jazz and improvised music

sima end-of-year concert: celebrating bernie mcgann

It is our pleasure to present Celebrating Bernie McGann to the SIMA audience including friends, colleagues and supporters of the legendary Australian jazz saxophonist, Bernie McGann who passed away in September 2013

DATE Saturday 2 December, 2017
TIME 8pm
VENUE Foundry 616, 616 Harris St, Ultimo
TICKETS $30 /$25 /$15
(Non-Member, SIMA Member/Concession, Student)
BOOK ONLINE or phone 9036 6292

WARWICK ALDER trumpet SANDY EVANS tenor saxophone PAUL CUTLAN alto saxophone BRENDAN CLARKE bass TOBY HALL drums


Bernie’s long-time friends and collaborators - Warwick Alder, Sandy Evans, Paul Cutlan, Brendan Clarke and Toby Hall - celebrate this legendary musician in a concert featuring Bernie’s music. They will also play Sandy Evans’ tribute suite, which she based on a phrase found in one of Bernie’s practice notebooks: "Long, Loose, Taste, Groove". They will play Andrew Robson’s tribute to Bernie McGann, and also some of Bernie's favourite jazz standards.

As SIMA's end-of-year concert, there will be prizes and raffles and general festivity. All are welcome.

Praise for Celebrating Bernie McGann:
"...compelling suite celebrated the musical legacy of the late Bernie McGann. Composed and led by Sandy Evans, it was both a joyous and poignant journey, and featured some outstanding playing from the three-horn frontline" - Jessica Nicholas, Sydney Morning Herald

"…Evans played with heart, soul, presence, spirit, feeling — call it what you will — and Robson sent alto notes darting as he ducked and weaved behind the music stand. It was indeed a celebration." - Roger Mitchell, AusJazz.Net

About Bernie McGann:

Bernie McGann was a pioneering figure in the Australian jazz scene. Widely acknowledged as an Australian jazz icon, Bernie was awarded ARIA and MO Awards and an Australia Council for the Arts grant. He was the first ever recipient of the Australia Council’s prestigious Don Banks Music Award in 1998.

"McGann's raw-edged tone delivered exhilarating, hyper-fast flights of jagged post-bop with breathtaking leaps to the upper register. He also could express emotional depths of aching beauty in a slow ballad or blues. He was a trailblazer, always original, inventive, unmistakeable, a one-off giant of the alto saxophone" - John McBeath, The Australian

About Sandy Evans' tribute suite:

Celebrating Bernie McGann is a suite composed in honour of the legendary Australian saxophonist Bernie McGann. It was commissioned by the jazz community through the Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) while McGann was seriously ill in hospital in September 2013. McGann passed away only a week after the piece was commissioned, so the work stands as a tribute to his life and work. McGann was renowned as one of the most original voices in Australian jazz. This suite pays tribute to his distinctive, individualistic and expressive musical legacy. As well as many years listening to and playing with McGann in Ten Part Invention, and in his own Quartet, research for this work included study of McGann’s practice notebooks in which McGann had written the phrase: ‘Long, Loose, Taste, Groove’. The architectonic structure of the suite is based on this quote.

Melodically, Interstellar Conversations references improvised passages from a solo by McGann on his composition Playground. The material is recontextualised in a new harmonic and rhythmic framework to create a dialogue between past and present, celebrating McGann’s inventiveness and the impact he has had on subsequent Australian saxophonists. Tales of the Incredible Antarctic Sax Explorer and His Conniving Manager explores links between McGann’s work and the blues; For Addie is a waltz with aesthetic roots in McGann’s most famous composition Spirit Song; Addison Road Jive generates the high energy, celebratory gospel atmosphere of McGann’s work with The Last Straw and Ten Part Invention.