Saxophonist, Composer, Educator, Music Researcher

Dr Sandy Evans OAM

Sandy Evans Photo by Karen Steains
Sandy Evans – photo by Karen Steains

Saxophonist, Composer, Educator, Music Researcher 

“…this saxophonist surely ranks as one of the best contemporary jazz composers/musicians anywhere.” Ian Patterson, allaboutjazz.com January 27, 2012

Dr Sandy Evans OAM is an internationally renowned composer and saxophonist with a passion for improvisation and new music. She has played with and written for some of the most important groups in Australian jazz since the early 1980s, toured extensively in Australia, Europe, Canada and Asia, and been featured on over 40 albums. She leads the Sandy Evans Trio and Sextet, and co-leads Clarion Fracture Zone and GEST8. She is a member of Mara!, The catholics, the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), Ten Part Invention, austraLYSIS, Friends of Kim Sanders, Atma Blu, Waratah, Andrew Robson’s Tallis project, Ben Walsh’s Orkestra of the Underground and SNAP. She has performed with many leading jazz musicians including Andrea Keller, Paul Grabowsky, Silke Eberhard, Ingrid Jensen, Judy Bailey, Han Bennink and Terri Lyne Carrington. In 2018 Sandy toured Germany and Sweden. She was a featured soloist in Lloyd Swanton’s widely acclaimed Ambon project.

Sandy has an extensive composition portfolio and has received many commissions from leading jazz, improvising and new music ensembles. Recent commissions include a suite in honour of legendary Australian saxophonist the late Bernie McGann, and a CD RockPoolMirror based on photographs by Tall Poppies’ Belinda Webster. Wesleyan University Press released Sandy’s composition Testimony, a major work about the life and music of Charlie Parker with poetry by the Pulitzer Prize winning American poet Yusef Komunyakaa, in the US in 2013. Sandy composed Kali and The Time of Change, the title track of The Sirens debut CD.

Sandy has a keen interest in Indian classical music. She collaborates regularly with Sydney-based Indian musicians Sarangan Sriranganathan and Bobby Singh and recently released the CD Kapture, a tribute to South African freedom fighter Ahmed Kathrada. ‘…a masterfully performed fusion of jazz and Indian classical musics… the improvisations exemplify the virtuosic energy that is a key resonance between jazz and Indian classical music.’ Cummins 1/6/15 www.musictrust.com.au

Her CD Cosmic Waves, featuring South Indian mridangam virtuoso Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani and Sruthi Laya, is released in India on Underscore Records. In 2014 Sandy was awarded a PhD from Macquarie University for practice-based research in Carnatic Jazz Intercultural music. She began collaborating with Aneesh Pradhan and Shubha Mudgal during a Churchill Fellowship visit to India.

Sandy is an experienced teacher and inaugurated a Jazz Improvisation Course for Young Women run annually by SIMA. She is Lecturer in Jazz at UNSW and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Composition and Jazz Units at the Sydney Conservatorium.  She appears in the Australian jazz documentaries Beyond el Rocco and Dr Jazz.

Awards and Honours

Australia Council Fellowship 2017-2018, Churchill Fellowship 2014

Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence, PhD Macquarie University, 2014 Performance of the Year with the AAO and Sruthi Laya, Art Music Awards 2013

AIR Award for Best Independent Jazz CD 2011, Order of Australia Medal 2010,

Bell Award For Australian Jazz Musician of The Year 2003, Young Australian Creative Fellowship 1996, 3 ARIA Awards, APRA Award, 2 Mo Awards

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