First Australian jazz ensemble to perform at the biggest US music convention


James Muller, David Theak and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Orchestra

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Orchestra and Australian virtuoso guitarist James Muller will perform at one of the world’s biggest music conventions – the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference – from 16-19 December in Chicago.

It is the first time an Australian jazz ensemble and a jazz group outside of the US is performing at the prestigious US event, represented by the Con’s jazz orchestra and one of the country’s greatest jazz guitarists.

Artistic Director of the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra David Theak says it is a rare opportunity for the 18 tertiary jazz musicians in the orchestra.

“It is a great honour and testament to the talent of our jazz musicians to be selected to perform in one of the primetime concert slots at the conference.

“The audition process to be picked to play is highly competitive. It is an even greater achievement to be the first international jazz group to be chosen to perform at the Midwest Clinic in its 69 year history.

“It will be a fantastic chance for the Con and James Muller to introduce Australian jazz to the rest of the world,” said Theak.

The orchestra will perform four Australian-commissioned pieces, Green Eyes, Chick Corea, Kaboom and Eindhoven, orchestrated by Florian Ross and arranged James Muller.

Now in its 69th year, the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference is the largest instrumental music education conference in the US, drawing around 17,000 delegates to Chicago from 50 states and more than 30 countries each year.

The four-day conference will stage 40 concerts, 90 clinics and an exhibitor’s hall of 400 companies. It will offer access to music and teaching icons, whilst exploring current and future trends for music education and the industry.

As part of the Midwest Clinic tour, James Muller and the Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra will also undertake a recording project in one of the world’s best recording studios in New York.


David Theak and James Muller

James Muller and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Orchestra will perform in a farewell performance at the Foundry616 in Sydney on Friday 11 December.


Saturday 12 December – Tuesday 15 December – Los Angeles
Tuesday 15 December – Saturday 19 December – Chicago (at the Midwest Clinic)
Saturday 19 December – Tuesday 22 December – New York

Friday 11 December, 8.30 – 11.30 pm
Foundry 616 – Sydney

Friday 18 December, 4.30 – 5.45 pm
Midwest Clinic – Chicago

Sunday 20 December, 8.00 – 9.45pm
ShapeShifter Lab – New York
This event will be live streamed, check the ShapeShifter website for details
Tickets at the door

Check out the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Orchestra on our YouTube channel –