About James Morrison
James Lloyd Morrison AM is an Australian jazz musician. Although his main instrument is trumpet, he has also performed on trombone, tuba, euphonium, flugelhorn, saxophone, clarinet, double bass, guitar, and piano. He is a composer, writing jazz charts for ensembles of various sizes and proficiency levels.
He composed and performed the opening fanfare at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In 2009, he joined Steve Pizzati and Warren Brown as a presenter on Top Gear Australia. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2010 Morrison and a cappella group, The Idea of North, won Best Jazz Album, for their collaboration on Feels Like Spring. In 2012 Morrison was appointed as Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival for the 2013 and 2015 festivals. He was inducted into the Graeme Bell Hall of Fame 2013 at the Australian Jazz Bell Awards. In July 2013 he conducted the World's Largest Orchestra in Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, consisting of 7,224 musicians.
In March 2015 Morrison opened the James Morrison Academy of Music in Mount Gambier, South Australia – a tertiary level, dedicated jazz school offering a degree in jazz performance.
James Lloyd Morrison was born on 11 November 1962 in Boorowa, a rural farming community where his father, George Morrison, was a Methodist minister. Morrison comes from a musical family: his mother plays alto saxophone, piano, and organ; his sister is a trumpeter, and his older brother, John Morrison, is a jazz drummer. The family moved to various sites in New South Wales due to his father's ministry before settling in Pittwater. From the age of seven Morrison practised on his brother's cornet.
Morrison attended Mona Vale Primary School and Pittwater High School, then Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he completed a jazz course. At the conservatorium he met Don Burrows, who became his mentor. In 1981, Morrison was a faculty member at his alma mater.
In 1983 James and John Morrison formed the Morrison Brothers Big Bad Band, a 13-piece group. In 1984 the band included James Morrison on trumpet, trombone, and piano, Warwick Alder on trumpet, Peter Cross on trumpet, Paul Andrews on alto saxophone, Tom Baker on alto and baritone saxophones, Jason Morphett on tenor saxophone, Glenn Henrich on vibraphone, Craig Scott on bass, and John Morrison on drums. The band's debut album, A Night in Tunisia, was released in 1984 by ABC Records as part of the Don Burrows Collection. The title track is a jazz standard by Dizzy Gillespie; another track, "Burrows Bossa", was written by Morrison. Also that year he backed Burrows on Burrows at the Winery, playing trumpet, slide trumpet, trombone, and flugelhorn. The album was live at Rothbury Estate Winery. Morrison Brothers Big Bad Band used the same venue for their album Live at the Winery.
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