Johannes Luebbers
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Johannes Luebbers

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | INDIE

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | INDIE
Band Jazz Classical

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Jazz PDA judge, Ralph Pyl said of
Johannes Luebbers: “What made
[him] a stand out for me was his
ability to write so intricately for a
large ensemble. His mature ideas
with melody and harmony blew me
away for a guy of this young age.
For a minute there I thought I was
listening to a composition by Maria
Schneider or the likes.”
High praise indeed for the
PDA jazz winner who idolizes
Schneider’s work and will now
be using his grant to go on tour
with Schneider and her band.
Said Johannes, “I have already
learnt an incredible amount from
studying her music and the chance
to hang out with her and her band
and show her my own work will
help me grow as a composer
and network within the US and
European music scenes, potentially
opening up many more doors.”
Johannes began playing the
piano at the age of 10 and studied
classical piano for eight years
before taking up jazz studies. In
2002, he took part in the Melbourne
Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO)
Young Composers program and his
composition, Green Lantern, was
recorded by the MSO.
In 2004 Johannes was commissioned
by WAYJO to write a piece for
the orchestra’s 2006 trip to New
York to play at the International
Association for Jazz Educators
annual conference. He composes
for the new dance teaching syllabus
at WAPAM, and works closely with
the band Bojeme, having written the
music for upcoming performances
for the Rugby.
Johannes majored in Jazz
Composition at the West Australian
Academy of Performing Arts
(WAAPA) and was the recipient of
the Toyota Melville Scholarship.
He is completing his Honours
year, majoring in composition with
Graeme Lyall and Cat Hope.

By Kirti Jacobs, APRA Communications - APRA


I became aware of Johannes's music a few years ago, particularly through hearing live a large ensemble piece he wrote for the completion of a university degree. The sound of the work has stayed with me since and I recall telling a colleague at the conclusion of the piece how moved I was by it, and how it was one of the most beautiful pieces of its kind that I had ever heard. Perhaps though “of its kind” is not quite appropriate, for while some of the influences and musical language were clear - particularly the music of Messiaen - it was above all a wonderfully creative and original work.

This, and the pieces that appear on this recording, are the work of a highly talented individual: one who knows and understands the influences of past times but has the ability to produce new work, in the real sense of the term. This is no mean feat in this day and age.

These pieces have added to the contemporary music repertoire in a number of ways. Firstly, with an unusual line-up of (beautifully played) instruments and therefore new sounds and secondly, with pieces of high contrast - some rhythmic, some that have loosened the tyranny of the barline to create beautifully fluent lines and others that have brought fascinating, always musical, manipulations of rhythm.

There is one other attribute which is notable only in high quality composition, and that is a sense of structure - put simply, knowing how to balance content with form and length.

The music of Johannes Luebbers demonstrates this.

Taken as a whole, this recording is a very important one, not just because the music is excellent, but because it may help to further break down the divisions between a number of different types of art music - particularly classical and improvised music - and thus help to create not only new music, but new audiences.

It is music of great substance and should be heard by all who want more from music than an instant hit and not much else. In a word, it is exceptional.

What remarkable talent we have in this country!

Tony Gould
September 2008
- JLD Records


Discography

Johannes Luebbers Dectet: Make Some Noise (out now)

Photos

Bio

Winner of the 2009 Youth Arts WA Citizen of the Year and the coveted APRA ‘Best Australian Jazz Song of the Year’ at the 2009 Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards, Johannes Luebbers graduated from the WA Academy of Performing Arts in 2006, completing a BMus (Honours), majoring in jazz arranging and composition.
Upon graduation he was presented with the 2006 Bob Wyllie scholarship, awarded to the most outstanding graduating jazz student, and was also the recipient of the 2006 APRA Professional Development Award for Jazz, which funded a trip to Europe to study with jazz composers Maria Schneider and Ed Partyka. In addition to this, Johannes was a finalist and a final 14 winner in the 2006 Nescafe Big Break, chosen from more than 4000 applicants across all fields from Australia and New Zealand.
In 2006 Johannes also travelled to New York City with the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) to conduct a performance of his specially commissioned work, Lost and Found, at the International Association for Jazz Educators conference.
In 2005 he was awarded the Toyota Melville Scholarship at WAAPA, an award granted to an outstanding graduating student for overseas study.
In 2002 Johannes was the youngest participant in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s young composers program, where he had the opportunity to have a composition performed by the MSO. That same year he toured Singapore, Germany, France and England as Associate Musical Director for the Children’s Performing Company of Australia.

‘[Johannes’s music] is music of great substance and should be heard by all who want more from music than an instant hit and not much else. In a word, it is exceptional.’ – Tony Gould AM

In addition to working with the MSO and WAYJO, Johannes has composed for the Mace Francis Orchestra, Bojéme, the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, the WA Youth Orchestra and has won two WAM awards for his compositions (2003 and 2008). He has recently worked as an arranger for the WA Symphony, and their upcoming concert with The Panics, and as an orchestrator for the Australian Rock Symphony, featuring Chrissy Amphlett, the Baby Animals and Diesel.
Since 2007 Johannes has taught Jazz Arranging at WAAPA and in 2008 took up the position of ‘composer in residence’ there.
The Johannes Luebbers Dectet was formed in 2007 as a vehicle for Johannes’s compositions and has since become one of Perth’s most interesting and exciting jazz ensembles, picking up a nomination for Best Jazz Act at the 2009 WAMi Awards. The Dectet has performed at the York Jazz Festival (WA) – featuring 2007 Australian Jazz Artist of the Year Jamie Oehlers -- the Perth Jazz Society, WAAPA and in 2009 launched their debut album at The Ellington Jazz Club. In addition to winning the Jazz category at the 2008 WAM Song Competition, songs from the album were finalists in the 2008 Great American Song Contest and the 2008 Unisong International Songwriting Competition.
Current projects include a commission for Vibraphone and Marimba and a new recording project.

‘[Johannes’s music] is music of great substance and should be heard by all who want more from music than an instant hit and not much else. In a word, it is exceptional.’ – Tony Gould AM

In addition to the MSO and WAYJO Johannes has worked with the Mace Francis Orchestra, Bojéme, the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, the WA Youth Orchestra, the WAAPA Big Band and has won 2 WAM awards for his compositions. Since 2007 Johannes has taught composition at WAAPA and in 2008 took up the position of ‘composer in residence’ there.
The Johannes Luebbers Dectet was formed in 2007 as a vehicle for Johannes’s compositions and has since become one of Perth’s most exciting new jazz ensembles. They have performed at the York Jazz Festival (WA), featuring 2007 Australian Jazz Artist of the Year Jamie Oehlers, the Perth Jazz Society, WAAPA and will soon be launching their debut album at The Ellington, Perth’s newest jazz club.
Current projects include the release of the debut recording of the Johannes Luebbers Dectet, a commission work for the WA Youth Orchestra (performance scheduled for May 09) and a 2009 JLD tour.

Johannes currently lectures in Jazz Composition and Aural at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and is a freelance composer and arranger. For a full biography and samples of Johannes’s music please visit http://www.johannesluebbers.com