Spotlight on jazz culture at awards
The achievements of top jazz students and graduates from the Elder Conservatorium of Music have been recognised at the 2009 Jazz Awards.
$6500 in awards has been be presented to nine of the State's most outstanding musicians from the University of Adelaide's Elder Conservatorium jazz program.
The $2000 Hyatt Regency Award for the Most Outstanding Honours Jazz Student was won by pianist Matthew Sheens. Nick Pietsch - a talented trombone player - was awarded the $1000 Adelaide City Council Award for the Most Outstanding Undergraduate Jazz Student.
Seven individual undergraduate awards were also presented to:
- Andrew Crago - Top Jazz Saxophone ($500 Keith Langley Award)
- Andrew Tucker - Top Jazz Trumpet ($500 Keith Langley Award)
- Ed Heddle - Top Jazz Piano ($500 Tommy Norman Scholarship)
- Sam Leske - Top Jazz Guitar ($500 District Council of Mount Barker Award)
- Nikki Stedman - Top Jazz Bass ($500 Mitzi's Prize)
- Holly Thomas - Top Jazz Drums ($500 Billy Hyde Award)
- Sophie Zerner - Top Jazz Voice ($500 dB Magazine Award)
Hosted in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, an entertaining evening of jazz performed by the award-winners also included special guest performer Michelle Nicolle, one of Australia's most celebrated jazz vocalists. Paul Grabowsky, Artistic Director of the 2010 Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts, unfortunately had to pull out at the last minute because of pressing family reasons. In the true tradition of show biz, Michelle agreed to step in.
Michelle is an alumnus of the Elder Conservatorium's jazz program with an established career as a jazz performer. She is the winner of three Australian Entertainment MO Awards, a National Jazz Award and has been an ARIA Finalist twice. Together with the Michelle Nicolle Quartet, she has toured extensively throughout Australia and internationally, including a performance at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands in 2005.
A South Australian institution since 1997, the Jazz Awards are presented by the Helpmann Academy and the Elder Conservatorium, sponsored by the Hyatt Regency Adelaide, Adelaide City Council, the District Council of Mount Barker, dB Magazine, Billy Hyde Music, Tommy Norman Scholarship, Keith Langley and Mitzi Craig.
The Elder Conservatorium of Music is a Helpmann Academy partner school.
Story by Chris Bull