Five of our country’s finest young jazz guitarists have been selected as finalists in the 2022 National Jazz Awards. Harry Tinney (pictured above) (VIC), Joshua Meader (NSW), Julius Schwing (TAS), Theo Carbo (VIC) and Peter Koopman (NSW) will compete for the prestigious honour with a live performance at the Award finals to be held at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues on Saturday 29 October.
The winner will receive $7000 in prizemoney and a recording session at Pughouse Studios (Melbourne) with second and third placegetters set to receive $4000 and $2000 respectively.
Each year, the National Jazz Awards (NJA) focus on a different instrument – piano, bass, saxophone, brass, drums or vocals with guitar returning to the spotlight this year. The awards were open to high-level guitarists aged 36 or younger on or before December 31. Each entrant was required to submit audio recordings of three pieces – a ballad, a blues and a piece by an Australian composer.
Entries were submitted anonymously to the judging panel, which was led by award-winning guitarist and 2002 NJA co-winner Stephen Magnusson with Fran Swinn and Carl Dewhurst, both celebrated musicians, rounding out the judging panel.
“The panel would like to thank all the guitarists who submitted entries to this year’s National Jazz Awards and congratulate you on your outstanding playing and commitment to this art form. It was a difficult task to narrow it down to the final five. We are very excited to hear the finalists perform to a live audience in Wangaratta. There is nothing more exhilarating than live music,” said Stephen Magnusson, Chair of the Judging Panel.
Even though they are early career artists, each finalist has amassed an impressive list of credits and collaborations.
Although he has only recently graduated with a first class honours degree for jazz performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Joshua Meader has been playing music for 18 years. As well as being taught by his father professional musician Paul Meader, Joshua has been mentored by and performed with some of Australia’s most respected jazz heavyweights including Matt McMahon, Barney McAll, Mat Jodrell, Mike Rivett, James Muller, Judy Bailey, Steve Barry and Jonathan Zwartz. His debut original album is set to be released later this year.
Julius Schwing is a guitarist and composer from Bruny Island, Tasmania. Since the age of thirteen he has performed in theatres, clubs and festivals in Australia, Europe, India, New Zealand, Canada and the USA with artists such as Scott Tinkler, Paul Capsis, Nick Haywood, Bae Il Dong, Aakash Mittal, Petra Haden and Christian Windfeld. The thrice nominated Freedman Fellowship Jazz Award musician has also twice been invited to Canada to take part in the acclaimed Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. He composes music for his own ensembles as well as for theatre, sound installations, short film and has released seven albums, six of which are on his own creative music label Isthmus Music.
Melbourne based Harry Tinney has worked with Australian jazz luminaries Barney McAll and Julien Wilson, as well producing his own music with his co-led Hammond trio “Organix” and post-rock outfit “Wastelands”. He released his debut album “Kingsnake” in 2019, and his sophomore album “Wastelands” is due for release in 2022.
Fellow Melburnian Theo Carbo has performed alongside jazz identities Barney McAll, Andrea Keller, Sam Anning and Gian Slater among others. Growing up as an astute student of improvised music, Theo is also a keen philosopher of music and has been developing a broader practice which involves elements of experimental composition, studio engineering and production.
Born in New Zealand, Peter Koopman (NSW) relocated to Australia nigh on a decade ago and has since become firmly ensconced in Sydney’s creative music scene. As well as leading a couple of bands under his own name, he is a member of “COAST” and prog-djazz outfit “Scoredatura”. His latest release is “No Cattle”, a collaborative instrumental trio album made with musical comrades Miles Thomas and Brendan Clark. In addition to these endeavours, Peter has performed with many respected artists in Australia and beyond including Vince Jones, Katie Noonan, Donny Benét, Matt McMahon, Aloe Blacc and Kate Wadey.
“The National Jazz Awards have played an important role in developing, showcasing, and nurturing Australian talent. The NJA has proven a valuable stepping stone for many past winners and finalists who have gone on to enjoy national and international success. We are very thankful for Pughouse Studios providing the recording session and Wangaratta Rural City Council for their continued support with prizemoney” said Festival representative, Dave Fuller.
“The National Jazz Awards are a unique and integral part of the Festival’s existence. It’s fantastic to hear from the festival of such great talent emerging in these five fine finalists – whilst I’m not privy to their applications I am excited to see the finals on Saturday 29th November,” said Dean Rees, Mayor, Rural City of Wangaratta.
Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues’ jam packed weekend of music features spectacular international and homegrown artists and the annual National Jazz Awards from Friday 28 October to Sunday 30 October 2022.
2022 NATIONAL JAZZ AWARDS Saturday 29 October 2022
2022 WANGARATTA FESTIVAL OF JAZZ & BLUES Friday 28 – Sunday 30 October 2022