Divergence Jazz Orchestra is made up of 19 of Sydney’s most accomplished young musicians led by Jenna Cave (conductor/composer) and Paul Weber (trombone). Their sound brings the spirit and tradition of improvised jazz music to the 21st century big band; where captivating grooves, memorable melodies and expressive orchestrations are executed with outstanding musicianship and soul with rhythm as its cornerstone.
With a compositional focus, the band performs music by Jenna Cave and band members, while also featuring and promoting music by other Australian composers.
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 , has just been 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, and was reviewed with four stars in the Weekend Australian Newspaper.
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 and Jenna Cave, 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 16 Australian composers including William Motzing, Rafael Karlen, Elliot Hughes, Judy Bailey, Cam McAllister, Jessica Wells, Nadia Burgess and others.
Performing since 2012, highlight gigs have included:
- 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, Rob Campbell, 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)
Luke Liang (guitar), Andrew Scott (piano), Hannah James (bass), James McCaffrey (drums)
Other key contributors past and present: David Groves (bass), Yutaro Okuda (guitar), Dane Laboyrie, Matt Collins and Luke Stephens (trumpets), Brendan Champion, Ellie Shearer, Mitchell Nissen (trombone), Evan Harris, Joshua Willard, Chris O’Dea, Michael Avgenicos, Sam Gill, Anna Leckie, Melissa Mony and Scott Kelly (saxophones),