From Adelaide to LA: Elder Con alumna Anna shares career successes and advice

Anna Butters

Anna is a jazz bassist and composer from Adelaide. She has been living, working and creating in Los Angeles since 2014.

“After graduating from the Elder Conservatorium in 2012, I moved to the US with a scholarship to do a Master of Music in Jazz Studies at Indiana University,” Anna said.

“Since then, I have been living in Los Angeles where I perform, record and tour with various artists including Phoebe Bridgers, Jenny Lewis, Jeff Parker, Makaya McCraven and Aimee Mann.”

Anna recalls many years of memories at Elder Hall, starting with her first concert there as a teenager with the Adelaide Youth Orchestra.

“I also remember seeing the Elder Conservatorium Big Band play - that got me really excited about studying at the Con.

“Throughout my undergraduate studies, I spent a lot of time in Elder Hall rehearsing and performing with the Con’s Symphony and Chamber orchestras, so it’s a place that holds a lot of formative memories for me.

Playing at Madison Square Garden with Jenny Lewis, opening for Harry Styles, was a major career highlight for Anna. “Another bucket list moment was a show with Meshell Ndegeocello where we both played bass together.”

Anna’s advice for budding musicians is to lean into the community aspect of being a musician.

“It’s easy to focus inward when we spend so much of our time practicing, but it’s a much more enriching experience to be connected to the wider musical community - going to shows, playing with other people, collaborating and supporting each other,” said Anna.

Story written by Bianca Chaptini
Photo credit: Brian E Bixby

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