GUEST CLINICIANS - 2022

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BIOS

ANITA THOMAS (USA)

Multi-instrumentalist Anita Thomas delights audiences with her energy, exceptional skill, sense of fun and sincerity. Equally adept at playing clarinet, saxophone and acoustic bass, Anita can be heard performing in jazz, rock, soul, funk as well as classical ensembles.

Originally from Sydney, Australia she has now made her home in the USA. She enjoyed a successful musical career in Australia, releasing 2 CD’s and playing many jazz festivals with her quintet. She also toured with virtuosic, multi-instrumentalist James Morrison, John Morrison’s Swing City Big Band, the Mell-o-tones and the John Field Band. She recorded for many years with the famed children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles.

In 2001 Anita moved to the Los Angeles area and quickly became an active performing and recording artist on the West Coast. She was a member of the Tim Davies Big Band, the Baldy Mountain Jazz Band and Hal’s Angels. Anita was featured playing didgeridoo on the Grammy-nominated composition by Tim Davies, “Counting To Infinity”. She performed with the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and many other jazz groups at engagements and festivals on the West Coast.  In LA she also studied with jazz masters Jeff Clayton (saxophone) and Eugene “the Senator” J Wright (bass) with whom she toured Australia in 2007.

Since 2005 Anita has taught each summer at the Teagarden Jazz Camps in Northern California. The camps have been in existence for 30+ years and Anita is delighted to still be part of this great tradition. In 2008, Anita moved to the greater Baltimore/Washington DC area where she is a member of the Robert Sykes Quartet, Craig Gildner’s Blue Crescent Syncopators and the duo, Belle Triste, with classical guitarist Candice Mowbray. She has performed with the Brooks Tegler Big Band, and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. She’s played at the Strathmore, the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage and at many notable DC theatres. Anita is an adjunct faculty member at Frederick Community College in Maryland. She has taught jazz ensembles at the college since 2009.

In 2014, she released her third CD, “Dominos.” Featuring original compositions, the album has been described as “hard swinging, quirky and fun…jazz from the heart.” In 2019 she toured Australia and New Zealand with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY BAND SYDNEY - WEBSITE

The Australian Army Band Sydney, located at historic Victoria Barracks in Paddington, is the oldest professional musical organisation in Australia and the second longest serving regular Army Unit. With its history dating back to the Garrison Artillery Band formed in 1874, the band has been serving the Sydney region, NSW and the Nation for nearly 150 years.

Over the decades its members have entertained troops in theatres of conflict through two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Most recently in 2019, the band served onboard HMAS Canberra as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 19 (IPE19), the longest deployment for an Australian Army Band since the Vietnam War. The three-and-a-half-month exercise took 10 members of the band to 6 countries throughout Asia and the Subcontinent. During the same period, the remainder of the band toured the drought effected Western Hunter Region of NSW in support of Rural Aid and the Gift of Music.

The Australian Army Band Sydney is made up of 19 full-time and 21 reserve musicians, whose primary role is to provide ceremonial support for Vice-Regal events, support ADF Units within and outside of the Sydney metropolitan area, and enhance the image of the Australian Army through community engagement.

DAVID THEAK AND THE SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM JAZZ ORCHESTRA

Since its inception in the early 70s, the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra has formed an alumni that features many of the leading lights in Australian Jazz. Comprising 5 saxophones, 4 trombones, 4 trumpets, guitar, piano, bass and drums, the CJO features many of Sydney’s finest young improvisers.

Over the past 5 years, the standard of Jazz Orchestral studies has developed rapidly with an emphasis on collaborating with, and performing the music of leading international composers such as Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider, Bert Joris, Florian Ross, Jim McNeely, Darcy James Argue, Julian Arguelles and Dick Oatts to expose the students to the leading music and contemporary techniques required to perform jazz orchestral music at its highest level. These amazing young players have risen to the challenge on every level, and we aim to continue impressing audiences whenever we perform, with a level of sophistication normally reserved for professional jazz.

