Gian Slater – Founder and Artistic Director
Prolific Australian Vocalist and Composer, Gian Slater is known for her agile and pure voice, virtuosic improvisations and inventive compositions. She has released seven albums of her original music – In My Head, Our Galaxy, Creatures at the Crossroads, The Differences, Still Still, Empathy Chip– Sylent Running and Gone without Saying– Gian Slater’s Invenio.
She has featured as a sideman or guest artist on many other acclaimed recordings including Ben Hauptmann (self titled), Christopher Hale Sylvan Coda, Andrea Keller Angels and Rascals, Nat Bartsch To sail, To sing, Kate McGarry Smile and Ben Monder Hydra.
Gian was a finalist in the prestigious Freedman Fellowship in 2004 and 2010, The National Jazz Awards in 2005, the Bell Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album in both 2010 and 2013 and was the MJFF Apra Composers Commission winner in 2010. In 2012, she received the Creative Australia Fellowship, awarded to emerging and innovative artists across art practices. Gian has performed in the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival, Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Stonington Jazz and the Brisbane Jazz Festival and has performed in Jazz clubs and theatres around the world.
Gian formed her own vocal ensemble, INVENIO in March 2010 to perform a large-work commission piece for 14 voices that she composed for the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival. They performed the composition ‘Gone without saying’ to rave reviews and a standing ovation. Since then, they have performed three new works composed by Slater; Us and Others – for Invenio and Speak Percussion, Self/Echo – for 5 voices and Clarion/Whisper – for 16 voices.
Gian’s projects with esteemed New York Pianist/Composer, Barney McAll began with the group Sylent Running, who released their debut album Empathy Chip in 2009. This led to the project, Graft – featuring Barney’s shape shifting compositions, and Gian’s vocal arrangements for Invenio, which was recorded and released in 2012. Gian and Invenio have performed with treasured singer/songwriter, Lior on several occasions, namely the recent Melbourne Speigeltent season ( performing Gian’s arrangements of selected songs by Lior) and their performance at the 2013 Apra Music Awards.
Gian is a passionate educator and teaches Jazz and Improvisation at Melbourne and Monash Universities as well guest lecturing at WAAPA (West Australian Academy of Performing Arts) and Australian National University.
He recently graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music Performance (Honours) in Jazz Improvisation. Some of Tom’s performance highlights include singing at The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, The Sydney Opera House, Bennett’s Lane Jazz Club and live on ABC Radio National.
Tom has been awarded a number of grants and scholarships for his work, including a recent Australia Council Skills & Development grant to continue training in New York City with vocalist extraordinaire Theo Bleckmann. www.tombarton.com.au
Since graduating from Monash University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music Performance (Jazz Voice), Natalie has continued to immerse herself in her craft. She performs her original material around Melbourne regularly and is currently recording her debut EP. Natalie was one of a few to be selected in Push Showcase 2011.
Helen recently completed her Bachelor of Music with first-class Honours, and is currently following her passion for writing and performing original music with her band Helen Catanchin & Co. In addition to this and her work with Invenio, Helen has featured on CD recordings and performed on live radio. She has also performed at major events including Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Eltham Town Jazz and Blues Festival and International Italian Language Week, at various venues that include BMW Edge, National Gallery of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club and The Paris Cat.
Helen is soon to begin her Master of Arts (Music Performance) which will explore the scope and semiotics of wordless vocal improvisation in specific musical contexts, and result in several performances and recordings of new compositions.
Rachael Comte is a singer, songwriter, amateur piano accordionist, community choir leader, teacher and student music therapist. During her Bachelor of Music at Monash University, Rachael began writing music for her pop/jazz/alt rock band Finding Isla whose debut EP was released in 2013. Rachael also performs with acoustic pop rock outfit Elliot Cline and the exciting new project if guitarist Dan Mamrot, Chroma.
Now completing her Masters in Music Therapy, Rachael is currently exploring ways through which music can play a role in the community as a vehicle for connectedness, and the promotion of holistic health and well being.
Miriam Crellin has been playing piano and singing since an early age. She completed a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) from the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide in 2005, studying under Jo Lawry, Charmaine Jones, and Michelle Nicolle. She has since relocated to Melbourne to pursue her career in performing, composing, teaching and choral directing, and has studied improvisation with renowned saxophonist Jamie Oehlers.
