Danny Quigley’s early childhood was enriched by the presence of jazz legends Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, John Scofield, Randy Brecker and many more. His father Greg Quigley also plays the trumpet and toured these jazz greats to Australia for concerts and workshops while Dan was still an infant.
Dan’s trumpet playing displays a rich heritage of the jazz tradition. He has been a professional trumpet player since he was 17 and since has performed with some of Australia’s biggest names including James Morrison, Dale Barlow, Tina Arena, Anthony Warlow, amongst many more.
It wasn’t until his early 20′s did the impact of early exposure and connection to jazz legends spark the passion to pursue a career as a jazz musician, educator and advocate.
Paula has been a passionate and active music educator since 1992, and is a recognised Pianist for sessions and performances. Her versatility as a performer has seen her perform and record in big bands, alongside rock stars, corporate bands and in her much loved set up, Jazz Duo. At Jazz Music Institute, Paula teaches and coordinates the subject areas of: Jazz Materials, Aural and Analysis, Ensembles, Piano skills (second study), and Concert Performance Practice.
Brendan Clarke is one of Australia’s premier jazz double bassists. He is a graduate of the ANU Canberra School Of Music where he won the Drew Sydes Memorial Award for the most promising student of his graduating year. Since moving to Sydney in 1999 he has become one of the most in demand double bassists on the jazz scene. In 2001 he was the winner of the National Jazz Award, which is held each year at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. He has toured Europe several times including performances at the Berlin jazz festival and Locarno film festival. In 2005 he was awarded an arts council grant to study in New York City under Curtis Lundy and Rufus Reid.
Brendan continues to perform regularly across Australia and has accompanied many top international and national artists including Chris Potter, Maria Schneider, Eric Alexander, John Riley, Charles McPherson, Bob Shepard, Alex Sipiagin, Kirk Lightsey, Jim McNeely, Wycliffe Gordon, Barbara Morrison, Don Rader, Dale Barlow, Vince Jones, James Morrison, Simon Tedeschi, Bobby Gebert, John Harkins, Bernie McGann and The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. He is also the leader of his own group the Brendan Clarke Quartet.
Ben Hauptmann is a prestigious Jazz guitarist based Sydney, Australia. Winner of the 2010 Freedman Jazz Fellowship and 2nd place winner in the National Jazz Awards at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz 2007. Ben has shared the stage with a diverse range of artists including Mavis Staples, Joss Stone, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Donny Benet, Jack Ladder, Bandaluzia Flamenco, Katie Noonan, Lior, Bluejuice, Micheline Van Hautem, Justine Clarke, James Morrison and Tal Wilkenfeld. Internationally he has performed throughout the UK, France, USA, Indonesia, China, Japan, Singapore, Belgium, Turkey, The Netherlands and New Zealand as well as many major Australian music festivals including The Big Day Out, Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Pyramid Rock Festival, Homebake, Woodford Folk Festival, Splendor In The Grass, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival and the Adelaide International Guitar Festival. Ben wrote the ‘Lead Work’ column for The Australian Guitar Magazine for over 10 years and has taught music at VCA, Monash University and UNSW. Ben has contributed to over thirty recordings including the 2015 ARIA winning ’The Gospel Album’ by Gurrumul Yunupingu, he has released two albums under his own name and co-produced multiple others.
Born into a family of professional musicians in Perth, Western Australia 1976. He started playing the drums and the alto saxophone at the age of six, switched to the tenor saxophone at thirteen, and since then has been playing saxophone,
drums, congas, guitar and bass professionally in a variety of genres, that include cabaret, rock, pop, blues, soul, R&B, latin, and jazz. Attending the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, at Edith Cowan University, James received an Associate Diploma of Performing Arts in Jazz and Contemporary Music (1995) and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance (1998).
James began teaching music at the age of sixteen, and was a lecturer at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University from 2007 – 2013, with a music program attracting students from all over Australia and the world, where he lectures in Improvisation for Jazz and Contemporary Music, one on one and ensembles. Teaching these classes and tutoring ensembles requires James to draw upon his first hand knowledge of the different genres associated within the syllabus, as well as his experience playing and performing on the drums, bass, guitar, piano, congas, timbales, hand percussion, and saxophone.
Joshua Hatcher is a saxophonist and composer with a style based firmly in the jazz tradition. He was one of the 10 finalists in the 2016 National Jazz Awards at the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival and has performed with some of Australia’s finest musicians including Dale Barlow, Andrew Dickeson, Warwick Alder, Ben Hauptmann and Steve Newcomb.
