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The Jann Rutherford Memorial Award was founded in 2005 to assist in the professional development of an outstanding young female jazz musician. The Award is named in honour of the late jazz pianist Jann Rutherford, and is funded by private donations in partnership with the Mietta Foundation, Melbourne International Women’s Jazz Festival (MIWJF), Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) and ABC Jazz.

The 2022 recipient of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award (JRMA) is bassist Lucy Clifford. 

Originally from Sydney’s South Coast, Lucy Clifford received her B.A in Jazz Performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before relocating to Boston USA to attend Berklee College Of Music. There she studied under bassists including Lincoln Goines, Ron Mahdi and Anthony Vitti. Upon graduating from Berklee, Lucy became immersed in New York City’s vibrant music community, working with internationally esteemed artists such as Grammy winning Nella, Javier Limon, Mariza, Maher Beauroy, Alita Moses and Mighty Mystic among others. An active and invested member of the Australian music community, Lucy joined Kate Ceberano’s band in 2022 for her national  ‘Sweet Inspiration’ Tour, and has worked alongside artists Urthboy and Emily Wurramara. With an unwavering passion for championing the importance of music education and an advocate for women in music, Lucy has previously taught at numerous schools, such as Berklee College Of Music’s Groove School alongside bassist/educator Victor Wooten, and is the founder of Sisters Of Sound, a music education collective for young women.

The Jann Rutherford Memorial Award will enable Lucy to develop and perform music for her debut album, which centres around exchanges of stories on strength, empowerment, dedication to growth and love in all its forms. As a bassist who has dedicated many years to accompanying artists of different kinds, Lucy’s album places value and care in similarly fostering spaces for dialogue. Although rooted in Jazz expression, Lucy and her collaborators Tom Avgenicos (trumpet), David Reglar (tenor saxophone), Freyja Garbett (keys), and Alex Masso (drums) explore beyond the fringes of genre, building synergetic rhythms and pulses that interlock with all things melody, motion and stillness in between.

As the winner of the 2022 Award, Lucy and her band will:

• Release her debut single ‘When I Miss You’ on October 28th, available on all streaming platforms.

• Perform at the Wollongong UNIBAR as part of the WollCon Jazz Series on Wednesday November 9th.

• Perform at the Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival in December.

• Perform for Sydney Improvised Music Association.

• Develop a professional promotional kit with Camille Walsh.

Lucy has also been offered an ABC Jazz Scholarship recording, due for release in 2023.

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