A sneak peak into what inspires this year’s National Jazz awards finalists and where they are heading

JK: What has inspired you to date in your career?
JM: Utlimately what has inspired me most throughout my career is the dynamic jazz tradition found in Melbourne, and particularly the music of giants such as Allan Browne and the Hoodangers.

JK: Into the future what kind of music do you want to create?
JM: I have had the good fortune to tour Tokyo and Japan with both the Lagerphones and the Aaron Choulai Quintet a few times, and I want to build on my musical relationship with Japan and collaborate with a range of artists there.  I am also passionate about Korean music traditions and hope to travel there to study them in depth.


James Macaulay is a trombone player from Melbourne, Australia.  James studied at Monash University with Scott Tinkler, Paul Williamson, Julien Wilson and Jordan Murray.  Known for his work with a variety of traditional and contemporary jazz ensembles such as the Lagerphones, the Eugene Ball Quartet, the Aaron Choulai Quintet (Tokyo), and the Monash Art Ensemble; he is passionate about the unique history of jazz and improvised music in Australia.  He has performed with the Australian Art Orchestra, Allan Browne, Maria Schneider, George Garzone, John Taylor and Hermeto Pascoal, as well more popular artists such as Harry Angus, Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackets, and Brian Wilson among others.

“James’ approach is rare in that it boldly displays intelligence and ferocious command of the instrument whilst remaining warm and lyrical. James is also one of the few emerging musicians with a genuine passion and respect for the historical legacy of the jazz in Australia. Above all, James is vehemently dedicated to personal and musical excellence.”  Eugene Ball

This year’s National Jazz Award finalists are Thomas Avgenicos · Josh Bennier · Niran Dasika · Simon Ferenci · James Macaulay · Ricki Malet · Eamon McNelis · Joe O’Connor · Alex Taylor · Patrick Thiele.
Jazz Australia feature story here
Link to Wangaratta Festival of jazz & blues – 3 – 5 November 2017 here