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2014 National Jazz Awards announced

Carl Morgan
Sep 15, 2014 Updated Oct 13, 2014

This year's National Jazz Awards feature the guitar, with the 10 finalists now announced, due to compete in Wangaratta in November.

2014 has been named the year of the guitar as Wangaratta gears up to host the National Jazz Awards at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues. Ten finalists have been announced, and of that ten, three will head into the finals on Sunday the 2nd of November. ABC Jazz and Classic FM will be broadcasting the perfomances of the final three from 5pm on November the 2nd, so don't forget to tune in. And, if you're around-and-about at the festival, don't forget to check out the semi-finals, which are held around town in the lead-up to final three.

2014 finalists

Quentin Angus, 27, from New York (originally from Adelaide)
David Gooey, 30, from Melbourne
Ryan Griffith, 34, from Melbourne
Peter Koopman, 25, from Sydney
Paul Mason, 23, from Sydney
Carl Morgan, 26, from Sydney (pictured, originally from Canberra)
Michael Anderson, from Sydney*
Hugh Stuckey, 29, from Melbourne (originally from Adelaide)
Jeremy Thomson, 22, from Perth
Oliver Thorpe, 22, from Sydney

*Note: Matthew Smith from Sydney had to pull out due to touring committments with Thirsty Merc. Sydney-based guitarist Michael Anderson has taken his place.
(Ages shown are as at the 1st November 2014)

Each year, the entries are assessed on a blindfold basis by the judges. The 2014 judges included Sydney pianist Mike Nock, Melbourne guitarist Stephen Magnusson, and Adelaide guitarist James Muller. Stephen and James tied for the first prize when the Awards first featured the guitar, in 2000. Subsiquently, this was the only year (to date) when the judges were unable to split two outstanding candidates.

At the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz (31 October – 3 November), the ten finalists will perform with accomplished New York-based bassist Des White and Perth-based drummer Ben Vanderwal.

The winner will receive $12,000 plus a studio recording session for ‘Jazztrack with Mal Stanley’ on ABC Classic FM and ABC Jazz, as well as an invitation to perform in the Stonnington Jazz festival in May 2015.

The runner-up will receive $6000 and a recording session at Pughouse Studios in Melbourne. The third finalist will receive a prize of $3000.


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