The winner of the 2019 Freedman Jazz Fellowship is: 

NOVAK MANOJLOVIC

The 2019 Freedman Jazz Fellowship Final at The Studio in the Sydney Opera House once again proved an enthralling and inspirational event. Each of the three finalists delivered exceptional sets, making the three judges’ final decision most difficult. Novak Manojlovic played a superb suite of original music utilizing both piano and synthesiser. Elly Hoyt’s set was a brave, audacious and poignant musical statement focusing on the plight of refugees to this country. Harry Sutherland provided a beautifully understated and subtle interchange with trumpeter Tom Avgenicos. Whilst the judges deliberated the audience was treated to a unique ‘family’ set from 2010 Freedman Fellow, guitarist Ben Hauptmann along with siblings Zoe and James.

MC for the evening James Valentine from ABC 702 introduced the Music Trust’s Dr Richard Letts who recalled the enormous contribution that the Freedman Fellowships have made to young musicians since their inception in 2001. Judge Mike Nock commented on the lofty heights that jazz in Australia had now reached and then announced the 2019 winner Novak Manojlovic.

Novak plans to use the $20,000 Freedman Fellowship to take his longstanding piano trio HEKKA (featuring Jacques Emery on bass and Tully Ryan on drums) on a 10-date national and international Oceanic tour, where they will collaborate with a projection artist residing in each city. A new, one hour set of music will be composed specifically for the trio and visuals.

Congratulations to the finalists

Novak Manojlovic (Piano) – nominated by Jonathan Zwartz
Elly Hoyt (Vocals) – nominated by Julien Wilson
Harry Sutherland (Piano) – nominated by Jonathan Zwartz

Elly Hoyt:

Vocalist and composer Elly Hoyt was born in Tasmania before moving to Queensland where she received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Voice and a Masters of Vocal Pedagogy at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University (QCGU). She was awarded an Academic Award for Excellence in both Bachelor and Masters degrees and an award from the Australian Voice Association (AVA). Hoyt’s accolades include a Bell Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, the Generations in Jazz Vocal Scholarship and a Marten Bequest Traveling Scholarship to study a Masters of Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, USA. Career highlights also include supporting US pianist Kenny Barron and performing for Prince Charles and Camilla. She has also toured internationally playing venues, festivals and clubs including Shanghai World Expo (China), Bar 55 (NYC), Schloss Elmau (Germany), Jordan Concert Hall (Boston, USA) and Melbourne International Jazz Festival (AUS).

She currently lectures at the British and Irish Institute of Modern Music (BIMM), London.

Project Description: Elly plans to write and record an album in collaboration with bassist/arranger/composer Geoff Gascoyne (UK). The album will comprise a suite of original songs based on the story of Ali Dorani (aka Mr. Eaten Fish, cartoonist), an Iranian asylum seeker who was held in an Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island for over four years. This will involve documenting the project, publicising the project and performing live at festivals and concert halls in collaboration with the artwork of Ali.

Novak Manojlovic:

Sydney-based pianist, Novak Manojlovic first began playing piano at age eight. He went on to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music from 2012-2016 where he honed his craft as an improviser and composer, studying under pianists Mike Nock and Matt McMahon (Freedman Jazz Fellow 2005). Novak has led his own diverse projects and collaborated extensively in the pop music scene, acting as a musical director, arranger and touring musician for Ngaiire, Sampa the Great, Wallace and Martha Marlow. Novak has been quickly gaining recognition for his expressive approach, and since finishing his studies has been composing and performing with his subversive piano trio ‘HEKKA’, electro-acoustic outfit Colourfields and his large ensemble Grown Ocean throughout Australia.

Project Description: Novak plans to use the Freedman Fellowship to take his longstanding piano trio HEKKA (featuring Jacques Emery on bass and Tully Ryan on drums) on a 10-date national and international Oceanic tour, where they will collaborate with a projection artist residing in each city. A new, one hour set of music will be composed specifically for the trio and visuals.

Harry Sutherland:

Sydney-born, Melbourne-based pianist and composer, Harry Sutherland graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with first class honours in 2013 under the tutelage of Matt McMahon, John Harkins and Mike Rivett. Performing since a young age, Harry has gained extensive experience playing with some of Australia’s most accomplished jazz musicians including James Morrison, Dale Barlow and Paul Furniss. He has been performing regularly with Geoff Bull and the Finer Cuts since 2012, playing and touring extensively with pop music and jazz artists including Matt Corby, Dereb the Ambassador, Touch Sensitive, Ben Hauptmann, Donny Benet and Ngaiire.

Project Description: Harry’s project is to compose a new large scale work and release it as an album. In addition a large part of it would be filmed to form a strong promotional pack to promote the music online and to create better opportunities for touring in the future. The music itself explores the intersection of the band members’ individual voices and also a wide timbral palette offered by a somewhat unorthodox instrumentation. The ensemble would consist of Harry (piano, synthesizers), Ken Allars (trumpet, synthesizers, electronics), Tully Ryan (drums) and a string quartet

Guest Artist at the concert:

Guitarist Ben Hauptmann will be the Guest Artist at the Freedman Jazz concert; he will perform with his quartet. Ben was the Freedman Jazz Fellow for 2010.

About The Fellowships: 

The Jazz Fellowship is funded by the Freedman Foundation, a philanthropic foundation chaired by Laurence Freedman, which assists young Australians in music and visual arts as well as providing support to medical and scientific programs. In 2001, Laurence Freedman was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the community, to medical research, the arts, and to business and investment in Australia.

Past winners of the Freedman Jazz Fellowships read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Australian jazz. They include guitarists Ben Hauptmann and James Muller, saxophonists Julien Wilson, Andrew Robson and Matt Keegan, pianists Andrea Keller, Matt McMahon, Marc Hannaford, Aaron Choulai and Tal Cohen, trumpeters Nick Garbett and Phil Slater, bassist Christopher Hale, vocalist Kristin Berardi and drummer James McLean. The Fellowships are managed by The Music Trust and administered by the Sydney Improvised Music Association.

ABC Jazz is the media partner for the Freedman Jazz Fellowships and will be covering the event and will broadcast the concert. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will receive a recording package to produce a recording in the superb ABC Jazz Studios. The addition of this recording package makes the Freedman Jazz Fellowship Australia’s most lucrative Jazz award.

Novak Manojlovic
Elly Hoyt
Harry Sutherland
Guest Artist - Ben Hauptmann