Jazz students make their mark with CD releases

CDsMonash University jazz students have lent their music skills to three new international collaborative albums.

The albums, the first three in the Monash Sessionscollection, feature performances by Monash University music students with legendary Brazilian musician Hermeto Pascoal and New York tenor saxophone jazz giant George Garzone.

Head of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Associate Professor Rob Burke said the release of the Monash Sessionsalbums was the result of some of the world class performance opportunities the School provides its students.

“To play and record with the likes of Hermeto Pascoal or George Garzone gives our students exposure to a diverse and challenging range of learning experiences,” Associate Professor Burke said.

“The students played important roles in the recording and rehearsal process whilst being mentored – a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Hermeto Pascoal: The Monash Sessions was recorded when Mr Pascoal and his band were artists in residence at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and features some of the finest musicians in Australia and students from the jazz studies program at the University.

George Garzone: The Monash Sessions was the culmination of Mr Garzone’s residency at Monash in 2011 when he rehearsed with several of the School’s jazz ensembles and big band.

“The School has forged a strong relationship with George. He has toured throughout Australia on numerous occasions and has always included workshops and performances with Monash music students in his busy schedule,” Associate Professor Burke said.

“George’s mentorship of the Monash students resulted in an incredible insight into the creative processes of an artist at the forefront of improvised music.” 

Jazz in New York: The Monash Sessions features the 2012 collaboration between students from Monash University’s Jazz and Popular Studies program and New York University’s Jazz Studies program.

“The Monash Sessions program provides wonderful opportunities for students including international prospects, master-classes and mentoring,” Associate Professor Burke said.

The three CDs recently received a four-star rating in The Australian.

Further recordings, including sessions with Italian jazz musician Enrico Rava and Australian performances with Vince Jones, are scheduled for this year.