Home » Jazz Musicians » Gemma Farrell

Gemma Farrell

Gemma Farrell is a jazz saxophonist, composer and educator.

She is a PhD candidate and lecturer in jazz studies at WAAPA. She has led the Young Women in Jazz program for WAYJO since 2014.

Gemma has a Master of Music degree from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the Queensland Conservatorium. In 2020 she won Best Brass, String or Woodwind Instrumentalist at the WAM awards. She has been nominated for 7 WAM awards prior including Best Brass, String or Woodwind Instrumentalist (2018, 2019), Best Jazz Act (2018, 2019), Best Funk Act (2007), Song of the Year – Jazz (2016, 2018). She is currently one of three finalists for the Humanitarian category of the 2021 Australian Women in Music Awards. The winner will be announced in May 2022. Gemma has released 7 albums as a leader.

The Gemma Farrell Quintet is Gemma’s main project as a leader. In 2018 they released their album "Organised Chaos" which was a local feature album on RTRFM. The Quintet completed an Australian tour in 2019, performing at the Perth International Jazz Festival, the Sydney Women’s International Jazz Festival, JMI Brisbane and the Jazzlab in Melbourne. The Gemma Farrell Quintet recently recorded their second album, which will be released in May 2022.

Gemma is the founder and musical director of the Artemis Orchestra, a predominately female big band that performs the original music of Australian women, non-binary and transgender people. Their debut album “Elephant in the Room” was released in June 2021. It was a local feature album on RTRFM and also featured on ABC Jazz Radio. It received a five-star review in Dingo Australian Jazz Journal. The Artemis Orchestra will be featured at the 2021 Perth International Jazz Festival. They have also performed at RTRFMs In The Pines Festival and at the Perth Festival in 2021.

Gemma recently performed alto saxophone on the Mace Francis +11 album "Isolation Emancipation" which will be released in November 2021.

MFG is a project Gemma has with Cologne-based guitarist Nico Maas and Zurich based keyboardist Thomas Goralski. MFG has released three albums and completed two Australian tours and a European tour. MFG is hoping to tour and record again in 2023.

In August 2018, Gemma travelled to Stockton California on behalf of WAYJO to be a tutor at the Brubeck Institute’s Summer Jazz Colony at the University of the Pacific.

Gemma also performs in Farrell Garner Gardiner, the Namora Nonet, The Perth Cabaret Collective, and the 950 express.

Awards

2020 WAM (West Australian Music) Best Brass, String or Woodwind Instrumentalist


Tags

28
Album Review

Mace Francis Plus 11: Isolation Emancipation

Read "Isolation Emancipation" reviewed by Jack Bowers


After a brief pause to accommodate Covid-19 restrictions, Australian composer and arranger Mace Francis is back—with a brand new musical wardrobe, a new axe (trombone) and a pared-down ensemble reminiscent of the classic Art Pepper + Eleven album (with arrangements by Marty Paich) from 1960. Like that earlier album, Isolation Emancipation was written with Paich in mind—this is by and large light-hearted, happy music reminiscent of the West Coast “cool wave" of well over half a century ago, and quite ...

Read more articles
Perth born and based Gemma Farrell is one of the most promising figures of the Australian Jazz Scene; as a sax player and bandleader, she has found her own voice, creating a sort of post-bop that merges the American and European tradition with lyricism and audacity. -AustralianJazz.net

Farrell is an extraordinary talent on the saxophone. -XPress Magazine

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Electronic

Self Produced
2024

buy

Isolation Emancipation

Self Produced
2021

buy

Organised Chaos

Independent
2018

buy

Vicissitude

Independent
2013

buy

Exposure Bucks

From: Electronic
By Gemma Farrell

Casserole For Two

From: Isolation Emancipation
By Gemma Farrell

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.