After releasing two albums of original music, the 19-member Divergence Jazz Orchestra have established a unique and inspired artistic voice. Directed by Jenna Cave (composer/conductor) and Paul Weber (trombone), Divergence boast a powerful and beautifully balanced orchestral sound anchored in groove, exhibiting immense sensitivity and subtly and breaking from the big band tradition of old.
With a compositional focus, Divergence celebrates innovative Australian composers and improvisers who diverge from the status quo, performing music by Jenna Cave and many others.
Divergence Jazz Orchestra released their debut album The Opening Statement in October 2013, comprising of music by Jenna Cave. The album has been featured on ABC Classic FM, Radio National, ABC Jazz, Chicago’s Jazz Radio and BBC amongst others. It received critical acclaim and was highly praised by the Australian jazz community and abroad.
Their second album, Fake it Until You Make It , was released in October 2016. The 11 track-album features original music composed by Jenna Cave, Brendan Champion, Luke Davis, Paul Murchison and Miroslav Bukovsky – performed by some of Sydney‘s most versatile young jazz musicians. It has already been featured on ABC Radio National and ABC Jazz, among others, and has been reviewed with four stars in the Weekend Australian Newspaper and on All About Jazz.
Four stars…A highly listenable album…Cave has established herself as a top-level composer, arranger and conductor in Australian jazz
– John McBeath, The Australian
Four stars…Divergence Jazz Orchestra is remarkably strong and consistently pleasing… Cave writes with depth and maturity well beyond her years, a virtue not lost on the DJO, which carries out her wishes to the letter.
– Jack Bowers, ALL ABOUT JAZZ (USA)
Divergence Jazz Orchestra is one of Australia’s keepers of the big band flame…
An astonishing array of Australia’s best and brightest
– John Hardaker, AustralianJazz.net
What remains to be said about Divergence is that it enjoys an obvious advantage over most other contemporary jazz groups: like its very name it diverges from the crowd, it has its own rules and doesn’t follow trends. And so what we have is a group of young, fresh and exuberant composers and musicians who have joined forces to create their own exciting take on the world of jazz
– Samuel Cottell, Fine Music Magazine
In 2016 Divergence commissioned new works from Paul Cutlan, Jenna Cave and Jessica Wells, and a new arrangement of an existing piece by Brendan Champion. This was made possible with the assistance of the Australian Cultural Fund and their fundraising platform and the generous patrons who donated funds. Divergence were awarded a Sydney Conservatorium of Music New and Contemporary Classical & Jazz Music Performance grant in 2013, and to date have performed and promoted original music by 17 Australian composers including William Motzing, Rafael Karlen, Elliot Hughes, Judy Bailey, Cam McAllister, Nadia Burgess, Andrew Scott, Justin Buckingham et al.
Performing since 2012, highlight gigs have included:
- 2017 SIMA Summer Jazz concert series with guest soloist/composer Miroslav Bukovsky at The Seymour Centre (Sydney)
- 2016 Fake it Until You Make It album launch concert at Sydney’s Foundry616
- 2015 Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival
- 2015 Capital Jazz Project (Canberra) with guest soloist/composer Miroslav Bukovsky
- 2014 concert at Sydney’s Foundry616 with guest composer Rafael Karlen recorded by ABC Radio National and broadcast Nationally on ABC Jazz
- 2014 a concert co-presented by Sydney Improvised Music Association at the Seymour Centre (Sydney)
- 2013 Wangaratta Jazz Festival
- 2013 performance in the Jazzgroove Association performance series
CONDUCTOR AND RESIDENT COMPOSER
Paul Weber (Co-Musical Director, lead), Tim Coggins, Rose Foster, Luke Davis (bass)
TRUMPETS AND FLUGELHORNS
Paul Murchison, James Power, Will Endicott, Paul Meo, Will Gilbert
SAXOPHONES AND WOODWINDS
Justin Buckingham (lead alto, flute), Loretta Palmiero (alto, soprano, flute, clarinet), Dave Reglar (tenor, alto), Louis Klaassen (tenor), Tim Clarkson (baritone, flute, clarinet)
Yutaro Okuda (guitar), Andrew Scott (piano), Hannah James (bass), Mike Quigley (drums)
Other key contributors past and present: David Groves (bass), Luke Liang (guitar), James McCaffrey (drums) Dane Laboyrie, Rob Campell, Matt Collins and Luke Stephens (trumpets), Brendan Champion, Ellie Shearer, Mitchell Nissen, Alex Silver (trombone), Evan Harris, Joshua Willard, Chris O’Dea, Michael Avgenicos, Sam Gill, Anna Leckie, Abi McCunn, Melissa Mony and Scott Kelly (saxophones),