Australian Jazz Bell Awards 2015: the Winners

Mike Nock and James Mustafa, two generations of Australian Jazz.
Mike Nock and James Mustafa, two generations of Australian Jazz.

It was a bright and starry night, one of mirth and celebration and camaraderie. It was the night that artists and supporters, musicians and afficionados, jazz elders and rising stars gathered to celebrate the accomplishments and creativity and everything that makes the Australian Jazz scene what it is. There was a ravishing MC, Helen Kapalos, and a member of the federal government, Christopher Pyne – under a jazz light, even a politician seems likeable – and a fiery band, Cannonball, hard-bopping over the tables, with a series of excited and exciting guests. Yes, the Jazz Bell Awards celebrated the International Jazz Day in the best way possible, the first highlight being when Albert Dadon, Chairman of the Awards announced the launch of the Australian Jazz Award Academy. From 2016 members of the Academy will be eligible to vote for the nomination process. Members of the Award Academy will be members of the Australian Recording Industry, musicians and academics.

“A night of electric performances and joyous award recipients” – as the press relase has it – was also highlighted by the induction into the Australian Jazz Hall of Fame of jazz mastr supreme, Graeme Lyall. Another of the jazz elders, Mike Nock treated us with a glimpse of his genius, as did Joe Chindamo, and all the artists who got onstage. James Morrison and Sarah McKenzie were absent, though the audience got the chance to enjoy the latter in an uplifting performance of one of her songs-that-should-become-future-jazz-standards, via youtube:


Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album:

Sarah McKenzie – We could be lovers

Best Australian Modern Jazz Album:

Daniel Susnjar – Su Su Nje

Best Australian Contemporary ‘Avant-garde’ Jazz Album:

Monash Art Ensemble : George Lewis – Hexis

Best Australian Traditional Jazz Album:

James Morrison – A-Z of Jazz

Best Australian Jazz Song of the Year:

Daniel Susnjar  – Forte Pulse Torte

Best Australian Jazz Ensemble:

Mike Nock Octet – Suite Sima

Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year:

James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra – The Last Sanctuary


Congratulations to all!