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  • Date and timeSunday 16 July, 5pm
  • CostGeneral: $25, Members $20, Students: $15
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Join Miroslav Bukovsky, John Mackey, Eric Ajaye, and Chris Thwaite for a musical performance: It’s all jazz baby! Music in the gallery. Enjoy this opportunity to experience new work composed in response the current exhibition James Drinkwater: At mid-career.

Miroslav Bukovsky (trumpet) is one of Australia’s leading jazz trumpeters, composers and educators. After arriving in Australia in the late 60’s from Czechoslovkia after the Russian occupation, Miroslav went on to join the  jazz faculty at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In the 80’s he furthered his studies in the USA with several major teachers, including William Adam, Dave Baker, and Dave Liebman. In the mid 80’s Miroslav was a founding member of Ten Part Invention with Roger Frampton and during that period, he also formed his own group, the Aria award winning ensemble Wanderlust, which has toured extensively in Australia and internationally. Miroslav has performed with major Australian and international artists. His credits include the Daly-Wilson Big Band, Australian Art Orchestra, and Freeboppers. Last year saw him record a new CD, The Komeda Project with Andrea Keller and also perform at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival with TPI and Emil Viklicky. Miroslav is a lecturer in the Jazz Faculty at the ANU School of Music, where he holds the position of Distinguished Artist in Residence.

Eric Ajaye (bass) Eric Ajaye was born in Brooklyn, New York. He studied violin for nine years before switching to bass. He has toured extensively in over 50 countries, throughout Asia, Europe, Russia, performing at the Kremiln, Latvia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Central and South America and has been a member of the bands of Freddie Hubbard, Taj Mahal, Bennie Maupin, The Jazz Tap Ensemble, The Doug MacLeod Band, the Pointer Sisters and Barry White. Eric moved to Australia in 1998 and has work with many of Australia’s top jazz artists accompanying them at jazz festivals, in jazz clubs and on recording sessions. Some of those artists are Vince Jones,

In 2010 Eric was a curator, alongside Caroline Stacey and Mike Price, of the Capitol Jazz Project. This was an international jazz festival in Canberra. In 2018 Eric Ajaye established the Jazz Haus Canberra. This was a dinner jazz venue modeled after NY style jazz supper clubs. The Jazz Haus Canberra featured the top National Jazz musicians of Australia and interest from international artists from Europe, North America and Canada was building before Covid-19 forced it to shut down.

From February 2000 – 2013 Eric was a senior lecturer and member of the Jazz Department faculty at The Australian National University-School of Music, teaching double bass/electric bass, aural and improvisation. He created and ran a “Styles for the Studio” class and directed the Commercial Ensemble, which performed at various Australian jazz festivals.

John Mackey (Saxophone) received a classical scholarship on saxophone at age 12 to attend the top music school in Perth W.A., Churchlands Senior High School. Upon a highly successful graduation from the music school in 1987 John attended Edith Cowan University in Perth to study and obtain a BMus in Jazz in 1990.

John specialises in advanced improvisation techniques and efficient practice techniques focusing on time management issues that face every student, motivational tools, including setting and achieving realistic goals and the power of positive reinforcement from the lecturers view point. This in turn helps the student realise their full potential without unnecessary mind barriers stemming natural growth as a musician as well as a person. John believes in setting project based work from an early stage so as to prepare the student in advance for later years, when academic expectations are greater. This has produced enhanced results due to extra focus on their craft.

John has been performing professionally since the age of 14, nationally and internationally. He has appeared on many national television shows including Hey Hey Its Saturday as well as the Sunday program.

John resided in Sweden for three years 1991 – 1994 and used this a base to travel and perform extensively throughout Scandinavia, Europe and the U.S.A. John conducted several masterclasses in Sweden and Houston Texas. John has performed with many Jazz legends including BB King, Ray Charles, Johnny Griffin, Lee Konitz, Jim McNeely, Kenny Werner, Al Cohn, Mike Nock, Nat Adderley, Roy Hargrove, George Shearing and many more.

John resided in Sydney Australia upon his return from overseas in 1994 until 1999. He moved to Canberra in mid 1999 and still performs regularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Chris Thwaite (Drums) began drumming in the ACT school band program at age 9. Since graduating from the ANU School of Music, Chris has been one of Canberra’s most in-demand jazz and commercial drummers, performing with Bernie Mcgann, Eric Ajaye (USA), John Mackey and Michael Azzopardi among many others. He is also the current drummer in Brass Knuckle Brass Band. In his own words: “Music has constantly been a source of great pleasure to me. The learning, social experiences and friendships it has brought me have been the best parts.”

Accessibility when visiting the Drill Hall Gallery: If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact Drill Hall Gallery staff. Ph: 02 61255832 or

Image:  James Drinkwater, In Pools We Find, 2018, oil on canvas, 76 x 90 cm. Private Collection.

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.