Jazz Connection | Meet The Band







Jazz Connection presents the ‘cream’ of Sydney’s finest young jazz musicians. Individual members of the band are already a dominant part of the Sydney jazz scene, including finalists in the James Morrison Scholarship, top students of the Sydney Conservatorium of music and under the direction of Australian musical icon, Judy Bailey.

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Judy Bailey Picture

Musical Director – Judy Bailey


Since arriving from New Zealand, she has become one of Australia’s leading musical identities. In addition to a prolific career involving performance, recording, touring and teaching. Judy has received numerous awards, including the inaugural APRA award for Jazz Composition, an Australian Entertainment award for Jazz Performance, the Order of Australia Medal for services to Jazz and Education, and the Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music. More recently the University of Sydney awarded her an Honorary Doctorate and the University of Melbourne presented her with the Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award. Judy continues to teach at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.





Dane Laboyrie

Dane has been recognised as one of Australia’s best young lead trumpet players and plays a large variety of styles specializing in Jazz, latin, session work just to name a few.


Paul Meo

Paul Meo is a formidable Trumpet player with over 15 years experience in the music industry as a performer, arranger, educator, session musician and jazz innovator.


Luke Stephens

Luke is in high demand as a performer and is  currently performing extensively with a brass band called the Brassholes. He performs at concerts, jazz venues and music festivals throughout Australia.


Tom Avgenicos

At the age of 17 Thomas has been playing from an early age and has been delivering top quality music for years.




Paul Weber

Paul Weber is a jazz trombone graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2011). A recipient of the prestigious Big Brother Memorium scholarship, Weber travelled to the UK in 2011 to study with Jiggs Whigham and Gordon Campbell.


Tim Coggins

Tim Coggins is a trombonist, composer and educator based in Sydney Australia with over 12 years experience. Tim has been a dedicated member of jazz connection for a number of years and has proven to be a valuable member to the group.


Ellie Shearer

Ellie is a young professional quickly building a reputation as a tremendous player in both solo and big band settings. Ellie is currently studying for a Bachelor of Music (Jazz) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.


Luke Davis

Luke Davis is a young professional quickly building a reputation as a tremendous player in both solo and big band settings. Luke is currently studying for a Bachelor of Music (Jazz) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.




Evan Harris

Evan Harris, Saxophone and flute: Evan is studying jazz performance at the Sydney Conservatorium. He also holds an AMusA in classical flute.


Michael Avgenicos

Michael Avgenicos, age 20, is a young and upcoming Australian jazz musician. He is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Music – Performance degree (Jazz) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.


Sam Gill

Sam Gill is also currently studying jazz at the Conservatorium on alto. He regularly performs in his quartet which draws on unique possibilities of composition and spontaneous invention.


Nish Manjunath

Nish is studying jazz performance at the Sydney Conservatorium. He is a freelance reed player who is equally at home with classical, jazz, latin and pop music.


Chris Higgins 

Chris is studying Baritone Saxophone as a performance at the Sydney Conservatorium. He is an outstanding player and a welcome addition to the jazz connection band.

Rhythm Section



Wilbur Whitta

Pianist Wilbur Whitta  originally studied classical music and gained an interest in jazz in his later years of high school.He is currently gigging extensively and is in high demand.

Luke Liang JazzC

Luke Liang

Luke Liang mainly works as an all-round session musician and member of ARIA-nominated band Papa vs Pretty, but he is equally at home in Sydney’s jazz scene. He is currently studying law at Sydney University.


James Heazlewood-Dale

With an extensive and impressive background in original bands and live performances over the years in his hometown of Melbourne, James came to Sydney on full scholarship to study also at the Conservatorium of Music.


Oli Nelson

Oliver Nelson recently was awarded the prestigious James Morrison Generations in Jazz Scholarship in 2013.  He is currently playing in numerous bands including the Mike Nock ensemble.