This exhilarating showcase is the culmination of a nation-wide search for Australia’s best jazz musician aged 35 and under. In an adrenaline-pumping finale, the three finalists, Theo Carbo, Sam Gill and Phillippa Murphy-Haste, will compete live in concert for their chance to win Australia’s most prestigious jazz award, the 22-year institution of the Freedman Jazz Fellowship.
The winner is decided after a searing hot performance from each finalist, with a special guest appearance Sweet Tooth from previous Jazz Fellow Hilary Geddes, while the judges deliberate. The winner will become the 2023 Freedman Jazz Fellow, and can take the next step in their career with the $21,000 prize.
Theo Carbo is a Melbourne based guitarist, composer/improvisor, sound engineer and producer. A keen truth-seeker in music, Theo weaves together different strand seamlessly into his own unified music-making practice. If Theo wins the Fellowship, he seeks to build a software instrument ‘Primary Colours’ (influenced by the music and writing of Mark Fell) that’ll interface with his guitar, and allow enhanced creative expression through immediate and intuitive access to an electronic soundworld. “It is important to me that the guitar is a key element in the instrument’s approach, to retain the performative aspect of playing guitar live.”
Phillippa Murphy-Haste is a Sydney-based a multi-instrumentalist, clarinet-specialist and composer. Her artistic practice covers a broad range of contexts to which she brings experience in jazz, classical, experimental, improvised music, theatre, inter-arts and cross-cultural collaborations together. Her favourite instruments to play are clarinets (A, B flat, bass) and viola. If she wins, she plans an improvising and composing mentorship with Swedish clarinets-specialist Per Texas Johansson plus the creation of a long-form work, Kairos to be rehearsed, recorded, performed and released as an album, featuring Phillippa, Per Texas Johansson, Paul Cutlan, and the band Microfiche of which she is a member.
Sam Gill is Sydney saxophonist, improviser & composer. He leads the groups Coursed Waters & Scattered, is a member of the composer-improvisor collectives Mind on Fire & Microfiche. Sam was a recipient of SIMA’s Emerging Composers Mentorship in 2022 and has been nominated for the Freedman Jazz Fellowship in 2020 and 2021. Should he be awarded the Freedman Fellowship, he’ll undertake the creation and development of an original set of music, to be performed by his new nine-piece improvising ensemble. The “unique instrumentation offers me an expanded sonic palette to explore new creative ideas beyond the smaller ensemble works that I have composed in the past.”
Previous winners read like a Who’s Who of Australian jazz, including Phil Slater, Andrea Keller, Kristin Berardi, Andrew Robson, Matt Keegan and Matt McMahon.
The Fellowships are funded by the Freedman Foundation and were conceived by Laurence Freedman and Richard Letts (The Music Trust). The Freedman Fellowships are administered by SIMA.