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Pianist earns chance to play with James Morrison


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Young jazz musician David Goodwin has come far since he started banging away on the piano as a two-year-old, with his recent win of a coveted national jazz scholarship earning him the opportunity to play with his idol James Morrison.

The Marryatville High School was awarded the James Morrison Jazz Scholarship at this year’s Generations in Jazz high school music conference in Mount Gambier.

Sadly, just over a week later he lost his friend and mentor, Adelaide saxophonist and music lecturer Mike Stewart, who collapsed and died while out jogging.

“He gave me a lot of opportunities to play in his Big Band,” Goodwin says of the man he describes as an incredible musician.

“That’s sort of been one of the biggest influences in my playing – being able to play with a band of that calibre.”

Goodwin has grown up with music around the home, with his jazz trombonist grandfather and long-standing music teacher helping instil a love of the art-form.

“My grandad gave me a lot of motivation and inspiration for my playing, and he still does to this day.

“Also my piano teacher, Tony Lillywhite, has given me loads of different opportunities; on trumpet as well … he is sort of the guy who has pushed a lot of it forward.”

The $10,000 James Morrison Jazz Scholarship will help Goodwin in his pursuit of a music career. It also offers opportunities to play with the renowned Australian multi-instrumental and composer after whom it is named.

Goodwin finds Morrison’s down-to-earth nature and musicianship inspiring.

“He’s always looking out for the players, and the younger players especially. After meeting him this year, it just reinforced the fact that he is an incredible musician and you sort of forget that when you’re talking to him.

“But when you see him up on stage, he just blows everyone away and there’s so much you can learn from that. His positive energy is just astounding.”

Despite having ample stage confidence himself in front of the 5000-strong crowd in Mt Gambier, Goodwin says the nerves almost got the better of him before the announcement of the scholarship.

“I remember they announced the vocal scholarship winner and you would have that they would announce the James Morrison scholarship straight after, but they went off and played some tunes with the Big Phat Jazz Band.

“The suspense was killing me at the time.”

Although he is a multi-instrumentalist – dabbling in trumpet, trombone and some singing – Goodwin’s real passion is for the piano and performing with his good friends in their band, Royal Flush.

“It’s hanging with my mates first and music second. We are there as a community who play music.”








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