Andy Vance is one of Australia’s leading Jazz Pianists. He has worked as a soloist throughout Australia and has performed in a wide variety of ensembles and styles.
He is highly qualified with a Diploma of Jazz Studies, a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Improvisation. Andy is an experienced Tertiary Lecturer and is considered to be Australia’s leading Jazz Piano educator, having taught at the Victorian College of the Arts and the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He is a recording artist with ABC Records and Newmarket Music.
A prolific composer, Andy has made many recordings / CD’s of original music and traditional hymns in his own inimitable contemporary jazz style.
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Andy Vance - The Journey
In the early 1970’s Andy Vance was the driving force behind Melbourne prog rock band Chetarca (formerly Langford Lever). Along with TV appearances on Countdown and GTK the band recorded a self-titled LP with WEA Records. Three decades later, this limited release, ground breaking album is highly sought after world wide.
Embracing Jazz as his passion, Andy began collaborating with brilliant Adelaide Saxophonist Andy Sugg in the 1980’s. Working as a duo and quartet the two Andy’s quickly established themselves as an Australian Jazz identity, through TV appearances such as the Burrows Collection (1986), concerts Australia wide and three recordings including Esso Bondi Jazz Summit, Perspex and Silent Movie.
Andy Vance established himself as a Solo Piano recording artist on Jim McLeod’s Jazz Tracks 2 on ABC Records. Still continuing his work with Sugg, Andy also formed a 2 Piano band with Mickey Tucker – 176 Keys. Piano Thunder From Down Under was released in 1993 after performances at the Monsalvat and Wangaratta Jazz Festivals.
Andy taught Piano and Improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne from 1991-1994. During this time he was diagnosed with the degenerate eye condition R.P. (Retinitis Pigmentosa). 1995 saw Andy move to Perth to take up the position as the Artist in Residence at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, in the Jazz Faculty. He was subsequently the Jazz Piano and Improvisation Lecturer until 2000. In 1996 the Andy Vance Trio recorded a highly successful CD titled Voices, featuring Murray Wilkins on double bass and Frank Gibson on drums.
2001 sees Andy and his family return to his home city of Melbourne, teaming up with Andy Sugg again and recording the Digital Flicks double CD. Many tracks from Digital Flicks and Voices have been used as background (source) music in Australian TV dramas. Andy resumed his private teaching practice, performing and recording career. Nine CD’s later, released through Newmarket Music, Andy’s work has been focused on the connection between traditional hymns and contemporary jazz. Amazing Grace was nominated for an Aria in 2005. The Amazing Grace and All Things Bright and Beautiful CD’s were released world wide by GMI.
In 2006 Andy began an exciting collaboration with the fine trumpeter Greg Ambroisine, playing as a duo and quartet around Australia. Together they recorded on Andy’s quartet CD project, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. 2009 sees Andy and Greg performing music from Jesu Joy as a duo and quartet around Melbourne.
In 2010 the duo joined forces with Sydney jazz musicians John Morrison, Pete Kohlhoff and Con Campbell to form Transit. The band recorded a quintet album of contemporary hymn arrangements and original works, performing this music to great acclaim throughout Australia. In 2011 Andy collaborated with his brother Peter Vance, a fine Brisbane jazz vocalist, on Pete’s debut album The Truth.
A project close to Andy’s heart came to fruition in 2012, with the publishing of the Real Faithbook of Great Hymns, containing many of his arrangements. 2013 sees the release of a new solo piano CD titled Just As I Am; a collection of contemporary jazz hymn arrangements and originals. Following the success of this solo piano project, Andy recorded and released another solo piano album titled I Have No King But Jesus in 2014.
A highlight for Andy in 2015 was the invitation from Crescendo International to lead the Jazz Program/Faculty at the Crescendo Summer Institute in Tokaj, Hungary. While in Europe Andy performed in Churches and Jazz venues in Berlin, Karlsruhe and Basel. Extensive preparations were made for the inaugural Crescendo Summer Institute in South Africa for 2016.
2016 began with an exciting recording project with vocalist Janna Seeley, a bit of this. Andy led the Jazz Program in Cape Town; teaching, mentoring and performing alongside students and teachers from over 15 countries. This work with Crescendo International has continued with Andy leading the jazz program at the Crescendo Summer Institute in Hungary each year.
A contemporary quintet recording of Christmas carols with brother Pete Vance (vocals) was launched in Brisbane in November 2016, Silent Night at Sunset.
The highly acclaimed duo from the 80’s with outstanding saxophonist Andy Sugg was reignited in 2017, with duo and quartet performances in Melbourne. This collaboration is currently exploring a wide range of compositions by Vance and Sugg, much to the delight of Melbourne audiences.
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Andy Vance - Christian Biog
Andy Vance is a Christian artist. He has been a member of the Creative Arts Team at NewHope Baptist Church in Melbourne for 15 years. Andy is involved in many areas of music ministry as a solo pianist and with his band. He is invited to play at Church services, concerts, outreach and fundraising events across Australia. He has been the pianist in the “Come Celebrate” Community Carols initiative with the Whitehorse Council, from 2006 – 2008, composing music for this special event. Andy was the featured artist at the 2008 CMA (Christian Media Association) Conference at the Gold Coast.
For a number of years, Andy was a performing artist for CBM, playing and speaking at events in cities and regional centres. This global organization assists people with disabilities in developing countries through special projects specific to communities and individuals in need. Because Andy himself is legally blind, his role with CBM was used as a platform to use his musical gifts for entertaining audiences while raising a greater awareness of the important work of CBM Australia.
Andy has worked in many areas of the Australian Music Industry as a performer, recording artist, composer and band leader. His most recent recordings are nine CDs of hymns. Amazing Grace received an Aria nomination. The link between traditional hymns and contemporary modern jazz has come alive through Andy’s treatment of this timeless music, which captivates audiences of all ages, giving a fresh interpretation of the Gospel.
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