His album “Now and Then” (2015) marks his debut recording as a leader and features original compositions for his quintet. 2 selections from this recording (Forgotten Languages, The Room Next Door) were finalists in the Jazz category at the 2016 Queensland Music Awards.
In 2016 he was named Composer-in-Residence for the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) and premiered some of his new large ensemble compositions at the Perth International Jazz Festival. He is also Musical Director for the Enthusiastic Musician’s Orchestra and has had his compositions and arrangements recorded on their 2 most recent albums.
Since 2012 he has been a lecturer at Brisbane’s Jazz Music Institute teaching saxophone, improvisation, theory and ensemble playing. He is also regularly engaged as a big band clinician and guest director by schools and community organisations. He is currently undertaking a Master of Music (Research) at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music investigating the intersection of compositional and improvisational practices.
Diverse performances with many notable Queensland and Australian jazz and new music groups including Good Bait Quartet, Jim Kelly, Katie Noonan, James Morrison, GraceKnight, Scott Tinkler, John Hoffman, Vince Genova, Ken Edie, Tony Hobbs, Steve Newcomb, Louise Denson, The Brand New Sweeties, Tyrone Noonan, James Muller, James Sherlock, Kristen Beradi, Matt McMahon, Loops, Jonathan Dimond, Megan Washington, Steve Russell, Sharny Russell, Misinterpretato, Graeme Norris, Frank Bennett, Doug Parkinson, Monica Trapaga, David Ades, Kate Miller-Heidke, John Rodgers, Elly Hoyt, Zac Hurren, Jacam Manricks, Topology, Warren Vache (US), Andrew Firth, The View From Madeleine’s Couch, Ingrid James, Sue Bond, Lauren Lucille, Ewan Mackenzie (manouche) and Raf Karlen.
Major festival performances including Manly Jazz and Blues Festival (Sydney), The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Pinnacles (Brisbane), The Brisbane Festival, The Queensland Music Festival, The Valley Jazz Festival, The Woodford Folk Festival, The Tamworth Country Music Festival, and The Adelaide Festival.
Featured album releases include The Good Bait Quartet 1998, Loops Recursion 1999, Loops Ek! 2001, Katie Noonan Elixir 2003, Topology Airwaves 2004, The View From Madeleine’s Couch.
APRA Award winning, ABC jazz artist, Sharny Russell’s vocal, pianistic and writing talents are recognized throughout the Australian music community. Sharny writes with a true jazz flavor which is totally accessible, and several of her compositions are in the official Australian Jazz Real Book. She is known for her vocal scat ability, which she often performs in unison with her piano. Sharny has recorded with George Golla, and performed with the cream of Australian jazz artists. She counts legends James Moody, the late Ray Brown, Mirusia and Judith Durham among her ardent fans, and had the privilege of working with some successful young Australian jazz luminaries when they were vocal students, including Dami Im of recent Eurovision fame. As a teacher she is known for her mentorship in the areas of interpretation, scatting, harmony ear training, keyboard use, and arranging. She is set to release her latest originals album “Comes A Time” and has been invited to visit Jazz At Lincoln Centre, New York, in 2017.
“In a world of over-rated and over-stated singers, Sharny is a gem… an exquisite experience. She could headline any jazz festival in the country.” – National Jazzchord Magazine.
Long regarded as one of Australia’s finest accompanists and jazz pianists, Steve Russell has appeared with Nancy Wilson, Chuck Findlay, Dale Barlow, Roger Manins, Bernie McGann, Kristen Berardi, Dave Ades and James Sherlock, and performed support gigs for Wynton Marsalis and John Scofield. Steve is also highly regarded for his work as Musical Director for the Queensland Music Festival, Opera Queensland and Women in Voice. His latest live CD, Dark Matters, was recorded over two sultry nights in the Northern Rivers, and features a collection of his compositions with guitarist Matt Smith (Thirsty Merc, The Strides), bassist Greg Lyon (Crossfire) and the astonishing drummer Scott Hills (Graham Connors, The McClymonts). His 2004 studio recording, When The Light Comes, features another set of original compositions and won the Dolphin Awards’ Album of the Year and Best Jazz Album. Steve also teaches piano and keyboards in the Contemporary Music Program at Southern Cross University.
David has been involved in virtually every aspect of the music industry and music education and has gained the reputation as one of the most versatile and in-demand drummers and drum teachers in Australia.
