Multi-award winning Australian trumpeter, Eugene Ball, has received widespread national and international recognition throughout a professional career that has featured performances with some of the biggest names in music.
Eugene has appeared alongside international jazz musicians, such as Josh Roseman (USA), Satoko Fujii (Japan), Wycliff Gordon (USA) and Jakob Dinesen (Denmark), in addition to celebrated Australians Paul Grabowsky, Mike Nock, Tony Gould, Graham Lyall, Bernie McGann and Don Burrows. Eugene has also warmed the stage in support acts for international legends Charlie Haden, Branford Marsalis and the Reverend Al Green.
Eugene's versatility has been key to his varied career, as he has frequently stepped outside of the world of jazz to work with many leading commercial artists, including Jamie Cullum (UK), John Butler, Tim Rogers, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Kate Ceberano, David Campbell and Shane Howard.
In addition to his high profile freelance performances, Eugene has toured nationally and internationally with some of Australia's most highly acclaimed groups, including The Hoodangers, the Andrea Keller Quartet, the Allan Browne Quintet, the Australian Art Orchestra, the Black Arm Band, and the Bennett's Lane Big Band.
In addition to being a sought after performer, Eugene is a prolific and accomplished composer and arranger. The 2011 winner of the APRA/AMCOS 'Best Australian Jazz Song' with Song From The Highest Tower, he also received a Bell Award in 2008 for the 'Best Australian Jazz Composition of the Year' for Fool Poet's Portion; a suite that takes cues from the pre-Christian mythology of Scandinavia.
Eugene's further achievements include second place in the Wangarratta Jazz Awards in 2003, and being named a finalist in the prestigious Freedman Jazz Fellowship in 2003 and 2006.
Eugene's compositions and arrangements have featured in films, theatre, television, recordings and live performances. Many of his original works have been performed by internationally renowned artists and ensembles, including Kate Ceberano, Don Burrows, Nina Ferro, Julie O'Hara, Gian Slater, the Melbourne and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, ACO2, the Bennetts Lane Big Band and the Australian Art Orchestra. Eugene has received commissions from the Australia Council for the Arts; The Australian Art Orchestra Monash and Melbourne Universities; Blackburn, Eltham and Balwyn High Schools; The Melbourne Festival; the Four Winds Festival; and the West End Composers' Collective.
Since 2006, Eugene has written for and performed with Australia's foremost indigenous artists, including Archie Roach, Dan Sultan, Lou Bennett, Joe Geia, Mark Atkins, William Barton, Shellie Morris, Emma Donovan and Kutcha Edwards for the acclaimed Black Arm Band shows Murrundak, Hidden Republic and Dirtsong.
2010 saw Eugene engaged as one of two Musical Supervisors of the epic Melbourne International Arts Festival production Seven Songs to Leave Behind, featuring Sinead O'Connor, Rickie Lee Jones, John Cale (Velvet Underground), Meeshel Ndegeocello, Gurrumul Yunupingu and members of the Black Arm Band. This was followed by his 2011 appointment as Musical Director for Notes From the Hard Road and Beyond at the Myer Music Bowl. Another Melbourne International Arts Festival production, this show featured Joss Stone, Mavis Staples, Emmanuel Jal, Paul Dempsey, Rickie Lee Jones and the Black Arm Band.
Eugene has been actively involved in the creation and promotion of performance opportunities for well-known and emerging artists by establishing the performance space/organisation Lebowski's. Eugene was also a pivotal member in the creation of the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival and was the Musical Director of the Eltham Jazz Festival 2009-2010.
In addition to his outstanding record of professional achievement, Eugene has sustained an acclaimed academic and music education career. He holds a Masters Degree in Performance (Melbourne University) for which he was awarded a Melbourne Research Scholarship. From 1998 until 2007, he taught the trumpet, improvisation and composition in addition to directing award winning ensembles at Eltham High School, Monash University and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Eugene continues to teach at the VCA and, in 2008, accepted a position on the faculty of NMIT's Bachelor of Music, lecturing in trumpet, composition, arranging, and music education. Eugene has also delivered workshops and master-classes at tertiary institutions throughout Australia and internationally.
I've taught in institutions since 1998, most notably at the VCA, Monash University and in the bachelor degree NMIT. In this time I've worked with individual students on a range of instruments, directed large and small ensembles, and delivered classes in theory, improvisation, composition, arranging, music education and cultural studies. I've also supervised honours and masters students.
My primary focus as a teacher of the trumpet comes from the pedagogy of Bill Adam, as taught to me by Miroslav Bukovsky who studied with Bill in the '80s.
My masters research explored improvisation as a way of developing technique on the trumpet. You can find my masters thesis below, as well as links to the institutions at which I currently teach.