The much anticipated Freedman Jazz Fellowships Finals Concert is back again with a night of thrilling music and daring improvisation as the top jazz musicians in Australia compete for the $15,000 fellowship prize and honours.
The Freedman Music Fellowships are among the most prestigious offered to Australian musicians who are very well established and at the top of the profession. The intention is to help them advance their careers. The fellowships are awarded each year to a jazz musician and a classical music instrumentalist.
16 candidates representing the very best in jazz from around Australia were nominated by distinguished jazz musicians from each State. From that cohort, 4 outstanding candidates will compete in an electrifying playoff, where the winner will be decided. The 4 finalists taking the stage at The Studio of Sydney Opera House include:
Shannon Barnett - awarded trombonist who is currently establishing herself on the international jazz scene. She has performed at many major festivals in Australia, USA and Europe and will return from Cologne, Germany for the finals.
Aaron Choulai - awarded pianist who will fly in from Tokyo to compete. He has made many recordings and delivered festival performances in Australia, Japan and Italy.
Left to Right: Shannon Barnett, Aaron Choulai, Gian Slater, Matthew Sheens / Photo courtesy of The Music Trust
Gian Slater - this vocalist and composer in Melbourne is not new to the Fellowship. She was a finalist in 2004 and 2010. Gian has released 8 albums of her original music as well as appearing on other recordings and film soundtracks.
Matthew Sheens - currently based in New York, this pianist has made radio and television appearances and performed in international festivals in US, Europe and Australia. He also received high academic awards in Australia and US.