An exciting new, long-term project initiated by drummer, educator and bandleader Andrew Dickeson – "Jazz Voices" aims to build an oral history archive through a series of dialogues between notable Australian Jazz musicians. "Jazz Voices" will take the form of public panel discussions, and in some cases private interviews, chaired by Andrew Dickeson and pianist Matt McMahon. Every month a notable Australian Jazz musician will be invited to participate.
This interview with Andrew Dickeson provides some background into this project.
JK: Andrew, why you are doing this?
AD: My aim is to contribute to our music not only as a performer/bandleader & educator, but also by documenting the incredible lineage of which I am a part.
I feel it is extremely important that the many important Australian jazz musicians have their stories, history and thoughts and feelings about music and life documented IN THEIR OWN WORDS. My aim is to build an audio & video of a wide variety of musicians IN DIALOGUE with myself and other guest interviewers.
I would like future generations of musicians to be able to gain an appreciation of the incredible legacy of their predecessors.
My inspiration for this project was my teacher, Art Taylor – who, besides being one of the great Jazz drummers, also recorded many musician-to-musician interviews – some of which appeared in his book "Notes And Tones".
JK: How you are doing it?
AD: It is going to be a series of live talks and some will also take place in homes and private areas
When possible, I am to conduct the interviews in public – but am also aiming to preserve a feeling of comfort & intimacy. In certain cases a public forum may not be possible or practical – in this case I will conduct the interviews in private.
I will chair the interview panel and will be joined by invited guest interviewers, related to the interviewee by instrument, shared history, knowledge of music etc.
JK: What artists are in the pipeline?
AD: Errol Buddle (April 6), Geoff Bull, Bruce Cale, Col Nolan, Dale Barlow, Lyn Wallis, Warren Daly, Don Heap, Alan Turnbull, Jimmy Shaw….just to name a few.
JK: How will you be sharing these interviews?
AD: At present I have an agreement with the ABC to record and archive the series (some of which may be broadcast by Into the Music). I also aim to provide links to edited "highlights" on my website, the SIMA site and potentially a designated "Jazz Voices" website in future.
I have had discussions with Loren Schoenberg of the "Jazz Museum in Harlem" who run a similar programme entitled "Harlem Speaks" and hope to be able to form a partnership with then in the near future.
The inaugural discussion took place on Saturday February 2, 5:00pm, with support from the Sydney Improvised Music Association and Joanne Kee.
The next discussion will take place on Saturday April 6. SIMA are hosting this event at the Sound Lounge, time to be confirmed but it is estimated that it will be around 5pm.
Andrew Dickeson is known for his crisp, hard-swinging style, Andrew has been one of the foremost drummers on the Australian Jazz scene for over 20 years. He played & studied in Newcastle and Sydney before playing and studying in New York with jazz legends Art Taylor and Vernel Fournier.
He has worked with a who's who of Jazz greats such as Johnny Griffin, Junior Cook, Lee Konitz and Kirk Lightsey, as well as practically everyone in the Australian scene. He appears around 100 CDs and is in constant demand here and overseas. He has recently released his long-awaited CD called “Weaver of Dreams” which is receiving outstanding reviews and accolades and is available at www.andrewdickeson.com . Andrew plays Canopus drums from Japan exclusively.
Matt McMahon is a pianist and composer. He has been a part of the jazz scene in Australia since completing his studies in 1994. He leads the Matt McMahon Trio and is a co-leader of the Band of Five Names (with whom he has recorded several albums). He is the musical director for Vince Jones and a frequent collaborator with artists such as Phil Slater, Katie Noonan, Sandy Evans, Simon Barker, Steve Hunter, Dave Panichi and many others. He has appeared with a variety of groups and at major music festivals both in Australia (Jazznow, Wangaratta Jazz Festival) and overseas.
His recent albums include Paths and Streams and Ellipsis, both recorded for the Kimnara label.