Described by ABC Jazz’s Mal Stanley as a talented young vocalist and pianist and ‘one to watch’, Frances is a classy young entertainer based in Sydney and performing at jazz clubs, festivals and other venues around the country.
Frances’ music is mostly original and jazz-oriented, although it also includes blues, bossa and covers of timeless classics.
While she’s been compared to a young Diana Krall and Norah Jones, Frances captivates her audiences with a combination of her genuinely warm stage presence as well as a voice and style that is uniquely her own. She is also a talented and engaging original composer so when she performs her own swinging tunes and beautiful ballads, they merge seamlessly with the standards she covers.
As jazz legend James Morrison said “Frances has a wonderful feeling for jazz and blues standards but what makes her a real stand-out are her original songs and her unique style.” Matt Bailey, Presenter of Jazz Vibes on Fine Music 102.5 FM said “Frances’ music is a river of original and heartfelt material, truly a creative force not just in the jazz idiom, but as a genuine contemporary songwriter.”
Frances’ regular band includes some of Sydney’s most talented young jazz musicians as well as a few old hands. With Frances on vocals and piano, the band normally includes double bass, drums, guitar, tenor sax, trumpet and backing vocals. Changes in tempo and in the combinations of people on stage – from Frances performing ballads solo to the whole band swinging together – give her live shows nuance and variety.
Frances’ album ‘If this Were a Dream’ debuted at #5 on the ARIA Jazz Album charts and has sold steadily since. John McBeath, Jazz Critic for ‘The Australian’ newspaper said “the new album by Frances Madden impressed me more than most debut albums do. Frances has an individual expressive ability, a musical professionalism, a good feel for swing in jazz and she plays fine piano . . .”
Frances’ performances include pro bono and charity work. In 2014 she performed in Mexico for a Susila Dharma International benefit concert and she performed to support the 2015 Tour de Cure here in Australia.
More information and contact details can be found at http://www.francesmadden.com
Kristin Berardi, originally from the country town of Koumala in North Queensland, is a one of Australia’s first calls when it comes to Jazz Singing. Her accolades include winning the Montreux Jazz Festival’s International Vocal Competition in 2006, supporting Al Jarreau and George Benson at Montreux Jazz Festival 2007, winning the National Freedman Fellowship 2007, receiving two National Australian Bell Awards for the Best Jazz Vocal Album for 2010& 2012, and most recently winnning the the National Jazz Award for Voice at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival (2012), and being one of five finalists in this year’s APRA Professional Development Awards for Jazz (2013).
She studied in Brisbane, at the Conservatorium of Music, with Irene Bartlett. She has released numerous albums, including her two Bell Award winning albums – the duo album, with the incredible Australian/NZ guitarist James Sherlock “If you were There”, and “Kristin Berardi meets the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra”. She also has her self titled band album on the Jazzhead label featuring all Berardi orginal works. She has successfully completed tours in Europe and Australia, and has performed locally, nationally and internationally at Jazz Festivals and Jazz Clubs, such as New York, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Indonesia.
She also teaches at the Brisbane Conservatorium of Music, as well as guest lectures around the country.
Australia jazz drummer and composer born in 1944.
Allan spent the 1960s establishing the The Red Onion Jazz Band with close friends Brett Iggulden and Bill Howard. They toured extensively in Europe.
From the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, after studying percussion with Graham Morgan, Allan worked extensively with Peter Gaudion, Geoff Kitchen, Ken Shroeder, Vince Jones, Barney Mc All, Steve Grant and Paul Grabowsky’s Trio and Quintet. Simultaneously he led the contemporary jazz group Onaje, which was selected to represent Australia at the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival in 1992.
Allan has worked with over 35 International Jazz icons including Milt Jackson, Jay Mc Shann, Herb Ellis, Phil Woods, Al Cohn, Plas Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Art Hodes, Barney Kessel, Urbie Green, Buddy Tate, Joe Newman, Mal Waldren, Johnny Griffin, Scott Hamilton, Wild Bill Davidson, Urbie Green, Ronnie Scott, Charlie Bird, Ralph Sutton, Sheilah Jordan, Red Holloway, Emily Remla and Richie Cole.
