumpet soloist
Roger Manins – Guest Saxophonist soloist

Debut performance of Australian National Jazz Orchestra (ANJO). Featuring two stunning soloists in Mat Jodrell and Roger Manins, ANJO convenes for the first time to present this international debut of a new work for Jazz Orchestra by Melbourne composer Nick Mulder.

SAXES David Theak (NSW/SA) Carl Mackey (WA/VIC) Mike Rivett (QLD) Julien Wilson (VIC) Nick Bowd (NSW/QLD) TRUMPETS Simon Sweeney (NSW) Dane Laboyrie (NSW) Eamon McNelis (VIC) Ricki Malet (WA), Dan Quigley (QLD) TROMBONES Dave Panichi (NSW) James Greening (NSW) Eleanor Shearer (NSW) Colin Burrows (QLD/NSW) GUITAR James Muller (SA) PIANO Hugh Barrett (ACT) BASS Sam Anning (VIC) DRUMS Ben Vanderwal (WA)

Mat Jodrell
WATCH - Youtube
Roger Manins
WATCH - Youtube


Pianist Tal Cohen grew up in Israel. His style, which is said to reflect his early years, has influences of Jewish folk songs and classical music. A finalist in the 2013 National Jazz Award, pianist Tal Cohen went on to win the prestigious 2014 Freedman Jazz Fellowship. More recently, Tal Cohen completed a Master’s degree under the mentorship of Martin Bejerano at the University of Miami in the United States.

WATCH - Youtube


Based in New York for most of the past decade, Australian vocalist Jo Lawry’s star has been rising through her club shows and to audiences beyond the jazz genre through her work touring with Sting, and Paul Simon. Most recently, Jo was featured on The Last Ship, Sting’s first release of new original material in over a decade, several songs of which Jo had a hand in writing. Currently she is touring with Sting and Paul Simon on their North-American double-bill tour. Jo has received many honors including the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship for study in the United States to complete her Master’s degree in Jazz Performance (2003) then Doctor of Musical Arts (2008). She was a semifinalist in the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and she won second place in Australia’s National Jazz Awards in 2005.

WATCH - Youtube


Australian guitarist James Muller is one of the most exciting and innovative musician on the Australian music scene today. His distinctive sound, coupled with masterful improvisation and breathtaking virtuosity, has made him one of the most respected and most significant young musicians in the country.

"James Muller is a mountain of guitar virtuosity...All the things that are the most effective in jazz, rock, blues and country guitar emerge naturally at the right time, in the right place and it can
give the listener shivers." - John Clare (Sydney Morning Herald)

LISTEN - James Muller
WATCH - Youtube


Jamie is one of the country’s leading jazz musicians, regularly touring and performing at jazz clubs and festivals throughout the world. In 2007 he was named Australian Jazz Musician of the Year at the Bell Awards, as well as winning the Best Jazz Release category in 2005, 2006 and 2007; and in 2003 was the winner of the World Saxophone Competition held at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He has released twelve recordings under his name and
is currently coordinator of Jazz Studies at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) which produces some of the finest jazz musicians in Australia.

 He has performed with international jazz artists at festivals and clubs in the United States, Asia, India, UK, Europe, New Zealand and throughout Australia.

ARTIST WEBSITE - Jamie Oehlers
WATCH - Youtube


Formed in 2000 as a band featuring some of the brightest young talents on the Perth jazz scene, Speedball was a jewel in the WA jazz scene for many years until its members were scattered across the world. The combined accolades of the members are extensive and impressive, including: James Morrison Scholarship recipients, Clifford Brown/Stan Getz fellow, Bell awards, WAMI awards, ARIA nominations, National Jazz awards, and MCA Freedman Fellowship finalists. Speedball members have also been on the faculty at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, University of Miami, and the James Morrison Academy. Reuniting for a rare performance, the ensemble shares a rare connectivity in the frontline featuring trumpeter Mat Jodrell and saxophonist Carl Mackay and a blistering virtuosity in the back driven by pianist Grant Windsor, bassist Samuel Anning and percussionist Daniel Susnjar. Together they explore standard and original material, with an emphasis on extremes – of energy, beauty, ferociousness, swing, subtlety and emotion.

Mat Jodrell
Carl Mackey
Daniel Susnjar
Sam Anning
Grant Windsor
WATCH - Youtube


Powerful stylist and composer, Scott Tinkler is a formidable force in Australian jazz. An explosive improviser, Scott has received grants and invitations to perform throughout the world. An in-demand ensemble player with groups such as the Australian Art Orchestra and with visiting international artist including Joe Lenavo, Mark Helias and Branson Marsalis, Scott has earned critical acclaim for his own groups, the Scott Tinkler Quartet and Scott Tinkler Trio. He lectures at the Victorian College of the Arts and Monash University.

