JMI Faculty

JMI’s faculty is amongst the finest in the country

Featuring National Jazz Award winners and finalists, Freedman Fellowship winners and nationally acclaimed jazz performers and educators. JMI’s Teaching Quality has been rated at 98.1% in the latest Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching Survey, which is the highest rating in Australia amongst Creative Arts universities and tertiary providers.

Read about our wonderful teaching faculty below:

Nick Quigley playing double bass

Nick Quigley

Paula Girvan

Charlotte Mclean

Ben Hauptmann

Dave Sanders sitting by some drums

David Sanders

Josh Hatcher

Dr Rob McWilliams

andrew shaw double bass

Andrew Shaw

trav jenkins guitar

Travis Jenkins

Brad Esbensen

rebecca scolnik

Rebecca Olek

trombone teacher, mikael strand

Mikael Strand

Mark Smith

jess spina

Jessica Spina

graeme norris

Graeme Norris

mike anderson

Mike Anderson

Nick Quigley

Chief Executive Officer

Nick Quigley has been the Chief Executive Officer of Jazz Music Institute since 2015, having started working in the company since 2010. Nick has always shown a great interest in administration from a young age, providing a unique skill set with his intimate knowledge of music and administrative prowess. Nick has also produced a number of school music festivals, including the Essentially Ellington Down Under Festival since 2014 and the Brisbane Schools Music Festival from 2012-2018.

Nick is also an accomplished double bass player with a performance experience spanning 20 years. Nick is known for his flexibility and versatility as a musician, as well as his sense of groove and feel. Nick has performed with some legendary jazz musicians including James Morrison, Vincent Gardner, Jerome Jennings, Mike Nock, Jamie Oehlers, Roger Manins among others.

Paula Girvan

MMusSt(QCGU), BMus(QCGU), AdvDipMus(JMI), AssDipMus(QCGU)
Head of School, Piano, Jazz Materials, Aural & Analysis, Concert Performance Practice

Paula Girvan is a highly acclaimed and versatile pianist with many years of experience as a performer and educator. She performs in various musical formats with renowned artists from Australia and around the world.

Paula is Head of School and senior lecturer at JMI (Jazz Music Institute), where she is widely recognized as a leading voice in jazz education.

Paula’s impressive performance credentials includes touring nationally with award-winning blues rock band, Blues Arcadia. She has also performed with The Drifters, Normie Rowe, Little Pattie, Denise Drysdale, Emma Pask, Jazz at Lincoln Centre artists – Vince Gardner, Sherman Irby, Jerome Jennings, and Belinda Munro- Gardner; Vivian Sessoms, Roger Manins, Kristin Berardi, Michelle Nicolle, Trichotomy, Qld Music Awards, AWMAS (Australian Women in Music Awards).

Paula’s sophisticated musical style, technical prowess, and unwavering dedication to music have earned her a reputation as a sought-after performing artist. Her exceptional musical direction and contributions to various projects and productions have further cemented her status as a respected and accomplished musician and director in the music industry.

Charlotte Mclean

BMus(JMI), GradCert(QCGU), MMusSt(QCGU)
Course Coordinator, Voice, A Capella Ear Training, Aural and Analysis

Charlotte Mclean is emerging as one of Australia’s most captivating and original vocalists. Possessed of a velvety-smooth voice, she produces her own addictive style and her original tunes have garnered critical and popular acclaim. Charlotte’s exemplary skills as an improviser allow her to put a fresh spin on classic jazz repertoire, and she sings with honesty, strength and a unique combination of contemporary musical influences.

Having had a passion for music and performance from a young age, Charlotte released her second originals album “Magnolia” in June 2020, which was met with great praise. She was thrilled to be named a finalist in the prestigious Queensland Music Awards (Jazz Category) for her original music in 2021. In 2023, Charlotte released her third originals album “Spinning wheels and sideshows,” along with a trio jazz album titled “I know why and so do you” and a live album titled ‘Live at the Jazz Club’. Her impressive body of work led to her being nominated for the esteemed Freedman Fellowship Jazz Award in the same year.

