Iron in the Blood: music inspired by Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore

by Jeremy on August 12, 2014

Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Music Workshop – Level 2
Friday 29 August – 6.30pm
Tix – Adults – $20/ Seniors – $10/ Pensioner – $10/ Full -Time Student – $10
Book online at:
or purchase from City Recital Hall – Angle Place Sydney – ph: 8256 2222
(booking fees might apply)
media enquiries/interview requests – 0468 357 715
The Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra are:
Oliver Thorpe – guitar
David Allen – piano
James Heazelwood-Dayle – contrabass
Oliver Nelson – drums
Evan Harris, Mellissa Mony, Michael Avgenicos, Nish Manjanuth, Phillipa Murphy-Haste – saxophones
Ellie Shearer, Greg Chillcott, Frank Dasent, Jono Ramsey – trombones
Luke Stephens, James Power, Charles Casson, Will Endicot, Shota Matsumura – trumpets

One of Australia’s most celebrated youth jazz orchestra’s teams up with two of Australia’s leading yong jazz musicians to present an incredible celebration of Australian Music. Since its inception in the early 70s, the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra has formed an alumni that features many of the leading lights in Australian Jazz. Comprising five saxophones, four trombones, four trumpets, guitar, piano, bass and drums, the “CJO” features many of Sydney’s finest young improvisers.
“Over the past five years, the standard of Jazz Orchestral studies has developed rapidly with an emphasis on collaborating with, and performing the music of leading international composers such as Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider, Bert Joris, Florian Ross, Jim McNeely, Darcy James Argue, Julian Arguelles and Dick Oatts to expose the students to the leading music and contemporary techniques required to perform Jazz Orchestral music at its highest level. These amazing young players have risen to the challenge on every level, and we aim to continue impressing audiences whenever we perform, with a level of sophistication normally reserved for professional Jazz”. The orchestra’s debut national tour in 2013 with Belgian based super composer, Bert Joris, was a tour de force. Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra Artistic Director David Theak has been a tireless advocate for large ensemble jazz in Australia through his work with the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, as a teacher at the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz studies program, convenor of the National Big Band Composition Competition and as guest artist and artistic advisor with the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra. Theak created the ‘Mothership’ as a young member of Sydney’s Jazzgroove scene and is now mentor to scores of emerging musicians nationally and internationally.

Joseph O’Connor is one of Australia’s most accomplished young jazz pianists and composers.  He was the 2013 winner of the prestigious National Jazz Award held annually at Wangaratta Jazz Festival, and was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Bell Award for young Australian jazz artist of the Year. He was also the winner of the 2011 National Big Band Composition Competition.Joseph holds a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the Queensland Conservatorium, where he majored in advanced performance. He was the highest achieving student in his graduating year and was awarded the Conservatorium medal. He is currently undertaking a PhD in musical performance at Monash University, researching ways that Ruth Crawford Seeger’s approach to dissonant counterpoint can inform his composition and improvisation. Joseph co-directs of the Bennetts Lane Big Band and performs original music with his own trio and quintet. His trio with Marty Holoubek and James McLean recently recorded a set of original music to be broadcast on ABC Jazztrack, that will be released in the second half of 2014. He is currently composing a large work to be premiered by the Monash Art Ensemble later this year under the direction of Paul Grabowsky. He will also perform later this year as a part of the Australian Art Orchestra’s Hardcore on the Fly concert series, curated by Scott Tinkler, and will participate in the Australian Art Orchestra’s Tanks creative music intensive in September. Joseph is in demand as a sideman and has performed alongside many emerging and established Australian jazz musicians including Allan Browne, Julian Wilson, Phil Rex, Scott Tinkler, Callum G’Froerer, James McLean, Paul Williamson and many others.
Sydney saxophonist/composer Jeremy Rose is a leading voice in contemporary jazz and creative music. He is described as ‘developing into a significant Australian voice’ (, ‘his compositions stand out from the pack’ (SMH) and that ‘his playing shows subtle glimpses of a mature master’ (The Australian). Most known for his work with iconic groups The Vampires and The Strides, Jeremy has released over 10 albums through his label Earshift Music and has performed and studied around the world including stints in London, New York, Oslo, Tokyo, Greece, Cuba, Bali and Berlin. Jeremy’s accolades include the 2009 Bell Award for Young Australian Jazz artist of the Year, a two-time finalist in the Art Music Awards and a two-time finalist in the Freedman Jazz Fellowship. Jeremy is currently undertaking a PhD (composition) under the supervision of Professor Matthew Hindson and Dr Christopher Coady, investigating local cultural and creative processes in the jazz scene. Jeremy has composed for a number of classical ensembles, including the SSO Fellowship, Ku-ringai Philharmonic, ABC Young Symphony award winner Nick Russoniello with Acacia Quartet and Compass Quartet. Jeremy was the selected composer for the inaugural Hatched Academy with acclaimed contemporary classical group Ensemble Offspring, and will participate in the Australian Art Orchestra’s Creative Intensive in Cairns in September.
This concert features a preliminary performance of Jeremy Rose’s major work ‘Iron in the Blood: music inspired by Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore’.
Iron in the Blood is an oratorio for jazz orchestra and narrators and provides an opportunity to explore Robert Hughes’ seminal masterpiece The Fatal Shore with a musical narrative. The work traces Australia’s founding through Britain’s colonial venture against a backdrop of incomprehensible hardship and how these experiences have helped shape modern Australia. “His account of Australia’s convict system, The Fatal Shore, is probably the best read Australian history. It exposed in Bob’s compelling prose the sadistic brutality bound up in our nation’s founding—a system that not only dispossessed and all but destroyed the native people but then flogged and tortured the prisoners it had brought to the other end of the world.” (Malcolm Turnbull, 2012) This project has been assisted by The Australia Council of the Arts and is to be recorded in January 2015 for an album release.

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