His discography totals over 70 LP’s or CDs, including The Red Onion’s “Big Band Memories”, “Creole Rhapsody” and “Crisis”. The Paul Grabowsky Trio’s “Six by Three” (Aria best jazz album 1990) and “When Words Fail” (1995, Aria best jazz album 1996), Onaje’s “Straight as a Briefcase “, New Orlean’s Rascal’s “Out of Nowhere”, “Genre Jumpin Jazz”, his Quartet’s “BirdCalls”, Shelley Scown’s “Angel”, Browne,Haywood and Steven’s “Sudden in a Shaft of Sunlight” and His New Rascal’s “East St. Kilda Toodleoo”. (The last five were short-listed for Aria awards).
Allan has also been involved in many film scores including Paul Grabowsky’s AFI award-winning music for the documentary on Joy Hester, “The Goodlooker” and Sue Stamps animated “The Whirligig”. Television credits include “The Esso Jazz Summit”, Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Bodgie Da Da and the Birth Of Cool “Access All areas”, The ABC Arts Programs and many variety appearances.
Browne is also a keen writer. He has some articles and poems published and is working on an anthology of poems and essays from the perspective of a forty-year career as a jazz musician.
Stephen Magnusson is considered one of Australia’s most accomplished, versatile and distinct musicians with incredible technique and an astoundingly beautiful tone. His hectic schedule shows that he is a delight to work with and someone that has ‘something to say’ in the world of improvised music.
He was given his first ukulele at 3, his first guitar at 6 and began performing at 10 on an electric guitar that he loaned from his schoolteacher. At 13, he started to study under the guidance of Gordon Pendleton at the Box Hill Tafe and discovered the world of improvised music.
In 1986, he studied at the esteemed Victorian College of the Arts under the supervision of some of Australia’s finest musicians – Tony Gould, Bob Sedergreen and Mike Doyle. Here he expanded his practice regime and playing. He joined various bands playing numerous styles and developed an understanding of different methods. But, his main focus remained, to develop and hone the craft of mastering the guitar.
He travelled to Europe and lived there and after being appointed on the staff at The Academy of Contemporary Music (Zurich) in 1997, Stephen met his long time collaborator – Sergio Beresovsky. They began to perform regularly with Swedish bassist – Bjorn Meyer and in the July of the same year, Australian saxophonist Julien Wilson travelled to meet and play with the trio. After the first week of playing, they formed SNAG and produced a self-titled album (released in Australia ‘Hey Guess What’).
After 3 years of living in Zurich, Stephen returned to Melbourne in August 2000. He entered the National Jazz Award at Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival, were he tied for first place amongst much controversy. At this festival he performed with his trio featuring Sergio and Eugene Ball. This recorded result is captured on the CD ‘Healing Songs’.
He has worked with many artists including Charlie Haden, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ricki Lee Jones, Sinead O’Connor, John Cale, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Paul Grabowsky, Vince Jones, Katie Noonan, Lisa Young, Christine Sullivan, Michelle Nicole, Martin Breeze, The Assumptions Trio, Megan Washington, Paul Kelly, Jim Black, Mike Nock, Barney McAll, Enrico Rava, Arthur Blythe and many others. As a part of the Katie Noonan trio Elixir, the ensemble won the ARIA for Best Jazz Album in 2011.
In 2013, Stephen was awarded the Melbourne Prize for Outstanding Musician, and the Australian Jazz Bell Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album with his quartet MAGNET (with Carl Pannuzzo, Eugene Ball and Sergio Beresovsky).
Stephen is currently concentrating on writing for his duo Boundaries with Frank DiSario, and trio MAG featuring DiSario and Dave Beck. He will also be completing the second release from MAGNET, SOM.
