The judges, Chris Cody, Andrew Gander and 2003 Freedman Fellow Phil Slater, deliberated late into the night. In a group statement, they said of their decision ‘We had four very strong musical identities and it was a most difficult choice. In the end, we chose Aaron Choulai, a very exciting young musician, a risk-taker, a very clear musical personality. Aaron already has a great deal to offer and we are sure there is much more to come. We congratulate all the candidates. They make Australia a very strong country for jazz’
I have never heard jazz like Marc’s – the intricate rhythms are mesmerising, the improvisation continually surprises, the blend of heritage and innovation full of wit and amazement. This is a true musical mind finding its own new path.
I returned to Australia totally inspired and two years later when I was given the opportunity to write my Freedman proposal the concept of an international collaborative partnership was the first thing that came to mind.
In 2011 the Freedman Fellowship finalists were Tom O’Halloran (piano/composer, Perth), Ben Vanderwal (drums, Perth/Melbourne), John Parker (Brisbane, drums) and Matt Keegan (saxophone/composer/director, Sydney). Read this Q&A with Evan Mannell