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Ellen Kirkwood

Ellen Kirkwood is a trumpeter, composer, bandleader and educator from Marrickville, Sydney. 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 women in Jazz. She was a finalist in the 2017 Freedman Jazz Fellowships and her 1 hour suite [A]part was a finalist for Jazz Work of the Year in the 2018 APRA Art Music Awards. In 2016 Ellen received a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts for a composition mentorship with stellar composer/pianist Barney McAll, during which she penned [A]part - a groundbreaking 1 hour suite for 16 piece Sirens Big Band plus featured soloists Andrea Keller, Sandy Evans and Gian Slater. The 2018 album recording of [A]part was launched at performances at Wangaratta Jazz Festival and Sydney International Jazz Festival, receiving great critical acclaim. Additionally, Ellen has released two albums of her original works; “Theseus and the Minotaur” with Captain Kirkwood (2012) and “I Don’t Care” with Fat Yahoozah (2015). She has also had several works commissioned for a variety of ensembles. Ellen has performed with international artists Ingrid and Christine Jensen (USA/CAN), Lisa Parrott (USA), Silke Eberhard (GER), Boy George (UK), Shubha Mudgal (IND) and Satoko Fujii (JAP). Notable Australian artists she has performed with include Mike Nock, James Greening, Greg Sheehan, Shannon Barnett, Bobby Singh, Hermitude, and Paul Cutlan

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“[A]part is a major accomplishment for big band jazz in this country. The writing is superb on this enthralling, entertaining exploration of old and new sounds. 4.5 stars.” – Eric Myers, The Australian

”Composer Ellen Kirkwood... is clearly an emergent talent, whose work bears comparison with composers like Maria Schneider and James Darcy Argue.” - Des Cowley, Australian Book Review

“[A]part moves with a big sound and a bigger heart; this is instrumental music which speaks louder than pundits’ words and clearer than our present troubles.” - Todd B Gruel,

“Ellen Kirkwood's music has that rare quality that characterises the music of the best composers: A truly unique, original voice that leaves you dying to hear the next piece.” - Dr Sandy Evans, OAM

“Ellen Kirkwood is open to the new and her music sounds like that

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Dave Douglas
Chet Baker
Stan Getz
saxophone, tenor
Sandy Evans



Earshift Music



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