2022 Helpmann Academy Jazz Awards

1 August 2022

Nine emerging jazz musicians were presented with $31,700 in awards at A Night of Jazz with Vince Jones, Helpmann Academy’s annual Jazz Awards event that honours outstanding musicians from The University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music.

Presented by the University of Adelaide at Scott Theatre on Thursday 28 July, our sold-out event paired the emerging musicians with the hugely popular jazz vocalist – Vince Jones – for a thrilling, collaborative hour-long set.

Jazz bassist Dylan Paul was presented with the top honour, the Helpmann Academy Langley Award for Jazz, valued at $7,500 and supported by the K&S Langley Fund. Dylan graduated with First Class Honours in Jazz Performance in 2018 and received the Helpmann Academy Tommy Norman Award for Best Undergraduate Bassist at the 2017 Jazz Awards. Dylan has shared the stage with notable artists such as James Morrison and Marquis Hill and has performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival, and at the Adelaide Tennis Open and Cricket and Football events at Adelaide Oval.

Dylan will be using the award to develop, write, record, and produce a series of new works to be released online through professionally filmed and edited ‘live music videos’.

He says “Awards of this nature serve as vital opportunities for emerging musicians as they establish their career and mature their artistic voice. The support the Helpmann Academy offers to so many artists across multiple disciplines is invaluable. For my own career, this assistance could not have come at a better time in my development as a musician, improviser, and bandleader and I am extremely grateful to both the Helpmann Academy and the K&S Langley Fund.”

Other awards presented on the night:

Helpmann Academy 2022 Award for Voice, valued at $5,000 and supported by Dr Rob Lyons was presented to Kate Lewis.

Helpmann Academy Top Honours Award, valued at $5000 and supported by The Lang Foundation was presented to Ben Finnis.

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

Helpmann Academy Award for Outstanding Drummer, valued at $2000 and supported by DankPods was presented to Lewis Dimitropoulos.

Helpmann Academy Award for Outstanding Bassist, valued at $2000 and supported by DankPods was presented to Jayden Dawson.

Helpmann Academy Award for Outstanding Saxophonist, valued at $2000 and supported by the Helpmann Academy was presented to Tyler Pak Yan Leung.

Helpmann Academy Award for Outstanding Vocalist, valued at $2000 and supported by Dr Rob Lyons was presented to Grace Mensforth.

Tommy Norman Award, valued at $1,200 and supported by Kim Norman and Family and the University of Adelaide was presented to Darcie Bills.

In preparation for the performance, the graduating musicians participated in an exclusive masterclass with Vince Jones, 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.

Jane MacFarlane, CEO, Helpmann Academy, said that the Jazz Awards are an opportunity for the community to celebrate the incredible skill of South Australia’s emerging jazz musicians.

“The Helpmann Academy Night of Jazz is a celebration of the next generation of South Australian jazz talent. Their skill, drive, and passion were on full display as they held their own onstage beside the incredible talent of Vince Jones.”

Image: Back row and sides: 2022 Jazz Winners and Mark Ferguson, Head of Jazz at Elder Conservatorium. Middle front row: Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Adelaide; Vince Jones; Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC; Professor Anna Goldsworthy, Director of the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide and Jane MacFarlane, CEO, Helpmann Academy.

Photo by Morgan Sette.