When did you start playing jazz and why? For example, was there a ‘moment’ when it came to you as a calling or vocation?
I started playing jazz in late high school after a piano player named Nick Southcott moved to Wollongong and started a jazz band at the Wollongong Con. A mate of mine was asked to play drums in the group and he got me involved. I had so much fun playing with that group, I spose that’s what got me into jazz. Also my dad has been listening to jazz since I was a kid, I think that was a big influence too.
Which musicians (jazz or otherwise) have been your greatest influences? What about them stood or stands out for you?
As far as trumpet players go, I’m really inspired by the players with huge sounds and presence like Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Booker Little, Miles and Clark Terry. At the moment I really love listening to some musicians who are a little more obscure, like the Trumpeter from Fela Kuti’s band from Nigeria in the 1970s. I actually don’t even know his name, but he plays amazing stuff.
When composing or arranging, where do you get your inspiration?
I’m lucky enough to have grown up and still be living in a beautiful place on the coast about an hour or so south of Sydney, just past the Royal National Park. I think I get a lot of inspiration from what I have around me.
What’s your favourite place to play or practise?
I like to practise at home.
What does Wangaratta Jazz represent for you?
The Wangaratta Jazz festival is amazing and I think we are very lucky to have it!
What are you listening to now?
At the moment I’m listening to an album of Freddie Hubbard’s called The Hub of Hubbard and a live Fela Kuti album calledUnnecessary Begging.
Return to the main Q&A page… These annual Q&As with National Jazz Awards finalists are coordinated by Miriam Zolin.