Dave divides his time between national touring, recording and teaching drum set at the Jazz Music Institute, Bribane. As a tertiary educator David has become recognised as one of Australias top drum set teachers and his students are some of the most in demand drummers in the Australian music industry. Dave has been featured in Drumscene magazine, recognised for both his performance and educational pursuits.
Dave maintains a very busy performance schedule and has performed in many and varied situations both across Australia and internationally. David’s ability to cross the boundaries of genre and style has made him an asset to many acts within the music industry both as live performer and experienced studio musician. Sensitive to the music and musicians around him Dave is just as happy to sit back and play swinging brushes as he is to smash thru a high volume, high energy show.
Dave performance credits include Monica Trapaga, Rhonda Burchmore, Rodriguez, Pete Murray, Grace Knight, Lisa Hunt, Margaret Urlich, Leonardos Bride, Bob Barnard, Jim Kelly, Jack Thorncraft, Don Burrows, George Golla, Mickey Rooney, Lady Rizo, Tom Burlingson, ACRE, The Eurogliders, Ian Date, George Washingmachine, Leigh Carriage, Petula Clarke.
Sean is a pianist, composer and educator based in Brisbane. A graduate of the QLD Conservatorium and the Leeds College of Music, UK he has also studied privately in Norway, France & the UK with leading musicians including John Taylor, Tord Gustavsen, and Baptiste Trotignon. Primarily known for his work with the trio Trichotomy notable performances include – Tokyo Jazz Festival, Wangaratta Jazz Festival Pizza Express Jazz Club London, Calgary Jazz Festival Canada, Jazzahead Festival Germany and collaborations with QSO, Topology, Expressions Dance Company and a range of international jazz artists. He has been the recipient of the Brisbane City Council Lord Mayors Emerging Artist Fellowship, the APRA PDA Award for Jazz and is a multiple winner of the QLD Music Award for Jazz.
He is currently Head of Music at JMC Academy Brisbane, Lecturer at the Jazz Music Institute Brisbane & co-director of the specialist publishing company Prepared Sounds. www.seanforanmusic.info
Brad Esbensen is a Brisbane based trumpet player, arranger, composer, copyist and educator. He has worked in backing bands for artists including Kenny Rogers, James Morrison, Grace Knight, Max Miller and many others. He is currently working as Musical Director with Herb Armstrong and the Royal Street Krewe, performing a show paying tribute to the music of New Orleans, as well as being Musical Director of the Brisbane Big Band which has been the resident big band for the Brisbane Jazz Club since 1974. He also works regularly with local bands including Decahedron (a 10-piece jazz group), Jeff Usher Band, Swing Chronicles, Brisbane Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Glenn Miller Tribute Band and the Queensland Pops Orchestra.
His arrangements and compositions have featured regularly as test pieces. Many of his compositions and arrangements have been performed with a variety of groups including the Australian All Star Youth Big Band, Queensland Youth Orchestra Big Band, Brisbane All Star Youth Big Band and the Queensland Pops Orchestra. He has been engaged as a copyist by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and various local and touring shows. He was the recipient of first place in the 1994 Perth Jazz Orchestra Composition Awards with an original arrangement of “There Will Never Be Another You”.
Brad also holds an Associate in Composition from the Australian Society of Musicology and Composition and a Diploma of Music Technology from the University of Newcastle.
Melissa performs internationally, acting, singing and dancing in musical theatre shows and cabarets, writing and producing new works and singing jazz with a variety of ensembles. Her passion is taking to the stage in front of a live audience, seamlessly weaving song, dance and story into an experience they will want to share and cherish.
Venue and festival highlights include: The Vault – Edinburgh Fringe Festival, L’église – Avaux (France), Powerhouse Theatre – Brisbane Cabaret Festival, Brisbane Jazz Club, Speigeltent – Qld Music Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, QPAC, The Basement – Gold Coast Arts Centre, Valley Jazz Festival, Mackay Entertainment Centre, The Tivoli, Gold Coast Jazz and Blues Club, Maggie Black Jazz Club, The Milkbar, Brisbane City Hall, Sirromet Winery, King George Square, Tweed Valley Jazz Club, La Boite Theatre, Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre.
