Making Waves – Jazz Ensemble

Andrea Keller

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Virtual School Victoria


Andrea Keller and her band perform as part of the Making Waves Workshop Series.

In a three-part series, this Making Waves Workshop features Andrea Keller and her band, exploring various compositional styles and techniques in a workshop presented in partnership with Virtual School Victoria. These workshops are especially designed for VCE music students, but are open to all budding composers.

This series is supported by the Department of Education’s Strategic Partnership Program and the Hugh Williamson Foundation.

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Born of Czech parents, Andrea Keller grew up in Sydney, Australia. She studied piano, flute and saxophone at the Sydney Conservatorium High School. Inspired by her older brother, she penned her first compositions at the age of 10 and received her A-mus-a with distinction on piano at age 14. It was around this time that she was introduced to jazz music and the art of improvisation. Continuing to explore classical, jazz and original musics throughout her teenage years, her musical path became more defined when she moved to Melbourne as a lone teenager in the 1990’s to study improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Committed to creating new music with an emphasis on improvisation and collaboration, she has released 20 albums as bandleader since 2000, and has performed on many other albums, including those by the Black Arm Band Company, the Australian Art Orchestra, & Eddie Perfect. Andrea has also been invited to compose works for a variety of artists and ensembles – most recently for the Monash Art Ensemble, Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire, and Ensemble Offspring.

Highly lauded with multiple awards, Andrea has received three ARIA Awards, seven Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards, two Art Music Awards (including the award for Excellence in Jazz), an APRA Professional Development Award, the Merlyn Myer Composing Women’s Commission, a Music Victoria Award – Best Jazz Album, the Melbourne Music Prize – Beleura Emerging Composers Award, a fellowship from the Australia Council, and the inaugural MCA/Freedman Foundation Jazz Fellowship. Andrea most recently won the Music Victoria, Industry Voted Award for Best Jazz Act in 2021. In 2021 she was also nominated for the Music Victoria Award for Best Musician as well as the Music Victoria Award for Outstanding Woman in Music.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Music in Improvisation (Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts, a Master of Arts (Research) from Queensland University of Technology and is a PhD candidate at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. She runs Gender Defying Jazz, an annual workshop series for female, transgender and non-binary musicians and is currently Head of Jazz and Improvisation at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne.


Andrea Keller
Making Waves Workshop – Jazz Ensemble