State Theatre Centre of WA

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Perth International Jazz Festival - In Coversations

9 - 11 November 2018 State Theatre Centre of WA, Middar Room

Perth International Jazz Festival - In Coversations

9 - 11 November 2018 State Theatre Centre of WA, Middar Room

Part of the Perth International Jazz Festival

These free events are a rare opportunity to hear directly from these visiting artists about their creative process, stories of playing around the world and an insight into what drives them to pursue the life of a creative musician. There will be the opportunity for audience questions in this intimate setting. 


Friday 9 November

In Coversation with Mace Francis, Festival Director (AUS)
2 - 3PM, Middar Room - State Theatre Centre of WA

Mace Francis is a passionate advocate of original Australian large ensemble jazz music, forming his own 14-piece ensemble in 2005 – the Mace Francis Orchestra (MFO). MFO have recorded 6 CDs, toured nationally four times and performed with international artists Jim Pugh (USA), Jon Gordon (NY), John Hollenbeck (NY), Satoko Fujii (JAP), Ed Partyka (GER) and Theo Bleckmann (NY). For his compositions Mace has been awarded an APRA Professional Development Award, the Italian international composition prize, "Scrivere in Jazz", was a finalist in the 2010 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, nominated for an Australian Bell Award (2013 & 2016) and was the 2015 winner of the APRA Jazz Work of the Year. 

Mace has worked as guest composer and conductor with l’Orcehstre des Jeunes Jazzmen de Bourgogne (France), the Graz Composers Ensemble (Austria) and the Showa University of Music Big Band (Japan). Mace currently works as the artistic director of the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra and has recently completed a PhD exploring site-specific composition of which he received the 2015 Faculty Research Medal.

In Coversation with Satoko Fujii (JPN)
4 - 5PM, Middar Room - State Theatre Centre of WA

Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer SATOKO FUJII as one of the most original voices in jazz today.

A truly global artist, she tours internationally leading several ensembles based in Japan, Europe, and the United States. Just as her career spans international borders, her music spans many genres, blending jazz, contemporary classical, rock, and traditional Japanese music into an innovative synthesis instantly recognizable as hers alone.
Her wide-ranging compositions can incorporate the simple melodies of folk song, the harmonic sophistication of jazz, the rhythmic power of rock, and the extended forms of symphonic composers. Although Fujii’s compositions are full of sudden shifts in direction and mood, the extremes are always part of a greater conceptual whole.
The 2015 El Intruso International Critics Poll recognized her as one of the composers of the year and in 2016 she was named a Rising Star Composer in the 64th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll. 

As an improviser, Fujii is equally wide-ranging and virtuosic. In her solos, explosive free jazz energy mingles with delicate melodicism and a broad palette of timbre and textures.


Saturday 10 November

In Coversation with Melissa Aldana (USA)
4 - 5PM, Middar Room - State Theatre Centre of WA

Still in her 20’s, Chilean saxophonist and composer Melissa Aldana has had a remarkably rapid evolution from 6-year-old sax prodigy to, “bold new talent,” (NPR) widely considered one of the most compelling tenor saxophonists on the scene. As a child, Aldana studied with her renowned saxophonist father Marcos Aldana. In 2007 she moved to Boston to enroll at Berklee, coming under the mentorship of George Garzone. In 2013 she became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American ever to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. She is also a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center and a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile’s prestigious national arts prize. Melissa has released four recordings as a leader, most recently, ‘Back Home.’

The title ‘Back Home’ might seem to evoke Chile, where Aldana left in 2007 to pursue jazz at ever higher levels in the U.S. In fact, Aldana reveals, ‘Back Home’ “is not really related to Chile itself. It’s related to the first time I picked up the tenor and I heard Sonny Rollins.” The closing title track carries strong echoes of Rollins’ playful spirit, and reveals much about Aldana’s evolution from a 6-year-old alto player to “a bold new talent” (NPR), one of the most compelling and prodigious tenor saxophonists of her time. In fact she wrote “Back Home” specifically for Rollins, she recalls: “He was one of the first reasons I started playing trio, because the freedom that you have within the music, the interaction, the opportunity you have to express yourself and communicate with the other musicians.”


Sunday 11 November

In Coversation with Sara MacDonald (USA)
4 - 5PM, Middar Room - State Theatre Centre of WA

Sara McDonald is a vocalist/composer/arranger/french horn - piano player based in Brooklyn. She is the bandleader of The NYChillharmonic - a 22 piece progressive jazz orchestra - for which she writes and arranges all of the music. Since The NYChillharmonic's inception in 2014, the group itself has gone on to perform and headline several festivals within the United States, Europe, and Canada, including The International Festival of Arts and Ideas, The Moers Festival, Nublu Jazz Festival, Mazzstock Music Festival, Take The A-Train Festival, and The Montreal Jazz Festival.

The NYChillharmonic has performed at premiere jazz and rock clubs in NYC, including Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, The Irdium, The Jazz Gallery, Sheen Center, and Joes Pub. They have also performed at The Kennedy Center in Washigton DC. Sara has twice been awarded The ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award for her big band compositions, as well as The ASCAP Phoebe Jacobs Prize for being an outstanding female composer. She was selected for Brooklyn Magazines annual ‘30 under 30’ list in 2018. 


Please note:
  • Mobile telephones and electronic devices are to be turned off during the performance.
  • Cameras, video cameras and tape recorders will not be permitted without the consent of the promoter.
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