Mike Stewart Memorial Award

“Having known and performed with Mike, I am honoured and incredibly humbled to be the 2018 recipient of the Mike Stewart Memorial award. I have had a vision of where I would like to take my original music and have been refining this sound over the past year. With this award, I will be able to turn the music I have been writing and imagining into a real thing.”
Django Rowe, recipient of the 2018 Mike Stewart Memorial Award

“The Mike Stewart Memorial Award allowed me to travel to New York for two months so I could receive lessons with Will Vinson. During this time I was also given the chance to partake in a life-changing lesson with vocalist Dominique Eade in Boston. Not only was I able to continue working on my craft in a city where Jazz thrives, I was able to watch my musical heroes perform right in front of my eyes, while also being fortunate enough to present my original music on four occasions as a bandleader.”
Chelsea Lee Smart, recipient of the 2017 Mike Stewart Memorial Award

Valued at $10,000, the Mike Stewart Memorial Award will provide an outstanding early career jazz musician with opportunities to help establish themselves as a professional musician.

The Mike Stewart Memorial Award has been established in partnership with Jazz SA to honour the legacy of Adelaide Jazz icon, Mike Stewart. Mike Stewart was an incredibly passionate musician, a fierce advocate for jazz and a dear friend of many in the South Australian jazz community.

Mike’s passion for jazz was infectious and the energy and enthusiasm he brought to the art form inspired a generation of musicians in Adelaide to follow his strong example and follow their dreams in Adelaide, New York City and beyond. He was a unifying figure in the Adelaide jazz community who inspired his peers to live up to his standard of musicianship, ambition and passion. Mike was someone who just made it happen, no matter the obstacles, and inspired others to do the same.

The Mike Stewart award has been created so that other emerging musicians can make their own dreams happen and in turn provide similar inspiration and leadership within the Australian jazz community into the future.

The award is open to final year students and graduates from the Jazz Program at Elder Conservatorium of Music, The University of Adelaide. Applicants must be final year students, or have graduated in the last five years, demonstrate excellence in their work and a rigorous commitment to building a career as a professional jazz artist. An important aspect will be knowledge sharing and recipients will be expected to share their experiences through public forums.

For more information:
Contact Helpmann Academy (08) 7089 0720 / [email protected]

Presented in partnership with JazzSA Inc.




2019 | Max Grynchuk
2018 | Django Rowe
2017 | Chelsea Lee Smart & Alexander Flood 
2016 | Angus Mason