“I think the main link for both [Mike Nock and Sam Anning] is trust and respect. We respect each other and the music and we trust that the choices made are being made for the benefit of the music, its beauty and its communication.”
Genius pianist Barney McAll dominates the shortlist, being featured in four categories with his visceral masterpiece, ‘Hearing the Blood’, while brilliant newcomer saxophonist Evan Harris follows with three nominations, each representing a different generation of Australian jazz.
It was fascinating to watch such a powerful voice emanate from Kristin Berardi’s delicate frame.
What is it that you most admire about each other?
James Sherlock: Kristin’s ability to inhabit songs and really communicate not only with listeners but also with the musicians she plays with; everyone loves playing with her!
Kristin Berardi: I love that James loves this music so much, and he listens so much. Sometimes it really freaks me out, but it’s like he knows what I’m going to do before I do! It’s easy to make music with someone who’s a good friend. There’s a trust there but also we have fun. That’s important.
“We’re always watching the dancers and responding to them – sometimes closely following the actions with musical cues, at other times creating a dynamic and textural sense of the emotion in the dance through the music. On the other hand, the dancers are listening to us and responding, taking their timing cues from us sometimes.”
“We’re seeing more women artists in jazz, but perhaps not at the rate we’re expecting. I think one of the biggest challenges is to encourage young players to pursue music at a tertiary level and beyond.”
The shortlist for this year’s Australian Jazz “BELL” Awards has been officially announced. This year’s crop has been extraordinary, with many great albums submitted in the competition. The amount of talent in this list is overwhelming, and it is bound to make the work of the judges very hard
” I always have to have an emotional connection to the song, otherwise I don’t feel I’ll be able to do a good job. I’ve never been good at pretending, so it has to be honest and real”.
From the infectious rhythms of Cuba, through large scale orchestral pieces, to stunning jazz vocals and virtuoso artistry, the Festival promises something for everybody
“In no way did any of us want to honour or glorify the concept of war, so we were quite burdened with the seriousness of the task at hand: honouring historical happenings and putting a voice to these concepts and people’s experiences from this time”.