Born: December 20, 1964 Primary Instrument: Piano
Chris Cody is one of Australia’s foremost jazz pianists and has performed and recorded around the world. He began his musical career as a classical pianist in Australia, after being a finalist in the Roger Woodward Piano Scholarship at the age of 14. He performed at venues including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Town Hall. He gained a Bachelor’s Degree in music from the University of Sydney, and the Licentiate of Trinity College, London, with high distinction, for classical piano performance.
His musical versatility found expression in a wide variety of work situations, including playing with some of Australia’s leading jazz musicians such as James Morrison and Don Burrows. He formed his own jazz quartet playing in local clubs, festivals and for Australian television and radio. He played and composed for numerous musical productions in Sydney, and he also wrote and directed the popular jazz cabaret 31 Celestial Flavors, that enjoyed repeat sell-out seasons in Sydney.
After gaining the Diploma in Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Jazz Action Society Award for Best Jazz Composition in 1989, he left Australia to perform and tour in the USA and throughout Europe with international stars including Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Sunny Murray, Herb Geller, Stephano di Battista, Frank Lacey, Graham Haynes, Rhoda Scott and Yves Robert. Cody recorded with numerous artists before forming his own highly successful group in Paris • the Chris Cody Coalition • and recording his debut album in 1996, released to international acclaim.
Returning to Australia in 1997, he performed at Australia’s leading jazz venues and festivals including The Basement, Bennett’s Lane, Manly and Wangarratta Jazz Festivals. He formed an Australian version of the Cody Coalition featuring Sydney’s finest jazz musicians and recorded the CD Oasis on Naxos Jazz, receiving glowing tributes from press around the world. Cody was a regular guest on radio programs, including Jim McLeod’s Jazztrack, ABC FM, the 2BL Morning and Afternoon Shows, and The Planet (ABC). Chris Cody taught at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the Bachelor of Music program, as well as giving masterclasses at universities and conservatoriums around Australia. He also co-founded and directed the Sydney School of Piano. His music was selected for the in-flight jazz programs of several international airlines including Qantas. Chris also wrote music for theatre and cinema and appeared performing in the film Dr Jazz at the Sydney Film Festival. Chris was a featured guest and performer on numerous TV and radio programs around the world including France 2, Bernard Pivot, ABC TV and SBS TV. He also hosted his own jazz radio program in Sydney, Dr. Cody‘s Hip Transplants.
Since his return to France in 2000, Cody has performed at numerous clubs and festivals around the country as well as in England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Cuba, Austria and Sweden. He was commissioned to compose and perform a suite of pieces for the inauguration of the Australian Music Centre in Paris and also composed and recorded the music for the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Moliere’s Don Juan at the Sydney Opera House. He has recently performed and recorded his own compositions for Radio France, France Culture, France Musique, ABC and SBS TV, and has been a featured guest of Claude Carrière’s national program Jazz Club on France Musique. He has also worked as a regular collaborator with the psycho-acoustic research team at the Institute for Research in Acoustics and Contemporary Music in Paris.
Chris Cody recorded a new CD Midnight Tide (Cristal/Harmonia Mundi), with top American trombonist Glenn Ferris, released to international acclaim in 2003, and recently released Conscript (Nocturne, France), also with Glenn Ferris, receiving further accolades from the press. He continues to perform at major clubs and festivals throughout Europe and Australia at the head of his own group and alongside musicians including Glenn Ferris, Joe Lee Wilson, and Rhoda Scott.
Cody’s music reveals not only his deep love of the jazz tradition and classical music, but also the influence of contemporary French and African musicians he has encountered in Paris, and its warmth, sense of space and humour touch a wide and diverse public around the world.
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Piano teacher, British School of Paris 2003-07 Piano and Music professor, NSW Conservatorium of Music - University of Sydney (Direction of ensemble, arrangement, and improvisation classes,) 1996-2000 Piano and Music professor, Australian Institute of Music 1996-2000 (Director of Jazz Piano, Examination Panel, Direction of ensemble and improvisation classes Professor of music history, harmony and theory, Creation of music programs and syllabus). Founder, Co-Director and Teacher, Sydney School of Piano 1996-2000 Piano teacher, Kambala Church Of England Girl’s School, Sydney 1998-2000 Masterclass in advanced jazz at Australian National Jazz Awards 1999 Masterclasses and Workshops in BMUS programs, University of Western Sydney, 1997-98 Piano teacher, British School of Paris 1990-96 Piano teacher, direction of workshops and music camps, St. Ignatius College, Sydney 1982-89