2018 Mike Stewart Memorial Award

30 November 2018

The Helpmann Academy, in partnership with Jazz SA, is delighted to announce jazz guitarist, Django Rowe as the recipient of the 2018 Mike Stewart Memorial Award.

Django is an emerging jazz/folk guitarist, who graduated from the Elder Conservatorium of Music (University of Adelaide) in 2015. He will receive $10,000 towards establishing his professional career.

The Mike Stewart Memorial award was launched in 2016 to honour the legacy of Adelaide Jazz icon Mike Stewart and provide outstanding early career jazz musicians with professional development opportunities of their design.

Django will be using the award to travel to New York City to study under the tutelage of noise artist and cellist Okkyung Lee in order to expand his knowledge as an improvisor and composer. He will then be using these newfound skills to compose and record a full-length album in Adelaide at Mixmasters studios.

Django is looking forward to the opportunity to advance his sound in the direction he has envisioned.

“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.”

“The Helpmann Academy are an amazing organisation for emerging artists, and I am grateful to them for creating this award to fund emerging artists in the Jazz idiom. Their work has allowed many talented artists in South Australia to fulfil their vision, in which a lot of great art and music has been made. I am humbled to become one of the many talented artists in this state to be funded by them. I hope to make the absolute most of this award, and to bring music to South Australia that will be unique and inspiring.”

Jane MacFarlane, Helpmann Academy CEO said that the Mike Stewart Memorial Award has a solid history of helping emerging jazz musicians to kick start their music career post study.

“We are thrilled that the Mike Stewart Memorial Award will once again be assisting a promising young musician to expand their skills and build the career they dream of. Django Rowe is an incredibly talented musician and we can’t wait to see how this experience transforms his practice.”

Django Rowe was presented with the Mike Stewart Memorial Award at Helpmann Academy’s 2018 Wrap Up Party at Ayers House on the 30th of November 2018.

Image: Jane MacFarlane, Django Rowe, and Richard Craig, Chair of Jazz SA. Photo by Georgia Matthews.

The Mike Stewart Memorial Award is presented in partnership with Jazz SA.