Thursday, 22 August 2013 20:00

Mark Isaacs trio featuring Briana Cowlishaw

Bri Cowlishaw + the Mark Isaacs Trio Bri Cowlishaw + the Mark Isaacs Trio

It's a couple of years since Mark has played at Colbourne Ave. He's been locked away composing new work for the last six months, but he has emerged to play for us.

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “a splendid musical mind” jazz and classical composer and pianist Mark Isaacs has recorded and performed with some of the biggest names in international jazz yet he also writes symphonies and concertos as well as working as a classical pianist. His Resurgence band has been widely acclaimed and tours internationally and now Mark presents the music in a more intimate setting with Resurgence crew members Brett Hirst (bass) and Tim Firth (drums) along with scintillating young Australian vocalist Briana Cowlishaw.

This is music composed and performed for the listener, not at them. Wonderfully integrated, thoughtful and intelligent…..providing some of the best on the cutting edge of accessible jazz ALL ABOUT JAZZ (USA)

Close your eyes and Bri Cowlishaw will take you places familiar, new, nostalgic, painful, peaceful, visceral, and elsewhere THE AUSTRALIAN STAGE


MARK ISAACS (piano/composer)

“The work of an artist capable of matching the rich elements of classical composition with the flowing rhythms of jazz . .. the product of a splendid musical mind” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Mark Isaacs has achieved widespread recognition as a pianist and composer working in both jazz and classical music. As a jazz pianist he has toured extensively in Europe, Russia, Asia, the USA, Australasia and the Pacific performing at major festivals including the Tokyo Jazz Festival and Pori Jazz, Finland. He has collaborated with some of the most distinguished figures in international jazz including Dave Holland, Roy Haynes, Kenny Wheeler, Adam Nussbaum, Vinnie Colaiuta and Bob Sheppard and has released many internationally-acclaimed CDs on labels such as ABC, Naxos and Vorticity.

He was twice nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album in 2007 & 2009 and in 2008 one of his compositions received the award for “Instrumental Work of the Year” at the Australian Classical Music Awards. In 2010 and 2011 he was nominated for several Bell Jazz Awards. He has performed as a classical pianist, conducted orchestras and as a classical concert hall composer he has composed around 100 major works ranging across orchestral, chamber, choral, solo pieces as well as scores for film, television and the theatre. He is a recipient of a Fellowship from the Australia Council, a prize-winner in the Tokyo International Competition for Chamber Music Composition, the winner of the inaugural Miriam Hyde Composer-Pianist Award and he received the 2007 Albert H. Maggs Composition Award from the University of Melbourne. Mark was involved with programming jazz at the Brisbane Powerhouse, including curating the inaugural Brisbane Jazz Festival.

Mark’s first symphony will be premiered by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in October 2013. Mark premiered his new solo piano suite Children’s Songs in his recital in the 2012 Adelaide Festival and has recorded the work for the New York label Soundbrush Records for international release in 2013. His 2012 CD for the HUSH collection was a suite he composed based on The Wind in the Willows which Mark performed with members of the Goldner String Quartet, Australia Ensemble and Sydney Symphony with narrations by composer, broadcaster and quthor Andrew Ford.

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Since moving to Sydney in 1998, Brett has completed post graduate studies at the Sydney conservatorium while also maintaining a rigorous schedule of local performance, national and international tours, and recording with some of Australia's, and the world's most highly acclaimed musicians. Brett's ability to play creative bass over a wide range of styles has lead to him becoming one of the most sought after bass players in the Australian jazz scene. In 2001 he qualified as one of 10 national finalists at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz National Jazz Awards Bass Competition.

Brett performs on guitar sensation James Muller's ARIA nominated album "Thrum", and has recently recorded albums with both the Mike Nock Trio and Vince Jones. He is also to be heard on Nick McBride's "Bandika" and "Rectangle". Other recording credits include Katie Noonan, E.O.N "the great indoors", Sean Wayland's "99" and "South Pacific Soul", Virna Sanzoni, Dale Barlow, Very Interactive Band, Dave Goodman, Sam Keevers, Neilson Gough, The New Music Congress, Gerard Masters Trio, Reuben Derrick, as well as several movie soundtracks and commercial sessions.


He currently maintains a busy schedule as a member of the Sandy Evans Trio, the Vince Jones Band, the Mike Nock Trio and Big Band, Phil Slater's Very Interactive Band, the James Muller Quartet, Scott Tinkler's “Drub” Nick McBride's Rectangle, Toaster, The Roger Manins Group, Heavy Weather, pop rock band “Lior”, Reuben Derrick Group and Sam Keevers' Red Fish Blue.


TIM FIRTH (drums)

Tim Firth is one of the most in-demand drummers in Sydney. He has a Bachelor of Music from the University of New South Wales, and a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Major) with First Class Honours from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

He was a finalist in the 2004 National Jazz Awards Drum Competition at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, and he performs with Don Rader Quintet, Judy Bailey Trio, James Muller Trio, Theak-tet, Dave Panichi Septet, Kristin Beradi, Craig Scott band, Mark Isaacs Resurgence band, John Harkins Trio, Hugh Barrett Trio, Jamie Oehlers, Aunty Richard, Chuck Yates Trio, The Hipstones, Dan Barnett Big Band, Asli, Carrie Lakin, Dan Mifsud and many others.

Tim was the winner of the 2011 National Jazz Award.

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Sydney based vocalist Briana Cowlishaw is making leaps and bounds with her mesmerizing voice and incessant creativity. At just 22 years of age, after a recent 3 month trip to New York in 2010, Briana released her debut album 'When Fiction Comes to Life', recording and co-producing the album of original compositions with some of New York’s greatest jazz musicians; Aaron Goldberg (piano), Reuben Rogers (bass), Gregory Hutchinson (drums), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) and Mike Moreno (guitar). She returned there to record in 2012.

Inspired by the sounds of Elis Regina, Joni Mitchell, Vince Jones, Diane Reeves and Esperanza Spalding, Briana weaves through the styles of jazz, latin and pop in her phrasing and interpretation. She attained a Bachelor of Music (Contemporary Performance - Voice) from the Australian Institute of Music, Sydney 2008, and has since been studying withinternationally acclaimed jazz musicians Kurt Elling, Gretchen Parlato, Gerald Clayton and Sean Wayland. She has begun to develop an understanding for the jazz language quite rare for her age, recognized by the great piano player Ellis Marsalis in a performance at New Orlean’s famous jazz club, Snug Harbour, late 2010, where she was asked to sit in and share the stage with the band for the second set of the show. Working regularly around Sydney, she is currently playing alongside some of Australia’s finest musicians such as Matt McMahon, James Muller, Tom O'Halloran, Gerard Masters, Jonathan Zwartz, Brendan Clarke, Cameron Undy, Evan Manell and Cameron Reid.