Equity in Jazz Program

Promoting gender diversity in jazz across academia and the professional scene.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music's Equity in Jazz program offers scholarships to support creative postgraduate research by women, female-identifying, and gender-diverse musicians in jazz.

About the program

Scholarship recipients receive close mentoring and support from program leader Dr Jo Lawry across research, professional performance opportunities, and collaborations with industry leaders.

Master of Music candidates receive a $20,000 annual stipend for two years. DMA and PhD candidates receive $35,000 for three years. Stipend funds are tax-exempt. Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens will qualify for Research Training Program (RTP) funding that covers academic fees.

2022 Equity in Jazz Cohort

Freya Garbett

Freyja Garbett

Freyja Garbett is a professional pianist, composer, and music producer who specialises in jazz and other contemporary styles. She holds a Bachelor of Music with summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music, where she majored in performance and jazz composition. The pieces from her debut album 'Maya' are an exploration of an electro-acoustic approach to jazz composition and improvisation.

Freyja Garbett's research seeks to create a new improvisational approach by using a waterproof motion detection system to track her movements while surfing ocean waves. Her movement will be converted to MIDI; an electronic standard used for the transmission of digitally encoded music. This MIDI data will then be analysed and used to inform the new improvisational idiolect.

Jess Green

Jess Green

Jess Green's eclectic practice spans 20 years of performance and composition, including touring nationally as well as Europe and Asia. As a guitarist she has performed with diverse artists including The catholics, Katie Noonan, Renee Geyer and Laura Jean. Her own work includes several studio albums in the jazz and pop genres and commissions to compose works for theatre, dance and the visual arts. Highlights include collaborating with visual artist Patricia Piccinini and The Australian Art Orchestra, and creating site specific performances, including for the 2022 Sydney Festival.

Jess Green's research concerns emerging theories in cognitive science and natural world phenomena as they relate to music-making. She aims to create a body of work that is illuminated with the wonder and awe of our diverse planet.

Tamara Murphy

Tamara Murphy

Tamara Murphy is a bassist and composer who works across multiple genres. She performs with some of Australia’s finest artists including Kate Miller-Heidke, Harry Angus, Clio, Ali McGregor, Stephen Magnusson, and Paul Grabowsky. She appears on over 40 albums, including titles by her own ensembles. She won the 2011 PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission and was shortlisted in 2019 for Music Victoria Awards (Best Jazz Album) and National Live Music Awards (Best Jazz Act). Her band Spirograph Studies just released their second album ‘Lowlights’ in October 2021.

Tamara Murphy's research focuses on the function and development of group co-ordination in contemporary improvised music. She will explore how musicians negotiate their roles and function cognitively whilst performing and simultaneously responding to other musicians in the ensemble.

Gian Slater

Gian Slater

Gian is a vocalist and composer with an approach that incorporates wordless singing and improvisation, songwriting, electronics and extended vocal techniques, new music and contemporary composition and collaborations with theatre and dance practitioners. She has released eight albums and has featured on many recordings for acclaimed Australian and international artists. Gian formed her vocal ensemble, Invenio Singers in 2010 and has collaborated with Barney McAll, Lior, Chamber Made Opera, Robert Jarvis, Rubiks Collective, Linda Oh, Alpha60 and Rawcus Theatre Company.  

Gian Slater is creating a pattern-based method of understanding and composing music, inspired by Steve Reich’s “Tehillim”. Her research explores the partnership between rhythm and harmony and how they define structure and form.


Addressing gender disparity in jazz

Equity in Jazz Program

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music is paving the way and positioning itself as a global leader as it seeks to address gender inequity in jazz through the Equity in Jazz Program. Central to the program is a postgraduate scholarship and mentoring program, with its first cohort of four candidates commencing in 2022.