Charlotte is a two-time graduate, having received a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music (Majoring in Vocal Pedagogy) with an award for academic excellence. In 2022 she presented her paper “An analysis of tertiary teaching approaches: Modifying curriculum to prepare vocalists for a professional career in Jazz Music.” Currently serving as the course coordinator at the Jazz Music Institute, Charlotte also continues to hone her skills as a tertiary lecturer in voice, Aural & Analysis, academic research units and AET. She continues to push musical boundaries and captivate audiences with her unique vocals and infectious tunes.

Ben Hauptmann

Guitar, Ensemble, Improvisation Techniques, Concert Performance Practice

Ben Hauptmann is a prestigious touring and session guitarist based on the Central Coast North of 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 Gurrumul Yunupingu, Paul Kelly, Donny Benet, Bandaluzia Flamenco, Bertie Blackman, Jack Ladder, Lior, Bluejuice, Micheline Van Hautem, James Morrison and Tal Wilkenfeld. He is a lecturer at The Jazz Music Institute in Brisbane and is currently touring, recording and performing with Vika & Linda Bull, Justine Clarke, Katie Noonan and Martha Marlow.


David Sanders


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.

David 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. Dave’s 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.

David is the author of Progressive Steps to Better Drummingpublished through Prepared Sounds. David also has plenty of educational videos available on his YouTube Channel.

Josh Hatcher

MMus, BMus(QUT)
Woodwinds, Improvisation Techniques, Ensemble

Joshua Hatcher is a Brisbane-based saxophonist, composer and music educator. He was a finalist in the 2016 National Jazz Awards (saxophone) at Wangaratta, and 2 selections from his album “Now and Then” were finalists in the 2016 QMusic Awards Jazz Category.

His big band compositions and arrangements were recorded by the Enthusiastic Musicians’ Orchestra on “One for B” (2011) and “Long Way Home” (2014) and he was the 2016 Composer-in-Residence for the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra. In 2018 he completed his Master of Music Research in composition at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

He has lectured in a range of subjects at Jazz Music Institute since 2012 including Saxophone, Improvisation, Theory and Ensemble Skills, and is the current musical director of the JMI Jazz Orchestra. He is a regular rhythm section coach for QYO Big Band and MOST, and gives regular high school workshops in improvisation, rhythm section playing, and big band performance.

Dr Rob McWilliams

Ph.D., M.Mus., B.Mus.Ed.
Ensemble, Improvisation Techniques

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 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.

Andrew Shaw

Business Studies, Ensemble, Bass, Jazz in Context

Double bassist, Andrew Shaw, has performed with many greats of the music world, from jazz to cabaret, from tango to country and western, and flamenco. Some of the artists he has performed with across the spectrum include John Scofield, Dave Liebman, James Morrison, Grace Knight, Tom Burlinson, Bill Watrous, Tony Malaby, Matt Wilson, David Ades, Dale Barlow, Mike Nock, Lyndon Terracini, Scott Tinkler, Rhonda Birchmore, Mandy Patinkin, Patti Lupone, Lady Rizo, Joaquin Amenabar, Sarah Blasko, James Ryan, Victor Morosco, The Saruzu Quartet, Flamenco Fire, Olayo Jimenez, Carla Pugliesi, and Jamie Oehlers.

Andrew is currently leading his own ensemble, Road Plant, concentrating on his original music inspired by the secret lives of earth moving equipment. He is also performing with Toby Wren Quartet, David Bentley, Caxton Street Jazz Band, Jeff Usher, Andrew Garton’s Abbreviations Orchestra and others.

Shaw has performed nationally and internationally at many major venues and festivals. He has recorded on more than 40 albums with various artists.

Travis Jenkins

Jazz Composition, Ensemble, Guitar, Jazz Materials

Trav has been studying and playing the guitar for over 25 years. He is a prolific composer and multi-instrumentalist, having written and arranged music for a variety of circumstances including film music, video game soundtracks, small and large string ensembles, big band, and choir.

Trav is in high demand as a session musician and arranger, and has played in various contemporary outfits at major music festivals around the country, such as the “Brisbane International Jazz Festival”, “Broadbeach Jazz Festival”, “Melbourne Jazz Festival”, “Woodford Folk Festival” and “Big Day Out”. Travis has also played alongside reputable Australian Jazz musicians such as James Morrison, John Morrison, Craig Scott, and Jonathon Zwartz.