James was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1974. After working with the cream of Adelaide’s jazz and rock musicians James relocated to Sydney in the summer of 1996, where he quickly became one of the most in-demand guitarists in the country.
He has played and/or recorded with Vince Jones, James Morrison, Dale Barlow, Mike Nock, Renee Geyer, Bernie McGann, Don Burrows, Mark Isaacs, Steve Hunter and Scott Tinkler as well as international artists Chad Wackerman, Bill Stewart, Vinnie Colaiuta, Maria Schneider, , Donny McCaslin, Bob Sheppard, Matt Pendman and Jochen Rueckert.
James won an APRA award for most performed jazz work 2003, and also the 2004 Freedman Fellowship (Jazz).
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.
Matt McMahon is a pianist/keyboardist /composer based in Australia. He leads his own groups and co-leads “Band of Five Names” with Phil Slater and Simon Barker. Matt won the national Jazz award in 1999, and the Freedman Jazz Fellowship for 2005. He has played/recorded with Dale Barlow, Greg Osby, Phil Slater, Joe Tawadros, Katie Noonan, Vince Jones, Bobby Previte, Dave Panichi, Steve Hunter, Jazzfolk, Guy Strazz etc, and played concerts and festivals throughout Australia and Asia.
Matt will be releasing his first solo album in 2015. He will also be presenting Part II of the Paths & Streams project, for which he was awarded the Freedman Jazz Fellowship.
H released his second album, Ellipsis, with his trio – Jonathan Brown on the bass and Simon Barker on the drums, playing mostly his pieces. The Sydney Morning Herald said “after about 15 years on the scenehe released his first solo album, “Paths and Streams”, .It was one of the half-dozen best releases of 2006. Now “Ellipsis, the first release by his long term trio finally emerges and it is stunning… the music is as good as any current piano-trio jazz.” John Shand
Sean Foran was born in 1979 and moved from Lismore, NSW to study at the QLD conservatorium in Brisbane in 1998. He performed in the Brisbane scene with various groups including the trio Misinterprotato which he formed in 1999. He has performed around the country at the Melbourne Int. jazz festival, Brisbane Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Valley jazz festival, Valley Fiesta and internationally at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo.
He is currently co-leading Misinterprotato and the JS Quartet.
Mace is a big band junky, graduating with honours from WAAPA – Bachelor in Music (Jazz Composition and Arranging). In 2004 he was awarded the APRA Professional Development Award for jazz composition which allowed him to travel to Vienna to study with composers – Ed Partyka and Bob Brokkmeyer.
Since 2004 Mace’s main musical outlet has been his 14-piece group Mace Francis Orchestra (MF)) and the hounds – a 7-piece modern trad swing group.
MFO have released 3 CDs of original music and the hounds have just released a live limited edition CD recorded at the Perth Jazz Society.
In 2008 Mace has become the Musical Director of the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) and has begun lecturing arranging and composition at the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).
Paul Grabowsky is a pianist, composer, conductor and founder of the Australian Art Orchestra. Born in Papua New Guinea in 1958, and raised in Melbourne Australia, he began classical piano lessons as a five-year-old, studying with Mack Jost from 1965-1978. He began informal studies in jazz around 1976, and devoted his energies fully to improvised music from 1978. Paul lived in Munich, Germany from 1980-1985, where he was active on the local and European jazz scenes, performing and/or recording with Johnny Griffin, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Benny Bailey, Guenther Klatt, Marty Cook and many others. He returned to Australia in 1986.
In 1983, he formed the Paul Grabowsky Trio, winner of two ARIA awards and still one of Australia’s longest-living and most influential bands. Their latest recording Big Adventure was released in November 2004 on ABC Classics.
As a performer, he became known for his work with the Wizards of Oz, a group he co-lead from 1987-1989 with saxophonist Dale Barlow and Vince Jones, and for whom he was musical director from 1988-89. From 1990-1992 Paul lead the Groovematics, the band on the nightly national television show Tonight Live.
