Ellen Kirkwood will perform for PJS Jazz Tuesdays at the Four5Nine Bar, Tuesday 20 August.
Ellen Kirkwood is a trumpeter, composer, bandleader and teacher from Newtown, Sydney. Born in Port Macquarie, NSW, into a musical family, music has been her passion since she was very young. She studied Jazz at the Sydney Conservatorium under many Australian Jazz greats including Mike Nock, Warwick Alder, Judy Bailey, Matt McMahon and Dale Barlow. In 2012 she won the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award for young Australian women in Jazz, including a recording at the Sydney ABC Studios, project funding, and performances in Sydney and Melbourne.
Ellen is a prolific composer who is rapidly gaining recognition for her imaginative writing style. Her debut album with sextet Captain Kirkwood released in 2013, named “Theseus and the Minotaur” featured a 5 part narrated music-story suite which received glowing reviews and critical acclaim. In 2015 she was commissioned by the Sydney Improvised Music Association and Ars Musica Australis to write “The Mieville Project”; a suite of narrated pieces set to excerpts by “weird fiction” author China Mieville, which was premiered at the 2015 Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival. She is currently studying composition with jazz luminary Barney McAll, after receiving a grant from the Australia Council of the Arts.
In addition to leading The Mieville Project and party band Fat Yahoozah, Ellen is also a member of world music/jazz crossover powerhouse Sirens Big Band, Matthew Ottignon’s Ethio-Jazz group Mister Ott, progressive rock/jazz/Zappa-esque band Facemeat, Gypsy-Punk outfit On The Stoop, and 1920’s Gypsy Jazz troupe Godfrey Uke and his Orchestra. Other notable Australian musicians Ellen has performed with include Sandy Evans, Paul Cutlan, Mike Nock, Greg Sheehan, Aaron Flower, Mohammed Youssef and Ben Walsh.
Kirkwood has been teaching trumpet, improvisation and composition, and directing high school stage bands and jazz ensembles since 2004.
Ellen Kirkwood – trumpet
Gemma Farrell – tenor saxophone
Kate Pass – bass
Talya Valenti – drums