Drew in the jazz groove
FOR Simon Drew, life don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
The 19-year-old Sunshine Coast Grammar graduate has swung into the list of the nation's top six rising young vocalists.
The Kureelpa resident, who is now studying a Bachelor of Music at The Conservatorium of Music at Southbank, returned on a high from the Generations in Jazz event in South Australia.
Mr Drew was elevated into the country's best young vocalists in the Generations in Jazz Vocal Scholarship through a blind audio audition.
He joined the five other finalists during the weekend event which has attracted rising jazz artists and school stage bands from across the nation over the past 25 years.
The event is believed to be one of the largest jazz youth events of its kind in the world, drawing more than 600 school bands and 3000 young jazz enthusiasts Australia-wide to The Barn in Mt Gambier.
While Mr Drew did not win the scholarship, he said the weekend experience working alongside artists such as Megan Washington, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and jazz king James Morrison, was a buzz he would not forget. Mr Drew's fascination with jazz was tweaked when he first picked up a trumpet when he was nine.
"My mum grew up listening to the Glenn Miller Band so she bought me a CD of them and I just loved it straight away and from then I loved jazz.
"That went to a whole new level when I started at Sunshine Coast Grammar in Year 7 because the guys who run the music programs are really jazz-orientated."
Mr Drew is honing his skills at the conservatorium, with a cross study in jazz voice and jazz trumpet.
As the singer in the Simon Drew Quartet, Mr Drew likes to bring new fans into the jazz world with his music.