Best Australian jazz projects at 2021 Art Music Awards

The Australian Music Centre and APRA AMCOS have announced the finalists for the annual Art Music Awards which will take place virtually on Tuesday 24 August at 19:00hrs AEST (11:00hrs CET) and will be broadcast on the APRA AMCOS YouTube Channel.

The shortlisted projects and works make a powerful statement about the talent, creative drive and resilience demonstrated by artists everywhere during a year of cancellations and hardship, and it's particularly reassuring to see strong evidence of the international connections that continue to support Australian music.

The Work of the Year - Jazz shortlist features Asteroid Ekosystem by the Alister Spence Trio with Ed Kuepper; Loretta Palmeiro & Mark Isaacs's collaboration All Who Travel With Us; Paul Cutlan's Living; and Vanessa Perica's Spaccanapoli, a homage to the historic street in Naples. Performance of the Year finalists for jazz and improvised music include Palmeiro & Isaacs for All Who Travel With Us; the Phil Slater Quintet's performance of The Golden Seam; Phonetic Orchestra's Silent Towns; and  Sacred Key - the debut album of Vazesh, a trio featuring saxophonist Jeremy Rose, Iranian-Australian composer & world music specialist Hamed Sadeghi with Lloyd Swanton, double bassist and co-founder of The Necks.

Shortlisted in the Work of the Year - Electroacoustic/Sound art category is Tariro Mavondo, Reuben Lewis and Peter Knight's project Closed Beginnings, recently released by the Australian Art Orchestra. AAO was also an Excellence in Music Education finalist for their Creative Music Intensive professional development program.

The Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music, as determined by the APRA Board of Directors, has already been announced. The honour goes to the two founding producers of the ABC RN's The Music Show program, Penny Lomax and Maureen Cooney, known for hosting the very best of Australian and international music every weekend.

Image: Vazesh (Jeremy Rose, Lloyd Swanton and Hamed Sadeghi). Photo: Prudence Upton