Current Issue #488

Josh Chenoweth’s Jazz Night connection leads to world tour

Josh Chenoweth’s Jazz Night connection leads to world tour

Trumpeter Josh Chenoweth was invited on the tour of a lifetime after performing at the 2018 Helpmann Academy Night of Jazz with New York sensations The Hot Sardines.

Josh Chenoweth joined fellow University of Adelaide Elder Conservatorium graduate Bonnie Aué on a 15-date tour that kicked off at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and ended in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“The tour with The Hot Sardines is definitely my top career highlight so far,” Chenoweth says. “I feel very fortunate to have landed this opportunity with such an incredible group of musicians.”

The praise is reciprocated, with The Hot Sardines’ bandleader Evan Palazzo and lead singer Elizabeth Bougerol taking to their Instagram account to thank Chenoweth and Aué for their skill.

They wrote: “As soon as we heard conservatory students [Aué and Chenoweth] last year when we led a jazz workshop at Adelaide’s [Helpmann Academy] we knew we wanted to bring them on tour with us one day. They answered the call for this Australia/Japan/ China/Hawaii tour, and they killed it! Heartfelt things all around.”

The tour included a run of performances in Beijing and Hawaii, as well as at famed jazz club the Blue Note in Tokyo – a dream come true for Chenoweth.

“This experience taught me about the traditional jazz style and also a lot about myself,” he says. “It confirmed that being a musician at the top level is something I want to continue to shoot for.”

Josh Chenoweth (Photo: Olivia Power)

Jazz is something of a family affair for Chenoweth, with his father (music teacher and trumpet player Rob Chenoweth) introducing him to the genre early on.

“From a very young age I heard a lot of trumpet. Dad would always be practising (my brother and I can sing his daily routine) and he would always have records on of the greats such as Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Freddie Hubbard,” says Chenoweth. “I feel very fortunate to have been exposed to such a unique style of music so young, which definitely developed my connection to the trumpet.”

It’s a connection that has served Chenoweth well, with the emerging musician taking out The Keith and Susie Langley Memorial Award for Trumpet at the 2018 Helpmann Academy Jazz Awards. Combined with the performance with The Hot Sardines, the event acted as a major turning point in his musical career.

“The Night of Jazz event was not only an amazing night celebrating my music achievements but has also opened several new doors for me,” says Chenoweth. “With the money I received from the prize, I have set up a home studio which will allow me to produce my own original music. I am currently in the process of refining my production skills and really excited for what is to come.”

Those future plans include building his professional portfolio and the dream of further international touring.

“The next step for my career is to continue to practice and develop my technique on the trumpet but also to start gathering materials (charts, repertoire, contacts) for my own projects,” says Chenoweth. “Within the next two years I would love to apply for an organisation overseas such as Cirque du Soleil to gain experience on a whole other style of music and play with first class musicians once again

You can catch the next crop of South Australia’s up-and-coming jazz stars when they join acclaimed composer and pianist Paul Grabowsky at the 2019 Helpmann Academy Night of Jazz, at the Hilton Adelaide on Friday 6 September.

The Adelaide Review is a media partner of Helpmann Academy.

Header image:
Russell Millard


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