Melbourne-based jazz piano trio Refraction have released their debut album As We Were in March 2015 on independent label Rare Colour Records.
“I feel that I now have the expertise, musicality and understanding of what could be described as ‘groundbreaking’ as part of my role as a performer and academic.”
Given that the current exhibition is “the Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great”, drawing from the personal collection of the legendary empress of all the Russias, it’s fitting that the series would start with an artist of Paul Grabowsky’s caliber.
In a programme that allowed her to showcase the potential of the New Palm Court Orchestra through an eclectic blend of styles, Gemma Turvey offered the audience a unique musical and emotional experience.
“There’s a lot of freedom working alone, and although the same can be said for working with others, the amount of freedom hinges on whether it’s improvised alone or with a group, or if the goal is for it to be through-composed or not, and if that composition is written by myself or collaboratively”
“The nonet is the ideal mix of the intimacy of small group jazz with the compositional scope afforded by a big band or larger ensemble. It’s hard swinging small group jazz with the force that you get from six horn players.”
“Living in America is what drew my personality out completely. In the United States, they really celebrate the individual. It was an environment where I found myself unafraid to try things and really develop the music I was hearing in my head.”
“The key difference between my radio program and my work on stage is that my radio show is a jazz program and my live show repertoire is soul and disco influenced”.
“I think the hardest was getting over my insecurity that I was a bit of a fraud, that I was a pop singer masquerading as a jazz singer. Quite some time ago, I just gave up on the labels and decided I was a story teller… I found that quite liberating, it meant I didn’t have to conform to any preconceived notion of what a jazz singer should be.”
Adam Rudegeair: “I was more worried about what the ‘jazz police’ would think of the record than what the Bowie fans would think. Fortunately I’ve had a great response from both camps.”