Jazz singer Elly Hoyt and bassist and composer Geoff Gascoyne have written an 18-minute suite of music based on the story of cartoonist Ali Dorani, known as Mr. Eaten Fish. He spent more than four years in the Australian run detention centre for refugees on Manus Island, Papa New Guinea. His cartoons are well known internationally and have become the image of life on Manus Island. The suite will be presented with Eaten Fish's artwork at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday September 8th, 2019 for the Freedman Jazz Fellowship Finals.
The Freedman Jazz Fellowship is Australia’s most prestigious jazz award and a 17-year institution. It enables the winner to take the next step in their career with funding for a proposed project and studio recording time. After a nation-wide search for the greatest jazz artist aged 35 and under, the judges for The Music Trust’s 2019 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, on 8 August 2019, announced the three finalists from a list of 17 nominees from across Australia, of which Elly Hoyt is one of them.
If she wins the final and is awarded the fellowship, she will record an album in collaboration with Geoff Gascoyne comprised of original music (suite) based on the story of Ali Dorani.
- I was inspired by Ali Dorani’s story after hearing about it through a close Australian friend who had been following Ali’s case. I contacted Ali and met him in London when he was attending the Index on Censorship award in London, says Elly Hoyt.
The three finalists for the fellowship will compete live in concert at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday 8 September for the title of the 2019 Freedman Jazz Fellow. The winner will be decided at Freedman Jazz 2019, a night showcasing some of the best jazz in the country.
The venue is The Studio at Sydney Opera House and the time is 7.30 on Sunday 8 September. On this final night of the competition, each of the three musicians will showcase their greatest artistry - composition and musicianship - with their bands as a final bid for the title and prize.
About Elly Hoyt
Elly Hoyt is a Tasmanian, Australian born vocalist-composer currently living in London. Her two albums Elly Hoyt and Oranges and Sunshine have gained her praise from All About Jazz (“soulful and quietly commanding”), Limelight magazine (“taste, sensitivity and swing”), and The Music Trust (“not afraid to take risks”). Hoyt’s accolades include an Australian Bell Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, the Generations in Jazz Vocal Scholarship judged by James Morrison and a Marten Bequest Traveling Scholarship to study a Master of Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, USA. Career highlights also include supporting US pianist Kenny Barron and performing for Prince Charles and Camilla. She has toured nationally and internationally playing venues, festivals and clubs including Shanghai World Expo (China), Bar 55 (NYC), Schloss Elmau (Germany), Jordan Concert Hall (Boston, USA) and Melbourne International Jazz Festival (AUS).
About cartoonist Ali Dorani/Mr. Eaten Fish
Ali Dorani is an Iranian cartoonist and activist that goes by the pseudonym Mr. Eaten Fish. He gained global recognition for the cartoons he created while being detained in an Australian-run immigration centre on Manus Island on Papa New Guinea for four years.
Through dedicated activists and human rights organisations, his cartoons were published extensively in online media including the Guardian, Washington Post, ABC news, and journals such as New Matilda and Law, Text, Culture. Dorani’s situation was the concern of Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) and other human rights organisations, who advocated intensively for his release and fair treatment, alongside internationally renowned cartoonists.
In 2016, CRNI granted him the Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award, for keeping up a stream of cartoons documenting the unspeakable abuses and excesses in the Manus Island detention camp.
Ali Dorani granted an ICORN residency in Stavanger in 2017. Safely based in Norway, he continues his cartooning and activism.
About The Freedman Fellowship
The Freedman Jazz Fellowship is funded by the Freedman Foundation, a philanthropic foundation chaired by Laurence Freedman, which assists young Australians in music and visual arts as well as providing support to medical and scientific programmes. In 2001, Laurence Freedman was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the community, to medical research, the arts, and to business and investment in Australia.