This story was commissioned for – and appeared in – the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues 25th anniversary program. Photo of Enrico Rava provided […]
“My first guitar teacher, Vince Hopkins, was really instrumental in unlocking the sounds I was hearing on the guitar. Vince is a really fantastic player and one of the most musical people on the planet.” Mike Anderson
“I freaked out the first time I heard Peter Bernstein! The thing that I attracted me to his playing at first was the larger intervals he used, which I hadn’t really thought about or done before that.” – Jeremy Thomson
“Tommy Emmanuel was my childhood hero and although I’ve moved on from that musical aesthetic I still think he can play the hell out a guitar with an incredible time feel and melodic sensibility. “
I started playing jazz after discovering a VHS labelled ‘Red Dwarf’ at home when I was 14. Little did I know the last hour of the tape was a concert of Miles Davis live in Germany in 1988. I’d never heard anything like it and was totally blown away. I became obsessed with jazz.
extempore and the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues have collaborated with National Jazz Award winners from every year of the festival since it began. The result is this eclectic set of souvenir postcards from some of our most creative musicians.
I love playing for festival crowds. Everyone has taken time out and is immersed in music for a few days and there is a lot of energy in that fact. I’m looking forward to telling my story with jazz guitar and enjoying the opportunity to play alongside the other top young players in the country. From what I know of the other guys, everyone is a monster player and expresses a diverse representation of the broad ‘jazz guitar’ genre.
One day I came across a jazz guitar lesson and I enjoyed it so much that I made a decision then and there that I wanted to play jazz. I think it was a ‘moment’. Jazz and I had a ‘moment’. Haha
Colin [Elmer, Angus’ teacher] explained that ‘jazz’ was an extremely broad term and that eventually I would find an artist that I connected with. A few CDs later I was introduced to Wes Montgomery. This was the game changer. From that moment on, I was hooked on jazz.
Each year since 2005, in the month leading up to the jazz festival in Wangaratta, Miriam Zolin interviews the finalists in the National Jazz Awards. […]