2020 Helpmann Academy Jazz Awards

3 November 2020

Seven emerging jazz musicians have been presented with over $21,000 in awards at An Evening of Jazz – a musical event held at Scott Theatre, University of Adelaide on Thursday 29 October.

In a pared down, intimate version of the Helpmann Academy’s annual Night of Jazz event, South Australia’s next generation of jazz talent from the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music performed and were honoured with a range of accolades.

Drummer Alexander Flood was presented with the top honour, the inaugural Helpmann Academy’s Langley Award for Jazz, valued at $7,500 and supported by the K & S Langley Fund. Alexander completed his Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) in 2017 and is a previous recipient of the Helpmann Academy Jazz Award for Top Overall Graduate (2018) and the Helpmann Academy Mike Stewart Memorial Award (2018). Flood has performed with renowned artists including Marquis Hill, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Kate Ceberano, Nicholas Buc, and Hugh Sheridan.

Flood will be using the award to record and release a full-length professional studio album of original music, working with US record labels Stretch Music & Ropeadope Records.

Alexander says “I feel incredibly grateful to receive this award, and the continued support from Helpmann Academy and the K&S Langley Fund has allowed myself and many others to work towards milestone achievements in our careers. The arts industry has been hit hardest of all this year, and to have the opportunity of financial support for future projects is invaluable.”

Other awards presented on the night:

Helpmann Academy Top Undergraduate Award, valued at $5000 and supported by David McKee AO & Pam McKee was presented to Morgan Fletcher.

Helpmann Academy Top Honours Award, valued at $5000 and supported by the Lang Foundation was presented to Jason McMahon.

Helpmann Academy Award for Outstanding Vocalist, valued at $1000 was presented to Sadie Humphrey.

Helpmann Academy Award for Outstanding Saxophonist, valued at $1000 was presented to Giacomo Guttilla.

Helpmann Academy Award for Outstanding Trumpet Player, valued at $1000 was presented to Daniel Isler.

Tommy Norman Award valued at $750 supported by Kim Norman was presented to Benjamin Anderson.

An Evening of Jazz featured performances from the University of Adelaide Big Band, small ensembles and 2020 Jazz Award winners.

Jane MacFarlane, Helpmann Academy CEO, said that the Jazz Awards were an opportunity for the community to acknowledge the incredible skill of our emerging jazz musicians.

“The Helpmann Academy Jazz Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the next generation of South Australian jazz talent, while also providing essential funds for them to advance their creative career.”

Image: Alexander Flood, photo by David Resce, Pink Sun Productions.