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Jazz in the comfort of your home
2021 National Jazz Awards will be presented in a series of free online concerts from 26th to 28 November 2021. Usually, the National Jazz Awards are held in Wangaratta in October but due to the pandemic, they will be held on online.
This year on line
Each year the focus is on a different instrument: piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, brass, drums or vocals. The awards this year will be focused on piano. This year's finalists for 2021 are Casey Golden, Matthew Thomson, Steve Barry and Wilbur Whitta, James Bowers, Kade Brown and Max Teakle, Alex Wignall, Harry Mitchell and Matthew Sheens.
The National Jazz Awards were open to high-level pianists aged 36 or younger. Each pianist had to submit an audio recording of three pieces: a ballad, blues and a piece by an Australian composer. They were judged anonymously by the judging panel, which was chaired by 1999 National Jazz Awards (piano) winner Matt McMahon along with Andrea Keller and Stephen Grant both renowned pianists.
The major prize is $7000 and a recording session with Pughouse Studios (Melbourne). The second and third placegetters receive $4000 and $2000 respectively. On Sunday 28 November, the winner will be announced online.
Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues Chair, Dave Fuller said, "These awards provide encouragement, exposure and a financial boost to young musicians. We are so pleased to have them proceed this year, albeit in a digital format and thank Pughouse Studios and Wangaratta Rural City Council for their continued support for the prizemoney. The joy of jazz feels like a much-needed boost for us all. We encourage you to support the awards and look to the future of jazz in our online presence."
For more information on the National Jazz Awards and the concert schedule, as well as each finalist, please visit the website.
The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, the Rural City of Wangaratta, Wangaratta Performing Arts & Convention Centre, Pughouse Studios and the Australian Jazz Real Book