Donald Harrison Jr: “I describe our sound as serious fun”

“I grew up thinking of jazz as dance music, just like the music you hear on the radio,” says Donald Harrison Jr. “This element was never taught in school or discussed by any of my music peers so that alone made me realize I had a different thought process then even the cats from New Orleans like the Marsalis brothers and my partner at the time, Terence Blanchard. They are all great players, but including a dance feeling did not seem to be high on their priority list in the early ’80s.”

Barney McAll: “Music is a guide for society”

“I am presenting this music with a great amount of respect, because the thing that I realized is that there are really magnificent composers who only write for the church and are thus not really known – particularly Doris Akers is a very strong composer in different styles and few people in Australia has heard of her,” says Barney McAll

Harry James Angus talks about his soul-jazz-gospel album project on Greek mythology

“To me, Theseus and Minotaur is a story about masculinity and a story about a cycle of fear and anger and rejection that fathers pass on to their sons that perpetuates bad things in society, like sexual abuse and violence. I see the Minotaur as a classic example of a child who wasn’t given the tools to be a good person in life regardless of the fact that he had the head of a bull.”

One question for Brenton Foster, composer of ‘Love As We Know It’

“I sent Christopher some sketches and he sent me some poems reacting to my music and we both worked from that. I don’t know how much experience he has in matching words to music, but I was really impressed when I got his words back. Everything kind of fit together so quickly and naturally, and they allowed me to make some strong musical statements.”

Bianca Gannon is making ‘ombak’

“Most of my training has been classical; I majored in Composition and Twentieth Century Music Analysis. I’ve also dabbled in jazz and applied myself to various forms of gamelan. I’ve come to believe that it’s ok not to relentlessly pursue one musical avenue, it can be a good thing to be a jack of all trades, especially when creating your own music and own opportunities, and that for me the right thing is to pursue a multi-faceted career. “

Elysian Fields – The Scandinavian Project

Jenny Eriksson: “Elysian Fields have several Scandinavian connections. Matt Keegan studied in Sweden, vocalist Susie Bishop sings fluently in Swedish and bass player Siebe Pogson is 1/8th Swedish. We’ve been doing covers of Scandinavian jazz artists almost from the start. Since Susie Bishop joined us we’ve added some Swedish folk songs. We’ve given Matt McMahon honorary Swedish citizenship, so he does not feel left out!”