In the media - It started with the alligator crawl

11 November 2010

The Queen of Jazz, Judy Bailey, has revealed it was the velvet-voiced musician Fats Waller that first encouraged her interest in what has become a lifelong love of jazz.

Bailey was 12 years old when she heard Waller's "Alligator Crawl" on the radio.

The lecturer in Jazz Studies at The Con told Northside Magazine: "I was so intrigued by it. I'd never heard music like that before, so I asked my parents to race out and buy it for me so I could learn it - and I did.

"Then, of course, I heard modern jazz a couple of years later and it spread from there."

Bailey, pianist, composer, arranger, teacher and Musical Director of jazz Connection, explained:

"I don't think there's any particular secret to the way I teach. I just love music and hopefully I'm able to communicate that to my students. I want them to learn not just a love for the craft, but also a respect for what the music deserves.

"In my view, music deserves everyone's full attention, whether you're rehearsing or performing."

On jazz Connection, which has been operating now for 20 years, Bailey adds: "It started as a small group of primary-aged children and was formed by the Ku-ring-gai Youth Orchestra. It gradually evolved and soon more and more players wanted to join.

"Today, players form a big band known as jazz Connection. They come from all over Sydney, and we've established a very fine track record of feeding players into the tertiary sector of the Conservatorium.

"They join in years 10, 11 or 12, end up auditioning to get up into The Con and they're always successful, I'm pleased to say. Many of our former musicians have gone on to have illustrious careers - some of them have gone overseas to pursue their music. There are a few who elected to go and teach, passing on the word.

"I have my piano at home and I play all sorts of things. I come from a classical background and I still love classical music."

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 1c1e323c165c35260c2104242d1d1723140636133d1f1c0337400533