The Sound Lounge at Sydney’s Seymour Theatre Centre is SIMA’s primary venue for jazz.
Included as Downbeat’s Magazine Great Jazz Venues 2012, 2013 & 2014
Australia’s leading jazz vocalist, Vince Jones, is also an interpreter and composer of songs in a contemporary jazz style. Vince Jones also plays trumpet and over the years his style has developed a distinctive reserve and subtlety.
Born in Glasgow, Vince and his family came to live in Australia when he was 11 years old. He grew up in Wollongong, NSW, listening to his musician father’s collection of great jazz albums, and the feel, style and essence of the music became a natural part of Vince’s world. At 20, Vince began playing the club circuit in Melbourne.
Vince’s first album Watch What Happens, released in 1981, was a quiet, strong statement – showcasing his vocal and songwriting talent in tandem with stylish accompaniment. A loyal following developed and with each album and tour the Australian audience grew. Through the 1990s Vince Jones and his band found success on the European circuit making an impression on reviewers, audiences and promoters.
Jones uses his voice as an expressive instrument and the lyric as a vehicle for story and comment.
In late 1999, Vince’s twelfth CD – ‘Vince Jones Live‘ – was released. Recorded at The Basement in Sydney.
“The sonic quality here is remarkable for a live album . . . it’s a mystery that Jones isn’t a household name.” Rolling Stone “Vince Jones is living proof that independence is not about genres …. He’s a soulful survivor, with a voice as cool as a long G&T and a repertoire that balances jazz, rock and soul.” Beat Magazine ”
Alister is recognized as one of Australia’s most original, distinctive pianists/composers. With a performing and composing career spanning more than 25 years, his wide-ranging talents have led him to perform with and compose for some of the world’s most respected artists in the areas of contemporary music, improvisation, film and theatre.
In recent years he has devoted his energy to writing and performing with his trio, The Alister Spence Trio with Lloyd Swanton (the Necks) on double bass and Toby Hall (formerly with pianist, Mike Nock) drums and glockenspiel. This celebrated group has recorded five CDs (Rufus Records) and has a growing international reputation.
Their most recent CD, Far Flung (Rufus Records 2012) received a 4 star review in Jazz Journal (June 2013) and was listed in Critics Poll 2013 (January 2014). It was also listed in The WIRE 2013 Rewind – Critics’ reflections by Andy Hamilton as Album of the year. fit (Rufus Records 2009) was voted in the top 15 jazz/improv releases worldwide for 2009 by The Wire, UK. Both Mercury (Rufus Records 2006) and Flux (Rufus Records 2003) received ARIA nominations (Australian Record Industry Awards) for 2004, 2007. The trio toured in U.K and Canada in 2006 and Japan in 2008.
Since performing at The Vilnius Jazz Festival 2009, with bassist, Joseph Williamson (Tobias Delius Quartet, Alex Ward) and drummer, Chris Cantillo (Nils Berg Cinemascope, Lena Nyberg), Alister has returned to Europe and the UK on a regular basis to tour with this lineup. Also performing as a Quartet with saxophonist Raymond MacDonald (Marilyn Crispell, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra).
Festival performances for the Trio include: Vilnius Jazz Festival 2009, Luminous Festival, Sydney Opera House curated by Brian Eno 2009, Tokyo Jazz Festival 2008, International Festival de Jazz de Montreal and Vancouver Jazz Festival 2006.
Alister is a founding member of Wanderlust and a long-standing member of The Australian Art Orchestra (AAO). Alister was also co-leader/composer with the internationally acclaimed group Clarion Fracture Zone for 15 years from 1990 – 2005.
His playing is featured on more than 30 CDs, many of which have either won or been nominated for Australian Record Industry (ARIA) Awards.
Over the years he has played with many of the finest musicians in Australia including Bernie McGann, Sandy Evans, Chris Abrahams, Don Burrows, Dale Barlow, Peter O’Mara, Tony Buck, Phillip Slater, Paul Capsis, Archie Roach and Ed Kuepper (The Laughing Clowns).
Alister has also performed with Satoko Fujii (Japan), Michiyo Yagi (Japan), Barre Phillips (US), Myra Melford (US), Mark Helias (US), Andy Sheppard (UK), Joe Williamson (SWE), Jim O’Rourke (Japan), Raymond MacDonald (Glasgow), Mark Helias (US), Karraikudi Mani (IND).
Over the last 20 years, Alister has toured extensively in Europe, Asia and Canada with The Alister Spence Trio, Clarion Fracture Zone, Wanderlust and AAO, and has performed radio broadcasts for ABC (Australia), BBC (UK), and WDR (Germany).
His talents as a composer are well known in Australia. As well as his own trio and Clarion Fracture Zone, Alister composes for Wanderlust and has been commissioned several times to write for The Australian Art Orchestra and Ten Part Invention.