DAN QUIGLEY AND THE JMI JAZZ ORCHESTRA - http://dqjazz.com/

Dan Quigley is an Australian Jazz Trumpet player. Dan started playing the trumpet at the age of 8 and grew up in a musical family environment playing in brass bands, orchestra's and Big Bands. During his school years Dan played the Australian National Youth Band and Queensland Youth Wind Ensemble. Since his early 20's Dan has had a passion in performing, education and advocacy for Jazz.
Dan's has been a professional musician for over 2 decades. He has performed with some of the world's best musicians including The Australian National Jazz Orchestra, James Morrison, Vincent Gardner, Jerome Jennings, Rodney Whitaker, Mike Nock, Dale Barlow, Judy Bailey, Craig Scott, Steve Brien, Col Loughnan, Jamie Oehlers, Grace Knight, David Campbell, Tim Rogers amongst many more.

Dan is currently the Head of School at Jazz Music Institute which has become the place to study music in Brisbane.

ED WILSON - https://www.wilsonpub.com.au/

Most serious music lovers in Australia will know of Ed Wilson from his days with the legendary ''Daly/Wilson Big Band'' when they were so successful during the seventies and early eighties...but it must be noted that Ed’s status as a musician was rapidly developing long before this, not only for his talent as a trombonist but for his skill as an arranger. 

The combination of the twenty musicians that made up Daly/Wilson was the perfect vehicle for Ed’s exciting arrangements and compositions.

Although the band had gained a strong following for their electrifying live shows around the country, the overheads in keeping the band on the road became a financial burden...The band was put on hold for a while in 1971. Ed went searching for new challenges and found his way to England where he took up the trombone chair with the band at the London Palladium. In 1972 he was coaxed back to Australia where Daly/Wilson was resurrected with the added incentive of sponsorship from Benson & Hedges. The next seven years saw Ed and band tour constantly both nationally around Australia and abroad....they were in fact one of the first western acts in the world to perform in Russia. The line-up was complimented by three great Australian vocalists who helped broaden the appeal of the band...Marcia Hines , Kerrie Biddell and the late, great Ricky May.

The Daly/Wilson Big Band is an important part of Australian music history and leaves behind a legacy of half a dozen albums and indelible memories of sensational live shows.

JACKI COOPER - https://www.morrisonmusic.com.au/

Jacki Cooper is an exciting performer who has been living and working all over the world, and now calls Sydney home. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz voice in 1993 at Adelaide’s prestigious Elder Conservatorium and has since released 6 independant CDs.

 

In 1994, Jacki was invited to teach jazz voice for the world-renowned Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University in California and while there studied with several of the jazz greats of the area.

 

Always ready to hit the road to sing, Jacki has toured Europe, Russia and Scandinavia with an 8 piece swing band, and sung with jazz luminaries in the USA, Vietnam and China, as well as Australia of course. A highlight was performing in New York City in March 2009 with her husband, drummer and big band leader, John Morrison.

 

Both dedicated jazz educators, Jacki has been lecturer in jazz voice at Central Queensland University since 2014. Jacki and John travel around Australia teaching and performing in schools and lecturing and the annual Jazz Camp. They founded Big Band Blast together with a passionate team of Port Macquarie teachers and musicians in 2013.

JOHN MORRISON - https://www.morrisonmusic.com.au/

John Morrison has delighted audiences for more than 25 years with his humour and dedication to sounds that swing. Equally at home in a small group or big band setting, his musical facility runs the entire spectrum from traditional jazz, swing, Bebop, R&B, Soul and commercial jazz rock.

 

The eldest of the Morrison family, John has spent much of his musical life playing and recording with his younger brother James Morrison. At age 8, John began playing cornet in the school brass band and by the age of 10 had built his first drum set from pots and pans. In these early few years he played many different instruments and styles but jazz drumming was to be his calling.

 

After living in New York in the late eighties, John and James returned home to form Australia's premier jazz big band "The Morrison Bros Big Bad Band". John widened his exposure and experience also playing with a variety of other well-known international artists.

 

As the driving force behind Swing City, John, who was voted Australia's best big band drummer, loves the big band sound and started his own big band festival, Big Band Blast.

  

For the past few years, John has worked for the Queensland Music Festival starting band programs in the 3 indigenous primary schools in the Cape York Peninsula region. John is passionate about music education, and travels the country presenting workshops in schools, teaching at jazz camps, and helping teachers develop their skills.