The Australia Council for the Arts has presented the 2014 Don Banks Music Award to composer, pianist, performer and teacher Mike Nock. The annual Music Award is Australia’s top music honour, recognising a senior individual’s outstanding contribution to music in Australia.
As a leader in the jazz and wider music community Mike Nock’s work as a pianist, composer and band leader is recognised both in Australia and internationally. He has worked with some of the legends in the jazz community including Coleman Hawkins, Yusef Lateef, Dionne Warwick and Sam Rivers and toured extensively abroad with various groups, including the Mike Nock trio, Mike Nock Quartet, American group The Fourth Way and of course as a solo artist.
He has also produced a substantial body of original compositions and a large catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings. As a classical composer he has been commissioned by world class orchestras, such as the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Dundedin Civic Orchestra, the UMO Jazz Orchestra in Finland and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Furthermore he is recognised for nurturing upcoming generations of jazz musicians through his teaching position at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and his inclusion of younger musicians in his many projects.
Through a career spanning over fifty years, Mike has earned the respect and admiration of his peers, bringing his international experiences back to Australia, inspiring both young and established musicians.
Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said that “as a respected and influential artistic leader, it is fitting that the Council recognises his significant contribution to Australian music with this award.”
For more information, visit: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.
Image: Mike Nock – by Andrew Finlayson