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Australian Jazz Awards 2011 Puts the Focus on Drummers

June 21, 2011toJune 30, 2011


National Jazz Awards – Australia’s most prestigious jazz competition puts the focus on drummers in 2011.  First prize  $8,000, the runner-up $5000, and the third placegetter $2000

  • National Jazz Awards 2011 – entries close 30 June 2011

The 2011 National Jazz Awards shines the spotlight on Australia’s leading young jazz drummers.  Drummers up to the

age of 35 will be vying for a spot in the final 10, to compete at this year’s Wangaratta Jazz festival in October.  Drummers were last featured in 2004, when Felix Bloxsom took out the top gong.

The National Jazz Awards – Australia’s most prestigious jazz competition – have been a highlight of the Wangaratta Festival Of Jazz since it began in 1990. The Awards are designed to provide encouragement and exposure to young musicians up to 35 years of age. 

Renowned jazz pianist Mike Nock will again serve as chairman of judges for the Awards this year. He will be joined by Melbourne drummer-bandleader Allan Browne and another veteran bandleader and drummer, Ted Vining, who moved from Melbourne to Hobart last year.

The judging panel will assess the recordings submitted on a blindfold basis.  The ten highest-ranked entrants will then be invited to participate in the finals at the 2011 Wangaratta Jazz festival, on the weekend of 28 – 31 October. They will perform with a stellar band, featuring saxophonist Dale Barlow, pianist Matt McMahon (winner fo the National Jazz Awards in 1999) and bassist Ben Waples.
 
The winner will receive $8,000, the runner-up $5000, and the third placegetter $2000. In addition to these cash prizes, the winner will be invited to record in the ABC studios for ABC Classic FM’s ‘Jazztrack’ with Mal Stanley, and to perform in the 2012 Stonnington Jazz festival.

Entrants must be no older than 35, as at 1 November 2011. The closing date for entries is 30 June. 
 
The Festival’s artistic director, Adrian Jackson, said, “I’m sure there will be plenty of drum solos, but the focus won’t be simply on that aspect. The real challenge for the drummers will be to show what they can do within the context of the band. A great drummer knows how to make the rest of the band sound good, so I’m sure that’s what the judges will be looking for.”
 
The finals, on Sunday 30 October, will be broadcast live to air nationally on ‘Jazztrack’ with Mal Stanley, on ABC Classic FM, from 5.00pm.
 
Entry forms and conditions of entry can be downloaded from the festival’s website:  www.wangarattajazz.com.

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