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First Australian jazz ensemble to perform at the biggest US music convention

14 December 2015
Virtuoso guitarist James Muller and the Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra take Australian jazz to a world stage.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Orchestra and Australian virtuoso guitarist James Muller will perform at one of the world's biggest music conventions - The Midwest Clinic in Chicago - from 16-19 December.

James Muller, David Theak and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Orchestra.

It is the first time an Australian jazz ensemble and a jazz group outside of the US is performing at the prestigious US event, represented by the Con’s jazz orchestra and one of the country’s greatest jazz guitarists.

Artistic Director of the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra David Theak says it is a rare opportunity for the 18 tertiary jazz musicians in the orchestra.

“It is a great honour and testament to the talent of our jazz musicians to be selected to perform in one of the primetime concert slots at the conference.

“The audition process to be picked to play is highly competitive. It is an even greater achievement to be the first international jazz group to be chosen to perform at the Midwest Clinic in its 69 year history.

It will be a fantastic chance for the Con and James Muller to introduce Australian jazz to the rest of the world.
David Theak

The orchestra will perform four Australian-commissioned pieces, Green Eyes, Chick Corea, Kaboom and Eindhoven, orchestrated by Florian Ross and arranged James Muller.

Now in its 69th year, the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference is the largest instrumental music education conference in the US, drawing around 17,000 delegates to Chicago from 50 states and more than 30 countries each year.

The four-day conference will stage 40 concerts, 90 clinics and an exhibitor’s hall of 400 companies. It will offer access to music and teaching icons, whilst exploring current and future trends for music education and the industry.

As part of the Midwest Clinic tour, James Muller and the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra will also undertake a recording project in one of the world’s best recording studios in New York.

James Muller and the Conservatorium's Jazz Orchestra in a farewell performance

Soloist James Muller and the Conservatorium's Jazz Orchestra led by the formidable David Theak play in a farewell performance at the Foundry616 in Sydney on 11 December.