Jazzing it up for a soulful twist

Jazz winners Natalie Ahrens, Martin Holoubek, Holly Thomas and Lauren Sturdy.

Jazz winners Natalie Ahrens, Martin Holoubek, Holly Thomas and Lauren Sturdy.
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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Nine of the best jazz students at the University of Adelaide's Elder Conservatorium of Music will showcase their talents tonight at the 2011 Jazz Awards for South Australia.

Presented by the Elder Conservatorium and the Helpmann Academy, the Jazz Awards recognise the State's brightest emerging jazz performers from the school's Jazz Studies program across a range of disciplines including piano, drums, bass, guitar, saxophone, trombone and voice.

Jazz vocalist Lauren Sturdy and drummer Holly Thomas are joint winners of the $2000 InterContinental Award for the Most Outstanding Honours Jazz Student, each receiving a cash prize of $1000.

Drummer Stephen Neville and pianist Alex Wignall have also been chosen as joint winners of the Most Outstanding Undergraduate Jazz Student Award. Stephen and Alex will each receive a $1000 cash prize supported by the Adelaide City Council and the Tommy Norman Scholarship.

Five individual undergraduate awards will also be presented to:

  • Aaron Deanshaw - Top Jazz Trombone ($500 Keith Langley Award)
  • Natalie Ahrens - Top Jazz Saxophone ($500 Keith Langley Award)
  • Marko Gal - Top Jazz Guitar ($500 dB Magazine Award)
  • Adam Williams - Top Jazz Drums ($800 Allans Music + Billy Hyde Award)
  • Martin Holoubek - Top Jazz Bass ($500 Mitzi's Prize)

Hosted at the InterContinental Adelaide tonight (Thursday 14 April), the Jazz Awards 2011 promise an entertaining evening of music, featuring performances by all nine award-winners, together with guest performer Luke Thompson, lecturer in Jazz Voice at the Elder Conservatorium.

The musicians have put together an amazing program of well-known classic Broadway showtunes, re-interpreted with a soulful twist of jazz.

"In order to infuse a distinct jazz flavour into some of the world's most popular Broadway showtunes, this year's winners will be re-interpreting the arrangements through instrumentation, improvisation and rhythms that are typical of jazz," says Bruce Hancock, Head of Jazz Studies at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

"Chord changes, solos and the phrasing of the music will be given a unique jazz treatment. All of this year's prize winners have put together an exciting program of entertaining jazz."

The Elder Conservatorium first presented the Jazz Awards in 1997 to encourage emerging jazz musicians and to showcase their talents to the Adelaide community.


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Mr David Ellis
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