"Always the myriad sounds arrest and engage, guiding you from thought to thought, so you never feel you’re eavesdropping on a private conversation. Perhaps the title should have been Found Thoughts. Sensational." - John Shand – Sydney Morning Herald on Simon Barker and Scott Tinkler

Scott Tinkler
WATCH - Youtube


Julien Wilson is the recipient of the 2015 APRA Art Music Award for Excellence in Jazz, a trifecta of Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards in 2014, the 2008 ‘Bell’ Award for ‘Australian Jazz Artist of the Year’, the 2006 Music Council of Australia/Freedman Fellowship for Jazz, and the 1994 National Jazz Award.

ARTIST WEBSITE - Julien Wilson
WATCH - Youtube



Led by pianist Emma Stephenson, the Hieronymus Trio has reworked and composed material for this special and unique performance. Mentored by esteemed artists including Ari Hoenig, John Riley, Aaron Goldberg, Craig Scott, Simon Barker and Matt McMahon, the trio emerges as the newest generation of gifted Australian jazz artists. Prodigious vocalist and composer Gian Slater is one of Australia’s most sought-after and inventive creative musicians, known for her superb musicianship, pioneering vision for vocal music, and powerful artistic integrity. She is a four-time finalist in the Freedman Fellowship, winner of 2015 PBS Young Elder of Jazz, and recipient of a 2012 Creative Australia Fellowship.


Emma Stephenson
Gian Slater
Listen to Hieronymus Trio - Youtube
Watch Gian Slater - Youtube


Guitarist Carl Morgan was the 2014 winner of the National Jazz Awards. He has maintained a busy schedule performing with many of Australia’s top jazz artists in addition to performing with his own groups since moving to Sydney in 2009.

Carl released his debut album ‘Stone’ in 2012. The band which featured on the album became known for their energetic live performances at 505 and toured the southeast coast of Australia. For this performance, Carl will debut some new compositions in addition to some from ‘Stone’. Expect weaving unison Guitar and Saxophone lines delivered by Mike Rivett, crunchy piano/Rhodes chords by Steve Barry and explosive band interplay driven by the bands stellar backline of Sam Anning (bass) and Ben Vanderwal (drums).

WATCH - Youtube


Boundlessly creative trumpeter Phil Slater has been awarded the Freedman Fellowship, the National Jazz Award, Bell Award’s Jazz Musician of the Year and the Limelight Award for Outstanding Contribution to Contemporary Australian Jazz. His quartet has been awarded a Bell Award for Best Australian Jazz Ensemble. His compositional credits include commissions for
The Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir St Theatre and Legs on the Wall. Phil has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including Katie Noonan, Genevieve Lacey, Archie Roach, Missy Higgins, Lou Reed, Nigel Kennedy and the Australian Art Orchestra. A lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Phil leads the Phil Slater Quartet and co-leader of the acousmatic jazz trio Band of Five Names. His new project, the Phil Slater Quintet, features premiere performances of new works and showcases Phil’s longstanding position as a leading voice of contemporary jazz in Australia.

WATCH - Youtube


The Sydney Women’s Jazz Collective is a 10-piece powerhouse that debuted at the 2016 Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival. These talented members represent some of Australia’s up and coming jazz stars. Making its debut appearance, the Sydney Women’s Jazz Collective is led by trumpeter Ellen Kirkwood and bassist Hannah James. Featuring a six-piece horn section and four-piece rhythm section, the band includes several past winners of the prestigious Jann Rutherford Memorial Award for young women in jazz, performing with the acclaimed Sydney saxophonist Sandy Evans. For this performance, the Jazz Collective will present eight specially commissioned works by Andrea Keller (Vic) and local composing talents Jenna Cave, Glenn Doig and Ellen Kirkwood.

Ellen Kirkwood (trumpet/co-leader) Hannah James (contrabass/co-leader) Sandy Evans (guest saxophonist) Louise Horwood (trumpets) Alex Silver (trombone) (Melissa Mony) Anna Leckie (saxophones) Sorcha Alberquerque (guitar) Emma Stephenson (piano) Ali Foster (drums)

Sandy Evans
WATCH - Youtube


The BASSMEN is a project that was put together by Brendan Clarke and Craig Scott in 2013. The best way to describe it: 16 fingers, 4 thumbs, 8 strings, 2 basses: 1 purpose, JAZZ.
Brendan Clarke has accumulated a wealth of experience becoming one of Australia’s premier jazz double bassists. He has a built a reputation for his sense of swing, commanding sound, groove and musicality on the bass. In 2001 Brendan was the first bassist ever to win the prestigious National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. Since then Brendan has played bass on over 50 albums and has appeared at all the major Australian jazz festivals, touring internationally and performing with a pleathera of elite Australian and international artists.

