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?
SF: Hearing Lee Morgan on John Coltrane’s Blue Train (and some other Blue Note recordings) was what initially got me interested in jazz. Since then I’ve constantly been inspired by other trumpet players and other musicians, from the historical greats to those creating new and exciting music today. While hearing recordings from around the world is always great, I’m also inspired by hearing many of the musicians in Sydney playing live – there’s always more to hear and absorb!

JK: Into the future what kind of music do you want to create?
SF: At the moment I am writing music for a quintet album using the classic lineup of trumpet, tenor sax, piano, bass and drums. I think the combination of sounds and registers is very complementary but also very flexible and versatile. Even though this instrumentation has been used heavily over the years, there’s a lot that can be done without sounding like another 60s jazz recording.


Simon Ferenci is a Sydney-based trumpeter who has been a finalist in the National Jazz Awards in 2003, 2010 and now 2017. He regularly performs in Sydney, as well as around Australia and internationally. As a member of the award-winning Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, he has also performed with many leading international jazz musicians including Grammy winner Maria Schneider (US) and nominees Darcy James Argue (US) and Chris Potter (US).

His self-titled release from 2013, an album of his own compositions and improvisations, has been described as “an excellent blend of jazz sensibilities with more abstract textures. All four of the musicians contribute great things” – Lloyd Swanton (The Necks, The Catholics). Simon is currently working on material for a new album.



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