Introducing Bumpy, the 2023 First Nations Artist Residency Recipient

Delivered in partnership between the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) and the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), the First Nations Artist Residency Program was launched in 2021 to support the career development of a First Nations musician, with a particular focus on jazz and improvised music.

MIJF together with the AAO is excited to announce that Bumpy has been selected as the 2023-24 First Nations Artist Residency Program recipient.

Bumpy’s deeply affecting music pulls from the strength found in tenderness—scars and all. The award-winning Noongar woman and Naarm-based artist’s stirring voice is transportive, arresting listeners with complex, intimate and multi-faceted truths of loss, joy and connection.

Her captivating live performances have enthralled audiences nationwide, having graced the stages of renowned festivals and events such as BIGSOUND, Strawberry Fields, Boogie Festival, Melbourne Music Week, Queenscliff Music Festival, Sun Cycle, St Kilda Festival, Dreamtime at the MCG, APRA Music Awards and more. 2022 saw Bumpy win the Triple J Unearthed NIMAs Competition, feature as a Triple J Spotlight Artist and win the Uncle Archie Roach Foundation Award at the Music Victoria Awards. Showing no signs of slowing down, in 2023 Bumpy has already been featured in Rolling Stone, NME, and on NITV, while also broadcasting her new show Pebbles on Triple R 102.7FM.

Providing a dedicated context for First Nations artists to shape their unique sound and style, the First Nations Artist Residency Program provides a cash bursary to support the development of a new work to premiere at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival; as well as an additional bursary for artistic and professional development opportunities; and participation in the AAO’s Creative Music Intensive, a 10-day annual residency (September 9—19 2023), including flights and accommodation. Bumpy will be developing her ambitious new commission throughout this year, with a planned premiere performance at the 2024 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

MIJF’s year-round artist development programs are all about the future of Australian Jazz—reflecting a rich and diverse history and community. We acknowledge the incredible contribution First Peoples make to art and music-making, and we aim to foster an environment and a sector in which First Nations musicians play a central role in shaping the unique sound and style of Australian jazz and improvised music.

Bumpy says of her appointment as program leader: “I am so honoured to be a part of this program. Over the year ahead, I hope to dive further into my language journey. With the support from the AAO and MIJF I’m excited to travel and connect to Country, presenting a work that not only supports this journey and expands my musicality but reflects the nuances found while learning language. I’m super excited to collaborate and have access to incredible artists and resources while developing the piece!”

“We’re thrilled to announce Bumpy as this year’s 2023 First Nations Artist Residency Program leader” said MIJF’s CEO & Program Director, Hadley Agrez. “Bumpy is an incredible artist and we are very excited to work alongside her over the coming 18 months through this program and as she develops her creative commission for the 2024 festival. This is a program that we’re extremely proud of, aiming to foster an environment and a sector in which First Nations musicians play a central role in shaping the unique sound and style of Australian jazz and improvised music.”

MIJF is delighted to welcome Bumpy on board to participate in this important program across 2023 and 2024.

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