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.
The Vampires formed in 2004, while its four members were studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Beginning with aparent influences such Charlie Parker, Bernie McGann and Ornette Coleman, the band has incorporated the compositions of Garbett and Rose to find a style drawing from Afro-Carribean and South American grooves, and more open improvisation within these grooves, in their original material. The group featured the uncannily natural combination of the two horn players and composers, Nick Garbett (trumpet) and Jeremy Rose (alto saxophone) and the well established and like-minded rhythm section team of Alex Boneham (double bass) and Alex Masso (drums).
The band has enjoyed success from their four critically acclaimed albums South Coasting (Jazzgroove Records), Chellowdene, Garfish, and Tiro, as well as extensive touring and festival appearances over the past eight years, performing at every major jazz festival in Australia as well as the Sydney Opera House. The band features award winning saxophonist/composer Jeremy Rose (2009 Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year, 2012/2013 Freedman Jazz Finalist) trumpeter/composer Nick Garbett, bassist, Alex Boneham (2012 Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year), and drummer/percussionist Alex Masso.
The Vampires’ music builds on the rich history of piano-less jazz quartets with a unique twist, adopting reggae, balkan, afrobeat and latin rhythms in unexpected ways. The dual saxophone and trumpet melodic lines have a strong sense of dialogue and emotional range – from exciting to soothing. The band draws on many influences, but have been compared to the likes of early Ornette Coleman, the Catholics, Bob Marley and John Zorn/Dave Douglas’ Masada.
The Vampires toured Germany in April 2014 and from only eight places The Vampires were selected from over 321 applications from 33 countries for the prestigious Jazzahead 2014 showcase.
“Played with verve, high ability and inspiration, The Vampires have produced another distinguished album.”
**** – 4/5 stars – The Australian