Media Release: 2021 National Jazz Awards – Finals Concert Schedule

Free Online Concerts – Friday 26 – Sunday 28 November

Ten of Australia’s finest young jazz pianists will vie for the coveted 2021 National Jazz Awards in a series of stunning performances that will be presented in digital format across the weekend of the 26 to 28 November.

The 2021 finalists showcasing their keyboard dexterity are: Steve Barry (NSW), James Bowers (VIC), Kade Brown (VIC), Casey Golden (NSW), Harry Mitchell (WA), Matthew Sheens (New York), Max Teakle (VIC), Matthew Thomson (NSW), Wilbur Whitta (NSW) and Alex Wignall (SA).

Originally planned for the traditional festival weekend at the end of October, the 2021 National Jazz Awards were moved to a digital presentation due to Victorian COVID-19 restrictions on studio access for recordings. Audiences can view the performances and the awards ceremony free of charge via registration at https://secureshowtix.com/national-jazz-awards

As well as the title, the finalists are competing for the major prize of $7000 and a recording session at Pughouse Studios (Melbourne) with second and third placegetters receiving $4000 and $2000 respectively. All entries were submitted anonymously to the judging panel chaired by 1999 National Jazz Awards (piano) winner Matt McMahon with renowned pianists Andrea Keller and Stephen Grant, shortlisting these ten finalists from an impressive field of entrants.

Across the last Friday and Saturday of this month, each finalist will perform a set, with the 2021 National Jazz Award winner and runners up to be announced on Sunday. The awards ceremony will be brought to a stunning close by National Jazz Awards 2020 winner Lauren Henderson, performing with band members Alex Wignall (piano), Django Rowe (guitar), Kyrie Anderson (drums) and Bonnie Aue (bass).

Whilst we won’t physically be together this year, audiences are in for a treat with three days of stellar musical performances from these pianists. Sincere thanks to all sponsors, audiences and participating musicians for support of the Awards. In particular we thank Creative Victoria for their multi-year funding and support and Pughouse Studios and Wangaratta Rural City Council for their continued support over many years. This year, Wangaratta Rural City Council is generously sponsoring the total prize pool. These awards provide much needed encouragement, exposure and a financial boost to young musicians,” said Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues Chair, Dave Fuller.

Concert Schedule*:

Friday 26 November 2021

 6pm -7.40pm: finalists: Kade Brown (VIC), Matthew Thomson, Max Teakle (VIC), Matthew Sheens (SA/NYC)

Saturday 27 November 2021

12 noon – 2.25pm finalists Steve Barry (NSW), James Bowers (VIC), Alex Wignall (SA), Casey Golden (NSW), Wilbur Whitta (NSW), Harrison Mitchell (WA)

Sunday 28 November 2021

4pm National Jazz Awards 2021 winners announcement followed by a performance from 2020 National Jazz Award winner Lauren Henderson and her band.

Note: All concerts can be viewed free until Thursday 2 December 2021. 

*Scheduled times may vary slightly. Shows will be available for viewing for seven days from date of broadcast.


The 2022 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues incorporating the National Jazz Awards will return to Wangaratta in 2022 to its traditional pre Melbourne Cup dates, Friday 28 – Sunday 30 October.  The festival program will be announced in April 2022.

The National Jazz Awards is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and is assisted by the Rural City of WangarattaWangaratta Performing Arts & Convention Centre, Pughouse Studios, Redsally Studio and the Australian Jazz Real Book


MEDIA ENQUIRIES:  PRUE BASSETT PUBLICITY

Michaela Hall: 0419 113 633 | michaela.hall@bigpond.com |

Prue Bassett – 0419 559 040 | prue@netspace.net.au