Melissa was Valedictorian of her graduating Bachelor of Arts at UQ, holds a University Medal from the University of Queensland, first class Honours degree and was awarded her Masters of Philosophy in the field of Drama. She has trained intensively in musical theatre at RADA (London) and NIDA, physical theatre with Zen Zen Zo, and has trained in dance for over fifteen years including: classes with Luis Pinto (Megajam), Jasmine Meakin (Hip-hop, Sexy Cool), Simone Pope (flamenco) and with teachers at the Broadway Dance Centre (New York).
Jazz is a great love for Melissa, she has performed over 200 public and corporate gigs in the past two years ranging from simple piano accompaniment to 20 piece jazz orchestras.
Elly Hoyt is a truly gifted jazz vocalist who has an intoxicating love for music and life – even saying, “music means so much that it slightly rules my existence”. The Tasmanian-born, 28-year-old has just released her second album ‘Oranges & Sunshine’, which shows-off her smooth, seductive and versatile voice.
In 2006, Elly moved to Brisbane to attain a Bachelor of Music, majoring in jazz voice, at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. A year later, Elly was making waves when she became a finalist in the ABC 612 Jazz Singers competition, judged by Vince Jones.
Winning the renowned Generation in Jazz vocal scholarship, judged by James Morrison in 2008, projected Elly into the Australian jazz scene where she has sung alongside a long list of top Australian and international jazz musicians and vocalists such as, James Morrison, Tim Firth, Phil Stack, Matt McMahon, John Morrison, Steve Newcomb, Mat Jodrell, Chris McNulty, Jim Pugh, John Hoffman, James Muller, Sam Anning, Tony Gould, David Jones, Mark Fitzgibbon to name a few.
Mark Smith has spent his whole working career, close to thirty years, working as a sound technician and engineer. He is passionate about sound quality and importantly, artist comfort and satisfaction. Whether in a live performance or a recording situation Mark believes that providing a comfortable environment for the artist will give the best performance or recording outcome for them.
Mark’s skills and interests in music are wide and varied covering genres as diverse as classical, rock, folk and jazz. Mark has run a mobile sound business, Real Productions, since 1996. He has a wealth of experience including managing the recording projects of numerous artists from solo concert pianists to large orchestras – and everything in between.
In the past five years Mark has mentored a number of students through workplace placements for the School of Audio Engineering. In recent times he was invited to be a guest lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium and a course lecturer in Music Technology at the Jazz Music Institute, Brisbane.
Professor Rob McWilliams, an internationally accomplished musician, conductor, and educator, was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. A United States resident from 1991 to 2014, Prof. McWilliams holds a Ph. D. in Music/Music Education from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting from Florida State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Melbourne. Prior to his time in the USA, Prof. McWilliams served on the faculty of the University of Melbourne Institute of Education where he taught and coordinated courses in brass, jazz, and instrumental music pedagogy and conducted the Wind Symphony, Brass Choir, and Jazz Big Band. In the USA Dr. McWilliams served as Professor of Music and Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh from 1996 to 2014 where he also served as Head of the Music Department from 2011. Prof. McWilliams conducted most of the university’s symphonic and jazz ensembles, including the University Orchestra, and held primary responsibility for the University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. He also taught courses in instrumental music education, conducting, and jazz.
As a guest conductor and musician, Dr. McWilliams has traveled and worked extensively with groups at all stages of development. In the USA he worked with ensembles at the national, state, and regional levels and served as guest conductor and clinician in Alabama, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Utah. Dr. McWilliams has also conducted and presented at major music conferences in all states of Australia and internationally in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Europe, and China including performances at the Japan Band Clinic and conferences of the World Association of Symphonic Bands & Ensembles in Manchester, England and Hamamatsu, Japan. He was a member of the faculties for the Bonyi International Youth Music Festival in Brisbane in 2007 and the Tutti International Festival in Beijing, China in 2011 and 2013 and has served as an invited conducting clinician for the Singapore Ministry of Education.
As a performing artist on trumpet and keyboard Dr. McWilliams has extensive performing experience with a number of domestic and international symphonic and jazz ensembles including performances with the following jazz artists: Mickey Tucker, Bobby Shew, Pete Christlieb, Nat Adderley, Vincent Herring, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eddie Daniels, Ed Shaughnessy, Andy Martin, Dale Barlow, Wilbur Wilde, and Paul Grabowsky.
Dr. McWilliams has been published in a number of professional publications including the Journal of Band Research, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, and is a published composer/arranger with Alfred’s Music. In early 2015 he relocated to Brisbane, and currently works for Yamaha Music Australia as an Educational Outreach Clinician and freelances as a musician, educator, conductor, adjudicator, and composer/arranger.