Graduating in 2013 from the Jazz Music Institute with a Bachelor of Music (BMus), Trav studied guitar under both Bruce Woodward and Ben Hauptmann, achieving academic awards in all 3 years and in 2015, receiving a nomination for the Freedman Jazz Fellowship. Trav worked for 5 years at the Brisbane Music Studio teaching guitar and directing an ensemble program.  Working with Caleb James at The Queensland Conservatorium, he developed a new performance component to Griffith University’s Bachelor of Popular Music program, which commenced at the Gold Coast campus until it moved to the South Bank campus where he has been running all of 1st and 2nd year contemporary ensemble classes.  Trav has been teaching at JMI for over 7 years and currently teaches guitar (Principal Study), Jazz Composition 1 and 2, Jazz Materials 3 and 4 and Ensemble.  Aside from working as a jazz guitarist in his organ trio and as a sideman, he currently performs regularly in yacht-rock outfit “Tommy Sexton & the Suggestions”,  funk review band “Golden Sound”, and world-beat/reggae outfit “Kooii”.

Brad Esbensen

Jazz Arranging

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.

Rebecca Olek

Ensemble, Woodwind

Bec Olek is a Brisbane based saxophonist and educator. As a baritone saxophone specialist, Bec has a passion for big band and arranging, and has performed in ensembles led by Dave Panichi, Judy Bailey, Andrew Robertson and more. She received a grant with South Coast Big Band in 2020 to arrange and record a version of ‘Fascinating Rhythm’, and is an orchestrator for large scale arena shows. Bec has performed extensively in musical theatre and enjoys doubling on all woodwind instruments.
In 2019 Bec completed her BMus (Jazz Performance) at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she studied with Col Loughnan and David Theak. Her performance experience ranges from folk groups to straight ahead jazz, and modern ensembles to New Orleans brass band. Bec now teaches privately on Brisbane’s northside and directs two ensembles at Glasshouse Christian College in Beerwah.

Mikael Strand

BMus(ConMusic)(Con), GradDip(Ed)(UQ)

Mikael Strand is a Musician, Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer, and Music Educator. Equally versed in Classical, Jazz, Popular & World Music languages, Mikael has been performing as a professional Trombonist since 1999. Mikael holds a Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Music from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Queensland.

A talented Multi-Instrumentalist, Mikael is proficient on all of the Brass Instruments as well as Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Piano, Bass Guitar, and Percussion. Mikael has performed, toured and recorded with the likes James Morrison, Don Burrows, Renee Geyer, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Jerry Lewis, Ingrid Jensen (USA), Jim Pugh (USA), Mad Professor, The Saints, Mista Savona, Kate Miller-Heidke, Hot 8 Brass Band, West End Composers Collective, Doch Gypsy Orchestra, Dubmarine, and many other high-profile Artists and Groups.

In 2002, Mikael was selected to be the musical director of the Queensland Conservatorium Trombone Ensemble, which toured Indonesia as part of Australian Education Week. In addition, Mikael has performed at numerous national and international festivals such as the iconic Woodford Folk Festival, Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival (South Africa), Festival Mondial (Netherlands), Colours of Ostrava Festival (Czech Rep), and many others.

Currently, Mikael enjoys a busy performing career, regularly performing with Hip- Hop/Funk/Soul Brass Band BULLHORN, the Sweet Thunder Jazz Orchestra, as well as performing and recording as a freelance Trombonist all over Queensland and Australia.

A passionate music educator, Mikael currently holds the position of Multi-Instrumental Music Teacher with the Queensland Education Department, and has held teaching positions at Primary and Secondary Schools since 2003. Mikael has also received acclaim as a conductor, with several of his ensembles receiving awards at state and regional band competitions such as Fanfare, Prestige Music Festival and the Gold Coast Eisteddfod.

Mark Smith

Music Technology 1

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.

Jessica Spina

BMus(JazzVoice)(Con), GradCert(VocPed)(Con)

Jess Spina has been singing and performing jazz since her first appearance at the Brisbane Jazz Club when she was 9 years old.