Alongside well-known musicians from Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, Miriam has appeared at venues around Melbourne including Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, and the BMW Edge Theatre. In 2010 Miriam was a finalist and place-winner at the Voicingers International Jazz Vocal Competition held in Zóry, Poland. Miriam sings a blend of jazz and contemporary improvised music, as well as her own original music.
Georgie is one of Melbourne’s most exciting and in demand young vocalists. She possesses not only a powerful and agile instrument but also a deeply artistic sensibility that she brings to many different projects and ensembles. Since graduating from the VCA in 2012, she has performed regularly with her own projects as well as her major roles in Victorian Opera’s ‘Turn of the Screw’ and ‘Cinderella’. She is an original member of the acclaimed vocal ensemble Invenio and has performed with the Australian Art Orchestra’s Electro-Acousitic Series. She recently attended the Banff Jazz and Creative Music Workshop learning from the likes of Theo Bleckmann and Vijay Ijer and spent further times in New York studying with Shelly Hirsch.
Edward Fairlie has performed extensively both as a vocalist and trumpet player. He has toured with ARIA award winners Gotye and Julia Stone both nationally and overseas. Has also performed with artists as diverse as Paul Kelly, CW Stoneking and Kamahl.
As a composer, Edward has written for orchestra, wind band, big band, chamber ensembles and vocal groups, and has an original solo project which incorporates his vocal, piano and instrumental orchestration skills. He and is also an ensemble director and trumpet tutor at Eltham High School, as well as a lecturer in arranging and composition at the University of Melbourne.
Cy Gorman graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, School of Music on tenor saxophone and went on to complete a scholarship funded post graduate diploma in Animateuring at the VCA school of Theatre. He is an accomplished composer, musician and vocalist, adding to his formal training studying Drupad (indian classical singing) with the Gundecha brothers, and digital music production with master engineer Byron Scullin. Cy has designed and operated lighting for Invenio at The Malthouse and Dancehouse but is now deeply happy to be on stage singing his little heart out with the Invenio singers. A renaissance man at heart Cy is the current artistic director and artist in residence at The White Room where he practices as a professional photographer and videographer. www.cygorman.com
Jeremy began performing as a teenager on television playing the villainous Phillip Bailey in two seasons of kids’ comedy show Pig’s Breakfast. This was followed by TV roles on Blue Heelers, Backberner, The Saddle Club and in various short films and commericals, Jeremy pursued his other great love, music, and graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music Performance in 2006.
Since then, Jeremy has worked extensively as a vocalist, actor and drummer. Highlights include touring to London and the Edinburgh Fringe in the Bob Downe show Live and Swingin, playing with John Farnham and Sarah Blasko at the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony, and the Ten Tenors on their 2009 North American tour.
A singer of jazz, contemporary and improvised musics, Luara was selected as a finalist for both the Wangaratta Festival’s National Jazz Awards and James Morrison’s Generations in Jazz scholarship. As a part of her Bachelor of Music qualification she studied abroad in New York State, attending the School of Improvised Music’s summer intensive program where she studied with Tim Berne, Michael Formanek and Ingrid Laubrock, among others. She also formed an improvising quartet, You, Me and the Radio, who released and toured an EP throughout the states in the summer of 2013. Later in the year she was also invited to sing with Brisbane contemporary classical music ensemble Kupka’s Piano, performing works by Kate Soper and Morton Feldman. Having completed her degree in Brisbane, she has recently moved to Melbourne to broaden her musical opportunities and study Gender theory at the University of Melbourne.
A versatile and engaging singer Josh Kyle released his debut album “Possibilities” at the London International Jazz Festival in 2011. Returning home soon after Josh has appeared at The Stonnington, Wangaratta, Perth and Darling Harbour International Jazz Festivals.
In 2012 he was the only male finalist in the National Jazz awards featuring vocals.
In 2014 Josh will release his new album “Songs of Friends” a collaboration with pianist Sam Keevers.
“A mature and innovative singer” – All About Jazz.
