JMO Composition Competition finalists announced

NEW FLASH - judges have decided on the 2016 JMO/APRA/ABC NBBCC finalists.

A total of 39 entries were received for the 2016 version of the National Big Band Composition Competition and our esteemed Judges/composers Dave Panichi NSW, Mace Francis WA and Florian Ross GERMANY have chosen three finalists in Nick Mulder (VIC), James Mustafa (VIC) and Kelly Ottaway (TAS). All of the compositions were assessed anonymously. Chair of the judging panel, Dave Panichi, remarked on how incredible the standard of entries was, how the sophistication of the compositions has grown significantly since the first comp in 2005 and how difficult it was to decide on only three considering the strength entries received. Thank you to all the competitors for taking the time to compose and enter this important event on the Australian jazz calendar. 

Tickets for the Sept. 15, 2016 finals concert, featuring master trumpeter Mat Jodrell, are available from the Foundry616 website.

Nick, James and Kelly will rehearse and conduct the JMO on Sept 15 at Foundry 616, Sydney. The concert will be recorded and broadcast by ABC Jazz on Thursday Sept 22, at 9pm.

Nick, James and Kelly will rehearse and conduct the JMO on Sept 15 at Foundry 616, Sydney. The concert will be recorded and broadcast by ABC Jazz on Thursday Sept 22, at 9pm.

James Mustafa - aged 24 from Victoria

James Mustafa is a Melbourne based composer, conductor and multi-instrumentalist. He is the founder and leader of the Melbourne Composers Big Band, the sousaphonist of Horns Of Leroy and is the composer/bandleader of the James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra. 

James has completed studies at the Generations In Jazz Academy, Monash University and under such teachers such as Graeme Lyall, Paul Grabowsky and Jordan Murray.

Highlight projects include arrangement/compositions with Vince Jones, the Birdland Big Band, the Arendal Big Band, Kate Ceberano, Osunlade, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the One O'Clock Lab Band. He has performed in a number of festivals including the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, White Night Festival and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. James has also been involved with film including "Words and Pictures" (2014), "The Menkoff Method" (2016) and "Graceful Girls" (2014). 

Awards and merits include the 3MBS – 

“Youth Composer Scholarship” (2009), the “Young Australian Jazz Artist 

of the Year” for the Australian Jazz Bell Awards (2015) , Monash University 

Jazz Prize Scholarship (2014), the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music 

Jazz Composition Prize (2014) and the Composer in Residence 

at WAYJO (2015).

Kelly Ottaway - aged 37 from Tasmania

Kelly Ottaway, Having previously studied and lectured at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, has been the recipient of two Arts Tasmania grants and a Musicians Union of Tasmania study scholarship, and won the 2006 Hobart Jazz Club Jack Duffy Award for an outstanding musician. Playing piano, keyboards and vibraphone, he has performed over more than ten years with leading Australian artists in jazz, funk and soul. In 2008, Kelly was a finalist in the APRA-Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra Big Band Composition Competition.
His primary interests are jazz composition/arranging and leading his jazz nonet ‘Modern Operative’. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma of Music from the Tasmanian Conservatorium and has postgraduate qualifications in arranging through Berklee College USA. Currently, Kelly tutors ensembles and arranging at the Tasmanian Conservatorium. 

Nick Mulder - aged 43 from Victoria

Studied with Bob Hower, Vincent Nilson and Jiggs Whigham. Has performed with Ray Charles, George Garzone, John Clayton, John Riley, Bill Cunliffe and Chuck Findlay.