Jeremy Rose

How I found my rhythm as a jazz artist

7 August 2023
As part of our Find Your Rhythm series, we meet saxophonist, composer, educator, and label director Jeremy Rose, who has carved out a mutli-faceted career in jazz music.
Con alumnus Jeremy Rose

Con alumnus Jeremy Rose
Image: Nic Walker

Jeremy Rose's love for music began early in life. Inspired by his parents' jazz collection and guided by dedicated teachers, he developed a deep passion for expressing himself through music. Starting with piano and moving to clarinet, Jeremy eventually found his way to the saxophone. With his musical passion flourishing, Jeremy started his first band in primary school and quickly developed a taste for composition.

However, when it came time to decide what to study at university, the choice to pursue music wasn’t simple.

“When I finished school I had a range of options, including engineering and medicine. Ironically, I had an interview for medicine on the same day as my audition for the Con,” he remembers. Unable to ignore his creative calling, Jeremy decided to attend the audition at the Con.

“I knew that I would regret the decision if I didn’t explore my artistic vision and potential.”

It was the right choice, with Jeremy going on to build a fulfilling and expansive career in music. Reflecting on the journey, Jeremy is thankful for the path he chose.

“It’s a challenging career but an incredible honour and something that I’m continually grateful for. What motivates, beyond the musical aspects of which I live and breathe, is the power of music to influence emotions, communicate profound ideas and contribute to cultural landscapes.”

Jeremy Rose playing the trumpet in a studio

Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Music and a PhD from the Conservatorium.
Image: Ken Leanfore.

Jeremy completed both a Bachelor of Music and a PhD at the Conservatorium, an education he credits with laying a strong foundation for his craft and career.

“It shaped my artistic identity, equipped me with essential skills, and gave me valuable insights into the workings of the industry,” he shares.

His undergraduate studies helped him refine his skills, deepen his theoretical understanding, and approach music creation in an eclectic and adaptable way. The opportunity to master his craft through formal study was an essential step in preparing for a career in the arts.

“As artists, we lead with our art, so it first starts with building a strong foundation in music theory and honing technical skills. Deliberate practice with diligence and consistency.”

Jeremy also took advantage of the university’s exchange program, broadening his horizons with a semester in Norway. The overseas experience opened Jeremy up to new musical perspectives and connections with like-minded artists, many he would later record and tour with.

During his postgraduate studies, Jeremy was able to dive deeper into his craft and hone his critical thinking skills. Learning from accomplished teachers and industry experts was also invaluable.

“I was fortunate to learn from and work with a group of highly dedicated and knowledgeable teachers who brought a wealth of industry experience. They were also some of my favourite musicians and composers,” shares Jeremy.

“They not only imparted technical knowledge but shared their insights about the industry, which helped me understand the business aspects of music.”

Jeremy performing at Phoenix Central Park in 2021.
Image: Ken Leanfore.

Being immersed in the Con’s collaborative atmosphere cultivated Jeremy’s passion for community, a value that now underpins his work as a record label director.

As the founder and director of Earshift Music, Jeremy works to nurture the Australian jazz community, helping emerging and more established artists navigate the ever-changing music industry and connect them with a global audience. Since its founding in 2009, the label has released 80 albums, curated three festivals, and cultivated a supportive network of artists.

Reflecting on his work with the label, Jeremy is proud of the impact Earshift Music has made on Australia’s music scene.

“I’m fortunate to have created an eco-system through my label Earshift Music that can facilitate that vision for both my own projects and those of the Australian jazz community.”

In addition to founding Earshift, notable career highlights for Jeremy include staging projects at major cultural festivals, such as two shows at the Sydney Festival with his Earshift Orchestra, and sell-out performances at the Melbourne International Festival. He also embarked on a tour across Europe with renowned guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Currently, Jeremy is immersed in several artistic projects and releases alongside his research and teaching work. His band The Vampires has just released their seventh album, Nightjar, to critical acclaim. The group won Best Jazz Album for Nightjar at the 2023 ARIA Awards.

Another album, Project Infinity: Live at Phoenix Central Park, captures Jeremy in performance alongside pianist Novak Manojlovic, drummer Tully Ryan and modular synthesis Ben Carey as they use long-form improvisation, with influences from post-jazz, ambient, electronic and groove-oriented music.

Also to come is a new release from his collaboration with Armenian pianist Zela Margossian, Visions of Nar. Their album, Daughter of the Seas, will launch this with a performance at the Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room in September.

Jeremy performed at Phoenix Central Park

Project Infinity: Live at Phoenix Central Park will be released in 2023.
Image: Ken Leanfore.

Asked what advice he would offer to aspiring music professionals, Jeremy draws on the formative experiences that have profoundly impacted his artistry and professional growth.

Live performances have consistently inspired him, offering immersive and transcendental moments that pushed his artistic boundaries.

“There's no substitute for the experience gained from live performances,” he emphasises.

“Try to get as much stage time as possible, whether it's jam sessions, school performances, or local gigs. The first tour performing my original music night after night was a life-affirming experience and I was hooked – it’s never too early to start.”

He recognises versatility as being crucial in his development as an artist, a value that has allowed him to embrace new genres, perspectives, and skills. Building knowledge across music production, audio engineering, software, marketing, and the business of music is key to navigating a sustainable career in the industry.

Additionally, collaborations with musicians from diverse backgrounds have had a huge impact on Jeremy’s career, enriching his compositions and deepening his musical understanding.

“(Collaboration) is not only a great way to foster new ways of thinking and creativity but can help build your profile beyond your chosen musical realm.”

Crucially, Jeremy emphasises the importance of staying true to one’s artistic vision and being your greatest ally through challenges.

“Create music that resonates with you first, and chances are, it will resonate with others too,” he says.

“Remember, everyone's journey in the music industry is unique. Success may take time, so be patient and enjoy the process of creating and sharing your music.”

Ready to find your rhythm in music? Discover your study options.

Hero image by Sheshanka Samarajiwa

Article updated 17 November 2023.

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