National Jazz Awards 2013

Congratulations to Joseph O’Connor who took out first prize in the 2013 National Jazz Awards tonight at Wangaratta Festival of Jazz.

l-r Joseph O’Connor, Steve Barry, Daniel Gassin at National Jazz Awards presentation. 3 November 2013 | image by Damian Diviny

Joe, with fellow finalists Steve Barry and Daniel Gassin, played up a storm at the WPAC Theatre in Wangaratta this evening, after a weekend of finals performances that judges Mike Nock, Paul Grabowsky and Barney McAll all agreed were outstanding and made it extremely hard to choose a winner.

Joseph (Joe) O’Connor hadn’t prepared a speech, saying he didn’t think he was going to need one… but did thank his mother and grandmother when accepting the first prize.

It’s a tough weekend for all the NJA finalists, and most observers would agree that when it comes to artistic endeavours such as jazz and improvised music, competitions can seem meaningless, particularly in the face of talent such as was displayed all participants this year! This national competition, held annually in association with the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, has become an important landmark in the country’s improvised music landscape.