Former Bunbury Catholic College student Konrad Paszkudski has won the prestigious James Morrison Scholarship, a national scholarship awarded to the best Jazz musician on any instrument.
In a grueling selection process, the best six musicians are personally selected by James Morrison from an audition CD.
The final six then attend the ‘Generations in Jazz’ Festival in South Australia where they play with James Morrison and perform both planned and impromptu pieces over a weekend.
The winner is finally announced on the Sunday afternoon. Konrad has made it to the final six three times and so was delighted to finally take home the main prize of $10 000. He is also the first ever pianist to take out the Scholarship over the twenty year history of the event.
It is the priceless opportunities that come with the Scholarship that really have Konrad excited. The Scholarship means that Konrad is invited to play with James Morrison and his bands on a regular basis throughout the next year.
Shortly he will be performing at the renowned Jazz venue, ‘The Basement’, in Sydney with James Morrison.
He will also attend the Tokyo Jazz Festival under a sponsorship arrangement with Yamaha who have also endorsed him which means they provide him with instruments wherever he tours.
“It feels great to have won the Scholarship and it’s about time! I am really looking forward to playing with James and would love to get the job permanently,” says Konrad, who heads to New York at the end of the year to study with famous Jazz pianist Benny Green for a couple of months.
Konrad left home and Bunbury Catholic College at 15 when he was accepted into the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts to study for a Bachelor of Jazz Music which he completed at the end of last year aged 19 – the time when many teenagers are just starting a degree.
“Konrad really started music lessons when he began at BCC in Year 8. His two teachers at BCC were Fedora Taylor who taught him Classical Piano and Bill Curtis who taught him Jazz,” says his father George, who still teaches at BCC.