He performs and records regularly with singers Robyn Archer andKatie Noonan (george / Elixir).
In 1994, he founded the Australian Art Orchestra that features the cream of Australian improvising musicians.
Paul produced and presented the television series Access All Areas in 1996, and was Commissioning Editor for ABC Television Arts and Entertainment 1996 -1998.
He is regarded as one of Australia’s foremost screen composers, working with such directors as Fred Schepisi (Empire Falls, Last Orders), Paul Cox (Human Touch, Innocence), John Irvin (The Grooming, Shiner) and Gillian Armstrong (The Last Days of Chez Nous). His television credits are numerous and include the ABC series Phoenix and Janus and the award-winning Channel Ten mini-series Jessica directed by Peter Andrikidis.
His works for the theatre include the operas The Mercenary(1997-99) and Love in the Age of Therapy (2000-2001). His music for the shadow play The Theft of Sita (1999-2000) won a Helpmann award. Before Time Could Change Us – a Song Cycle with lyrics by Dorothy Porter and music by Paul Grabowsky – is scheduled for a 2005 CD release featuring Katie Noonan and the Paul Grabowsky Trio with Scott Tinkler.
In 2004 Tales of Time and Space (Warner) was released to critical acclaim. Paul recorded this in New York with Branford Marsalis,Joe Lovano, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Ed Schuller and Scott Tinkler.
Photo Credit: Jeff Wassmann
Tinkler Rex Grabowsky Edie (2005)
Tales of Time and Space (2004)
Since the release of her first album in 2000, jazz pianist and composer Andrea Keller has established herself as an important contributor to Australian jazz and contemporary music. Dedicated to the performance and creation of contemporary, original jazz and improvised music, she has been described as having “one of Australia’s most consistently interesting musical minds” (Doug Spencer 2007).
Best known for leading the Andrea Keller Quartet and the Bartok Project, Keller has been a member of many contemporary jazz ensembles and duos. She was a founding member of the Bennetts Lane Big Band, and her performance calendar is increasingly marked by solo concert performances.
As a composer and arranger, Keller has received commissions from a broad spectrum of musicians, ensembles and organizations. She is a represented artist of the Australian Music Centre.
Keller’s music has attracted high acclaim in Australia, winning her three Aria Awards, four Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards, an Art Music Award, an MCA/Freedman Foundation Jazz Fellowship, and an Australia Council Fellowship.
“Her work is always lit brightly by the spark of originality.”
– Roger Mitchell, 2012.
“One of this country’s most daring and fascinating composers, she produces work that bristles with surprises, a powerful blend of European lyricism with space and improvisation.”
– Leon Gettler, 2005.
Barney is a special piano player with that certain heart and touch, so he has great possibilities.
He’s a genuine musician, not just a skilled artist. There’s a certain touch that I’m talking about.
It’s hard to explain, but he has that
Pianist, keyboardist, composer and arranger Barney McAll moved to New York City in 1997 after being invited to join the Gary Bartz Quartet . He continues to tour internationally with Bartz as well as with Fred Wesley and The JB’s, Josh Roseman, The Groove Collective and recently vocalists Daniel Merriweather and Sia Furler.
Barney leads numerous ensembles including; Sylent Running and M.O.D.A.S and his new ensemble Graft which features 16 piece Invenio Choir, two pianos , Vibraphone and laptop.
Barney has scored some award winning films including ;
Pushing The Elephant (PBS) Liberia: An Uncivil War (DISCOVERY/ NY TIMES) Motherland Afghanistan (PBS)
We All Fall Down: The American Mortgage Crisis (PBS)
He was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 and also awarded the prestigious fellowship from the Australian Council for the Arts for 2007-2008 . He has performed or toured with ; Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dewey Redman, Maceo Parker, Doug Devries, Vince Jones, Kenny Garrett, Vernel Fornier, Badal Roy, Stefon Harris, Jimmy Cobb, Eddie Henderson, Gary Costello, Ben Monder, Mark Turner, Peter Apfelbaum, Bernie Worrell, Alan Browne, Billy Harper, Jim Black, Steve Turre and Roy Ayers.
