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Emma Grace Stephenson

Emma Grace Stephenson is an Australian pianist and songwriter who has shared the stage with prolific musicians and bands such as Ingrid and Christine Jensen (Canada/US), Gian Slater, the Sirens Big Band, Sandy Evans, Greg Gould (Australia’s Got Talent 2013), and Brittanie Shipway (The Voice 2014). Her music combines rhythmic, harmonic, and improvisatory elements of modern jazz with folk-pop songwriting influences.

After performing her own compositions at the Sydney Opera House with Hieronymus Trio and the acclaimed Australian vocalist Kristin Berardi, Emma won the 2017 Freedman Jazz Fellowship for Australian jazz musicians under the age of 35. Emma was also the 2016 recipient of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award for young women in the Australian jazz scene, which facilitated a collaboration with the award winning Australian vocalist, Gian Slater, culminating in performances for the Melbourne and Sydney Women’s Jazz Festivals, and a recording at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) studios in late 2016. This work was released in an album titled 'Where the Rest of the World Begins' in April 2017.

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Emma is currently enrolled as a full time PhD student at the Sydney Conservatorium of music, under the supervision of Dr. Simon Barker, where she is in engaged in creative, practice-led research related to developing her artistic practice. Emma has studied with celebrated Australian jazz pianists including Marc Hannaford, Judy Bailey and Matt McMahon

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”Stephenson’s performance at the Freedman Jazz Awards concert at the Sydney Opera House reflected an intriguing combination of qualities – a sophisticated command of melody/harmony/rhythm wedded to an emotionally engaging and accessible exploration of song form, beautifully delivered by vocalist Kristin Berardi. The diverse range of her project proposal was subtly expressed in the tightly-focused musicality of the performance with her Hieronymus Trio, which, while expressing a panoply of sophisticated musical ideas, always served both the lyrical and musical story-telling embodied in her songs, reflecting a truly 21st century combination of art music and engagement with contemporary popular music.” ​

- Freedman Jazz Fellowship 2017 Judging panel

“This has such a fragile, diaphanous beauty that I sometimes had to remind myself to breathe as I listened

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