2019 Helpmann Academy Jazz Awards

9 September 2019

South Australia’s next generation of jazz talent have been honoured at the Helpmann Academy’s annual Jazz Awards event – with $28,500 in awards presented to the top jazz graduates from The University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music.

Five emerging musicians were presented with awards in the Hilton Adelaide Ballroom on Friday, 6 September during the Helpmann Academy’s A Night of Jazz with Paul Grabowsky AO. In a special, one-night only event, the seminal jazz pianist and composer performed a repertoire of his songs alongside the emerging musicians.

Trumpet player Max Grynchuk was presented with $17,500, receiving both the Keith & Susie Langley Memorial Award for Best Overall Honours Graduate ($7,500), along with the Mike Stewart Memorial Award ($10,000, presented in partnership with Jazz SA).

The Lang Foundation Award, valued at $5000 was presented to Best Overall Undergraduate and guitarist Ben Finnis.

The Rob Lyons Award, valued at $2000 was presented to Top Voice Undergraduate Chelsea McGuinness.

The Bendigo & Adelaide Bank Award, valued at $2000 was presented to Top Bass Undergraduate Lenny Regione.

The Helpmann Academy Award, valued at $2000 was presented to Top Piano Undergraduate Ciara Ferguson.

In preparation for the performance, the graduating musicians participated in a series of exclusive masterclasses with Paul Grabowsky, as a part of the Helpmann Academy Cultivate Masterclass Series. The series aims to provide students and graduates with unique opportunities to work with a diverse range of professional artists to develop their skills and experience.

The Helpmann Academy acknowledges the 2019 Jazz Awards partners and donors, the Hilton Adelaide, JazzSA, K&S Langley Family Fund, The Lang Foundation, Rob Lyons, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, and wine partner, Grigori Family Wines.

Photos by Lauren Connelly.