One of Australia’s most accomplished and internationally recognised jazz artists, Dale was a member of legendary American groups The Cedar Walton Quartet, and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, two of the greatest training grounds for young musicians in jazz history.
Widely recognised as an inspiring, virtuosic and original Tenor saxophonist/ composer, he is also an accomplished flautist/bass clarinettist/ arranger and pianist. As a composer he has written for large and small ensemble, film, theatre and television, and recorded extensively.
His credits include touring and recording with some of the all-time greats: Sonny Stitt, Chet Baker, Gil Evans, Jackie McLean, Billy Cobham, Curtis Fuller, Eddie Palmieri, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson, Lee Konitz, Sonny Stitt, Helen Merryl, Mulgrew Miller, Cindy Blackman, Ernie Watts, Eddie Henderson, Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond, Billy Higgins, Cedar Walton and, of course the original Jazz Messenger, Art Blakey.
After completing his musical studies at the NSW conservatorium, Dale moved to New York to further hone his musical skills and be part of the greatest Jazz scene in the world. He studied saxophone with George Coleman and Dave Liebman, piano with Barry Harris and Hal Galper, and won a scholarship to study at the “Jazz composers workshop” with Bob Brookmeyer and Manny Album. During this time he worked the New York Scene and toured the world constantly, performing regularly at major jazz festivals throughout the USA., Canada, Europe, Japan, Asia and the Soviet Union, and recording with many of the great Jazz Artists.
Since returning to Australia, Dale has received numerous awards and accolades including: Album of the Year/ Jazz performer of the year/ International Artist of the Year/ Bicentennial Artist of the Year, four Mo Awards and numerous grants and credits for his for his achievements and contribution to the arts In Australia. Dale is a Master of Music (Canberra University), appears regularly on television and enjoys excellent media attention.
Samuel Cottell is freelance jazz journalist and writer based in Sydney. He currently writes for several jazz publications and is completing a PhD researching the music of Tommy Tycho, at Sydney University. When he is not writing about jazz he plays piano and writes music arrangements.
The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra (JMO) is Australia’s leading jazz orchestra and has gained a reputation as one of the world’s most respected independent Jazz Orchestra’s since its inception in 2003. The JMO has strived to re-define excellence with our position at the zenith of Jazz orchestral composition and improvisation in Australia, through the presentation of two concert seasons per year featuring leading international/domestic artists, sublime guest soloists plus the running of our annual Jazz orchestral composition Competition and the release of world class recordings of original music.
The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra was nominated as Australian Jazz Ensemble of the Year 2006, 2007 & 2009. Via commissions and a semi-annual composition competition, the Orchestra has fostered and furthered jazz orchestra writing in Australia, recording and premiering works by Australians such as vocalist-songwriter Kristin Berardi, and composers Steve Newcomb, Sean Wayland, David Panichi, Mace Francis, Ross Irwin, Andy Fiddes and more. In recent years, with the assistance of the Australia Council and the support of Australia’s major jazz festivals, the Orchestra has collaborated with international artists Maria Schneider (USA), Darcy James Argue (USA), Chris Potter (USA), Jim McNeely (USA), Dave Lisik (USA/NZ), Bob Sheppard & Alex Sipiagin (USA), Bert Joris (BE), Charles Tolliver (USA) and John Hollenbeck & Theo Bleckmann (USA).
Musically this ensemble represents many of the finest young improvisers Australia has to offer, and features original music from Australia’s most dynamic and creative large ensemble composers all packaged into one exciting super-ensemble. The Mothership’s members have dominated Australia’s top prizes over the last decade including 10 x National Jazz Award Finalists (including 3 winners), 4 x Freedman Fellows (including 2 winners), 2 x Australian Jazz Artist’s of the Year (Bell awards), James Morrison Scholarship Winners, a finalist in the International Thelonius Monk Trumpet Competition plus a finalist at the Hoolieart International Jazz Competition (Belgium).
The music of the mothership can best be defined as exciting, dynamic and highly original with most of its youthful members (average age 29) being drawn from one of the world’s most innovative musician’s collective’s, Sydney’s Jazzgroove Association. The Orchestra has released four critically acclaimed CD’s ‘The Mothership plays the music of Mike Nock’ (2006) ‘Dream Wheel’ (2007) The Mothership meets Kristin Berardi (2010) and Walkabout (2012) featuring Bob Sheppard and Alex Sipiagin.
It is undeniable that the Mothership Orchestra is the most consolidated assemblage of highly respected jazz talent in Australia. The Mothership’s 17 members include 10 National Jazz Award Finalists (including 5 winners), 4 Freedman Fellows (including 2 winners), a James Morrison Scholarship Winner, a finalist in the International Thelonius Monk Trumpet Competition and a finalist at the Hoolieart International Jazz Competition. Together the Mothership holds 5 Masters Degrees and 20 undergraduate degrees in Music and other disciplines from the Australian National University and University of Sydney. The musicians of the Mothership have released over 20 CDs as bandleaders.