Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
August 2007 Issue
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A love of jazz began right here in Adelaide


Acclaimed Australian jazz singer Michelle Nicolle is returning home to Adelaide to perform the annual evening jazz concert at the very place where her love of jazz began - the University of Adelaide.

The evening jazz concert on Saturday 11 August at 7.30pm in Elder Hall will feature Michelle performing some of Henry Mancini's most famous songs, including Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses, and Charade, among other works. She will perform alongside a premier student jazz ensemble and the Elder Conservatorium Big Band directed by Dusty Cox.

The University of Adelaide's Elder Conservatorium of Music will benefit enormously from Michelle's return to her alma mater, with a week-long residency generously supported by a Helpmann Academy grant. During the week she will present workshops and master classes to current university music students, with the week culminating in her evening concert performance.

An acclaimed arranger, band leader and award-winning jazz vocalist, Michelle completed her Diploma in Jazz Voice at the Elder Conservatorium in 1989.

"These two years (at the University) were probably the most important of my musical life as they laid the foundations for me wanting to make a career in playing jazz," she said. And what a career it has been!

She has been involved in several musical ventures, including the five-piece vocal group Vo-Cool and her own quintet. Tours to festivals around the country, and gigs in Melbourne's jazz clubs, introduced Michelle to the broader Australian jazz scene. She has also toured extensively overseas, including Italy, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Turkey.

"I didn't develop an interest in jazz until 1986 when I started singing with the Conservatorium's Adelaide Connection Jazz Choir," Michelle said. "Hearing for the first time about Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker, I immersed myself in their music, deciding that this was the music that my heart wanted to follow, and in 1987 I swapped my major to Jazz Voice."

In 1995 Michelle moved to Melbourne to live and to further her music career. She leads the hugely successful Michelle Nicolle Quartet and currently teaches vocal studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, Monash University and is a regular guest teacher at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

Michelle has several successful recordings to her name, the last one being a specially commissioned album for ABC Jazz (Universal), called The Crying Game, an eclectic collection of songs from films including Midnight Cowboy, Sound of Music and Trainspotting. It was a finalist in the ARIA Awards (Jazz Album of 2004).

Book for this concert to ensure a seat, or subscribe to the last three concerts to save.

Tickets are $25 adult/$20 concession/$14 student, available from BASS or dial'n'charge 131 246. University of Adelaide Staff at concession price.

For more information or to subscribe, please contact the Manager, Evening Concert Series, on (08) 8303 5286 or email:

To find out more about Music at the University of Adelaide, visit Open Day on Sunday 26 August.

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Jazz vocalist and University of Adelaide music graduate Michelle Nicolle
Photo by Andrew Raszevski, courtesy of Ecco Music

Jazz vocalist and University of Adelaide music graduate Michelle Nicolle
Photo by Andrew Raszevski, courtesy of Ecco Music

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