“A fabulous debut, superbly delivered” – Mojo
A dynamic and compelling vocalist, Louisa maintains a sound all her own and a style formed over years of musical exploration. Relishing any chance to perform, Louisa has shared the stage with a diverse range of artists and has performed at festivals and venues around the country. As band leader, Louisa performs regularly at Melbourne’s premier jazz clubs and is highly regarded as one of Melbourne’s leading jazz vocalists. Louisa completed a Bachelor of Music Performance Honours at The Victorian College of the Arts in 2012, before attending the International Worskhop in Jazz and Creative Music at Canada’s Banff Centre in 2013 where she studied with artists including Esperanza Spalding, Theo Bleckmann and Vijay Iyer. Louisa contributes backing vocals to alt-country quartet Strine Singers and the solo project of hip-hop diva Hailey Cramer, and is working towards the release of her debut recording of original material in 2014.
Tilman Robinson is a composer, arranger, trombonist and sound artist, working across a wide range of styles. He has performed (and premiered) a diverse range of works at numerous venues, both nationally and internationally.
Tilman has received commissions from prominent sources including APRA, Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival (MJFF), PBSFM, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) and Arts Centre Melbourne. In 2014, Tilman released Network of Lines and was subsequently nominated for two Australian Bell Awards in 2014: Best Avant-Garde/Contemporary Album and Best Australian Jazz Ensemble.
Tilman has performed at festivals including MONA FOMA, Melbourne International Jazz Festival and Perth Festival. He has worked with artists as diverse as The Bang On a Can All Stars, Josh Groban, Martha Wainwright, Sinead O’Connor, John Hollenbeck, Theo Bleckmann and Buena Vista Social Club.
Tilman strives to create work that is both personal and interpersonal, abandoning genre in the hope of creating something unique.
Jem Savage is a musician, producer and sound engineer based in Melbourne, Australia. His keen interest in electronics and sound processing emerged while working in the music products industry, and this interest was nurtured during the completion of a Bachelor of Music degree.
Jem’s live performances effortlessly blend live processing, looping, effect manipulation, interactive visuals and more with his highly developed instrumental and vocal techniques. These performances utilise an assortment of commercially available equipment as well as his proprietary software and hardware prototypes.
While undertaking an honours year at the Victorian College of the Arts (where he was awarded the Dr Phillip Law Music Scholarship, recognising innovation in music), Jem developed the isomorphic pitch-shifting interface or iPSi - a chromatic interface for live digital harmonisation.
He is currently a PhD candidate within the Faculty of VCA and MCM at the University of Melbourne.
When not rehearsing Scriabin and other long-dead luminaries as part of a Bachelor of Music at Monash University, Ben spends much of his time bemusedly pondering how classical pianists end up in jazz vocal ensembles. Aside from his work with Invenio, Ben is a member of the Ministry of Drama theatre company, with which he acted and composed during their 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival production, ‘Closed’.
In 2011 Loni was a participant of the highly regarded ‘Banff Centre Music Workshop in Jazz and Creativity’. Now in 2012 Loni is embarking on a new musical project that is set to kick off in April.
Gemma’s connection to music was sparked at a young age by her father’s love of playing guitar. She spent much of her childhood and adolescence singing in choirs, musical theatre productions and her father’s country/bluegrass band.
After much musical searching, she unearthed a love for jazz and improvisation, and completed her Bachelor of Music Performance (Jazz/Popular) at Monash University in 2012. It was at Monash that she met mentors Gian Slater, Emma Gilmartin and Stephen Magnusson, artists who continue to be sources of inspiration to her.
In 2012, she formed Gemma Tully and the Thornbirds, a trio comprising of voice, upright bass and electric guitar that play music composed by Gemma.
Singing and piano playing have always been essential for Hamish, who received classical training in both. Besides arranging, singing and playing for recordings, he has composed numerous piano pieces.
Hamish has sung with many ensembles including the The Choir of Christ Church St Laurence Sydney, Coro Innominata, Concordis and most recently The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
A landscape architect with a love of design and gardens, Hamish founded Creswell Design in 2008. His work featured in the 2014 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show when he collaborated with three other designers to present a modular concept garden place.grow.shift.
Born in Iceland, Auður moved to Australia in 2008 to study music.
She’s the founder of Melbourne group Comfort Creature.