She has since earnt a reputation as one of the finest vocalists in Australia, placing 3rd in the prestigious National Jazz Awards held at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues in 2020.

Most recently, Jess was nominated for the 2022 Freedman Fellowship Awards amongst the vanguard of Australian jazz musicians.

Her experience as a performer ranges from regular local gigs to International festivals. In 2019 she attended the the Siena International Jazz workshop in Italy where she worked with renowned jazz artists including Kenny Werner, Becca Stevens, Miguel Zenon, Henry Cole, Theo Bleckmann and Jen Shyu amongst others. Jess has also cherished performing alongside eminent Australian musicians such as Kristin Berardi, Olivia Chindamo, James Sherlock, and Elly Hoyt.

As a composer and arranger, Jess is inspired by icons of modern jazz like Laurence Hobgood, Veronica Swift, Sam Anning and Jo Lawry. Legends like Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae and Betty Carter continue to motivate her.

Jess won the Sir Samuel Griffith Scholarship to study a Bachelor of Music majoring in Jazz Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium, and upon graduation in 2019, she was awarded the Sid SJ Bromley Jazz award for academic excellence, leadership skills and performance abilities.

Jess has also completed a Graduate Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from the Queensland Conservatorium under the tutelage of renowned educators Dr Irene Bartlett and Dr Ron Morris and is delighted to have joined the faculty at Jazz Music Institute teaching jazz voice students.

Graeme Norris

MMus (Manhattan School of Music), BMus (JMI), AssDipMus (Sydney Con)
Woodwinds, Improvisation Techniques

Graeme Norris’s career as a jazz musician and music educator spans almost 40 years. In Australia Graeme has lived and worked in Sydney and Brisbane, teaching in many schools, and at Brisbane Conservatorium of Music and JMI. From 2012 to 2020 Graeme resided in New York City. He obtained his Masters in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music and was the recipient of the Outreach Award for his outstanding contribution to MSM’s Arts in Education and community engagement programs. In 2014 Graeme joined the faculty at Manhattan School of Music Pre-College department, covering saxophone, jazz history, theory and ensemble direction.

Graeme has recorded two CD’s as leader (Pentatomic – Rufus Records and More Please! – Gut String Records), and has appeared on a dozen as sideperson. In 1994 the Graeme Norris Quartet represented Australia at the Jakarta International Jazz Festival, and was awarded an Australia Council recording grant. In 2010 the Enthusiastic Musicians Orchestra recorded One For B featuring Graeme’s original compositions. Graeme has performed in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and New York including at Dizzy’s, Mezzrow, SoB’s and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In Australia, Graeme has led groups at all premier jazz venues and at several festivals, and has shared the stage with Eartha Kitt, Jerry Lewis, Kenny Rogers, Frankie Valli, James Morrison, Tom Burlinson, Monica Trapaga, Grace Knight, Emma Pask, Nicki Parrott, Katie Noonan, Roger Frampton, Craig Scott, Alan Turnbull, James Sherlock and Don Rader.

Graeme’s approach to teaching incorporates a thorough knowledge of the earliest jazz through to the most contemporary, an expansive repertoire, comprehension of jazz language through study and exploration of harmony, melody and rhythm, and instrument specific aspects including sound production, articulation and finger technique.

Mike Anderson

BMus (VCA)
Guitar, Ensemble, Improvisation Techniques

Mike Anderson is a professional guitarist, composer and guitar teacher with a passion for the jazz tradition.
Prior to moving to Brisbane in 2015, Mike has lived and worked as a professional musician in both Sydney and his hometown Melbourne, where he attended the prestigious Victorian College of the Arts. He has performed with some of Australia’s finest musicians in all three cities, worked as a utility musician on cruise ships around the world and performed numerous times on live television.
In 2014, Mike was named a top ten finalist in the National Jazz Awards for guitar, as part of the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival. He recorded his debut album, “Eyes and Wolves” in 2018 with the Mike Anderson Trio, featuring Mike’s own original compositions and is currently the principal guitarist for the Queensland Pops Orchestra.
With over 20 years of teaching experience, and forever a student of jazz himself, Mike has forged a unique voice on the guitar and is dedicated to developing that to the highest level of both mastery and artistry on the instrument.