Craig Scott has been one of Australia’s leading bassists for over thirty years. He began his career in jazz in 1979 and since that time he has been a member of many other jazz groups led by such well-known jazz identities as
Don Burrows, James Morrison, Kerrie Biddell, Judy Bailey, Roger Frampton and many others as well as performing with a number of tourig international jazz stars such as Mark Levine. A leading figure in jazz, Craig has been on the judging panel of the National Jazz Awards and is deeply involved in jazz education. He is a lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and frequently gives masterclasses at other tertiary institutions around Australasia as well as the Berklee College of Music, USA.

Craig Scott
Brendan Clarke
WATCH - Youtube


The Converge section of the festival brings together leading student groups from the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Studies program and pairs them with a mentor drawn from some of Australia’s most progressive and dynamic Jazz musicians. Music is rehearsed in advance featuring compositions from the guest artist but it’s the during the rehearsals and the performance with the artist that this concept comes alive.

Thomas Avgenicos group featuring Mike Rivett

Mike Rivett (tenor saxophone, composer) Thomas Avgenicos (trumpet) Blain Cunneen (guitar) Roshan Kumarage (keys) David Quinn (contrabass) Ashley Stoneham (drums)

Winner of the 2016 National Jazz Awards, Mike Rivett has played extensively in the USA, Europe, Japan and Australia-both as a leader and a sideman. In June, 2010, he completed a Master of Music degree at Manhattan School of music. While in New York he studied with David Liebman, Phil Markowitz, Garry Dial, Chris Rosenberg, John Riley and George Garzone. He is currently teaching at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He teaches saxophone technique, jazz improvisation, triadic chromatic approach, ear training, harmony and composition.

Matt O’Brien group featuring Sandy Evans

Sandy Evans (saxophone) Matt O’Brien (trombone) Tom Avgenicos (trumpet) Felix Bornholdt (piano) Jacques Emery (contrabass) Alex Inman-Hislop (drums)

Sandy Evans OA is an internationally renowned saxophonist and composer with a passion for improvisation and new music. She leads the Sandy Evans Trio and Sextet, and co-leads the internationally acclaimed Clarion Fracture Zone. She is a member of MARA!, The catholics, the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), Ten Part Invention, austraLYSIS, Kim Sanders and Friends and SNAP. Sandy has played with and written for some of the most important groups in Australian jazz and has toured extensively in Australia, Europe, Canada and Asia. Sandy has been featured on over 40 albums and has been a mentor to countless young women and men through her dynamic work as founder and of the Young Women’s Jazz Programs run by SIMA.
Sandy Evans website

Sean Valenzuela Group featuring Christopher Hale

Christopher Hale (bass) Blain Cunneen (guitar) James Gastineau-Hills (fiddle) Sam Gill (saxophone) Alex Inman-Hislop (drums) Chloe Kim (drums) Nigel Leung (flute) Luke Peterson (guitar) Charlie Sundborn (saxophone) Sean Valenzuela (piano and percussion )

Christopher Hale is one of Australia’s most unique and respected improvising musicians, recognized as an “Australian jazz heavyweight and a brilliant, groundbreaking composer” (Rhythms Magazine). Though an accomplished performer of percussion and mandolin, he is best known as one of Australia’s foremost exponents of the bass guitar, with an approach to the six-string acoustic bass that is characterized by a complex harmonic awareness (particularly his unique chordal approach), formidable rhythmic strength and a fluid and agile melodic sensibility. He has performed throughout the world as a leader and sideman at the highest level in almost every contemporary idiom and has received an Australia Council Fellowship. In 2012 Chris was awarded the prestigious Freedman Fellowship for Jazz. A 20-year immersion in Flamenco and recent immersion the study of Korean music has taken all around the world. He is a member of the Australian Art Orchestra and is also active as an educator and academic, lecturing at the Victorian College of the Arts, Monash University and NMIT in Melbourne.

Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra featuring Jeremy Rose

Jeremy Rose (composer and alto saxophone)

Jeremy Rose (Sydney) is a saxophonist/bass clarinetist/composer interested in expanding dialogues between music disciplines, styles and cultures. His music effortlessly crosses borders, moving successfully between jazz, improvised music, contemporary classical, world music and hip-hop. Jeremy started an independent record label in 2009, Earshift Music, and has released over a dozen albums of original music with his projects including The Vampires, The Strides, Jeremy Rose Quartet, Compass Saxophone Quartet and the Earshift Orchestra). Jeremy has performed at festivals and jazz clubs throughout Australia and has had multiple tours to Europe, the UK and Japan. Recent 2016 highlights include a sold-out Australian tour with The Vampires and Benin born US guitarist Lionel Loueke, a five-star review for his Earshift Orchestra album ‘Iron in the Blood’ (ABC Classics / Universal), a collaborative recording with US guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel in Berlin and guest soloist/composer with the Con’s Modern Music Ensemble.

Jeremy Rose