Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues 2011 – Top Ten Finalists to Perform in Competition

September 20th, 2011


The finalists of the prestigious National Jazz Awards 2011 have been annoucned.  Ten drummers will perform in competition at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues 2011 in October, for a first prize of $8000 and a studio recording session.   Further info

  • Friday 28 to Monday 31 October, 20
  • Top Ten Finalists Announced

Each year the Awards focus on a different instrument, and this year finalists will be drumming up a storm on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October.  Accompanied by internationally-renowned saxophonist Dale Barlow; distinguished previous National Jazz Awards 1999 winner pianist Matt McMahon and National Jazz Awards 2008 runner-up Ben Waples, an outstanding example of emerging genre-bending creative talent. The finalists will compete with pieces composed by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Dale Barlow and Paul Grabowsky as well as their own original compositions.
The best three will then play in the final round at 5:00pm on Sunday 30th October, which will also be broadcast live-to-air on ‘Jazztrack with Mal Stanley’ on ABC Classic FM (from 5:00-7:00pm).
Entries received from across Australia, New Zealand and Japan were judged by legendary drummer Allan Browne, a recipient of the Australia Council’s Don Banks Award; Mike Nock, one of Australia’s most accomplished and internationally-respected jazz pianists and veteran drummer Ted Vining who has been leading bands for over four decades.

The National Jazz Awards have been presented at the festival since it began in 1990 and were designed to contribute to the development and recognition of young jazz and blues musicians up to the age 35. The Awards have become a much anticipated highlight of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues.
This year’s top ten finalists are:

·       Ben Falle, 25, Perth
·       Graham Hunt, 27, Sydney
·       James Waples, 28, Sydney
·       Tim Firth, 29, Sydney
·       Hugh Harvey, 30, Melbourne
·       Evan Mannell, 32, Sydney
·       Sam Bates, 33, Melbourne
·       Craig Simon, 34, Melbourne
·       Dave Goodman, 34, Sydney
·       Cameron Reid, 34, Sydney

First Prize winner will receive: $8000, a studio recording session for ABC Classic FM’s ‘Jazztrack with Mal Stanley’ and an invitation to perform at the Stonnington Jazz Festival in May 2012. The runner-up will receive $5000 and the third finalist will receive $2000.
Past winners include pianist and 2007 Grammy award nominee Barney McAll (1990 winner) who joins the festival from the US, saxophonist and improviser Elliott Dalgeish (1995 winner), guitarist James Muller (2000 winner) and Thirsty Merc bassist Phil Stack (2008 winner) who have all been invited to perform at the festival this year.
Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues
Dates: Friday 28 to Monday 31 October
Festival Passes: On sale now.  Passes allow access to all venues or blues venues only and range from $65 to $220, or from $45 to $170 for earlybird and concession.
Early bird: Purchase before 30 September to save! 
Program & bookings:
Accommodation: Wangaratta Visitor Information Centre 1800 801 06 /

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