NSW pianist Matthew Thomson has won the 2021 National Jazz Award, with New York-based Matthew Sheens coming second and Steve Barry (NSW) in third place.

Matthew Thomson, 2021 National Jazz Award winner

Run by the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues, the awards search for the country’s best performer aged 36 or under on a certain instrument. This year the focus was on piano.

After naming the 10 finalistslast month, a series of three livestreamed concerts were held over the weekend of 26–28 November. The awards were blind-judged by renowned pianists Matt McMahon (1999 National Jazz Awards winner), Andrea Keller and Stephen Grant.

Thomson was last year awarded the 2020 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award for his big band composition entitled The Pursuit, and has performed alongside musical luminaries including Dave Holland, Miguel Zenon, Freddy Cole, Dave Douglas, Ben Folds and Taylor Dane.

Thomson wins...