COMPOSING AND ARRANGING
-Gospel Choir piece “Vanishing Point” collaboration with video artist Janet Biggs for Claire Oliver Gallery NYC
-New compostions for Guitar, Vibraphone and Piano and Voice premiered at The Stone NYC June 2008
-Sturgio Leone for Three Trombones and piano / Josh Roseman’s Water Surgeons
-New Works for Tabla, Cello and Kaval “Motherland Afghanistan”
-Various arrangements for The CNR Gospel Choir
-Overture for the Opera; ‘Two Lives In Flux and Vice Versa’ with Slave Pianos Collective
-Vincent Herring’s “Lady Liberty Big Band” performance Carnegie Hall
Featuring; Seamus Blake, Tom Harrell, Richie Goods, Steve Turre, Greg Hutcherson, Pamela Luss
-Renee Geyer and Octet Melbourne International Festival
-Slave Piano Collaboration with artists Danius Kesminas and Michael Stevenson for Lombard Freid Gallery Soho New York
22 June 1937 – 17 September 2013
was an alto saxophonist. He began his career in the late 1950s and remained active as a performer, composer and recording artist until near the end of his life.
From Sydney, McGann first came to prominence as part of a loose alliance of modern jazz musicians who performed at the El Rocco Jazz Cellar, Sydney in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
He led the Bernie McGann Trio and Bernie McGann Quartet through his career. The most well-known lineup of the Trio was McGann (alto sax), John Pochee (drums), Lloyd Swanton (bass), with the addition of Warwick Alder (trumpet) in the quartet. However in his latter years, his regular quartet featured Andrew Dickeson (drums), Brendan Clarke (bass) and Warwick Alder (trumpet).
Read Bernie’s obituary from The Australian
• 1974 – Founding member of The Last Straw (jazz group).
• 1980–82 – Played support to US jazz artists, including Freddie Hubbard, Lester Bowie, and Dave Liebman.
• 1981 – Played and recorded with US saxophonist Sonny Stitt.
• 1983 – Studied in New York on a grant from The Australia Council.
• 1986 – Bernie McGann Trio toured Australia with US saxophonist Dewey Redman.
• 1987 – Toured with The Last Straw to Tasmania. Recorded two albums, one trio and one quartet, for Emanem which received critical acclaim internationally
• 1988 – Toured Australia and USA with the Australian Jazz Orchestra, a special Bicentennial project. Feature artist in award-winning documentary film Beyond El Rocco. The Last Straw tour of New Zealand jazz festivals with an Australia Council international touring grant. Bernie McGann Trio played at London’s famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, before touring jazz festivals in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, India and Malaysia.
• 1989 – Solo artist at Auckland’s Jazz & Blues Festival. Appeared with The Last Straw at the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada. Performed with Nat Adderley
• 1990 – Toured USSR with The Last Straw, performing to enthusiastic audiences at jazz festivals including Leningrad
• 1992 – ARIA award for Bernie McGann Trio CD ‘Ugly Beauty’, Spiral Scratch MO Award for Bernie McGann Trio in Jazz Group of the Year
• 1993 – Toured Canadian Jazz Festivals
• 1994 – Australian Mo Awards for Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year.
• 1995 – ARIA award for Bernie McGann Trio CD ‘McGann McGann’ on Rufus Records, which featured McGann originals
• 1996 – Toured Canada and Europe including Northsea Jazz Festival and Munchener Klaviersummer.
• 1997 – Bernie McGann Trio appeared at the Chicago Jazz Festival. ARIA award for Bernie McGann Trio CD Playground (Rufus Records).
• 1998 – Wins the Don Banks Music Award, the first time it has been awarded to a non-classical musician/composer. Launch of biography Bernie McGann: A Life in Jazz by Geoff Page (Kardooraire Press)