Dr Paul Williamson

Lecturer in Jazz and Popular Studies

Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music
Monash University

Biographical details

Paul Williamson (PhD Jazz Performance) is the Honours Coordinator and a lecturer in Jazz and Popular Studies and at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music. Paul has built his reputation on the Australian jazz and improvisation scene as an individual voice in trumpet and composition. In addition to his own projects, Paul also performs with many of Australia’s most innovative ensembles including The Australian Art Orchestra, Los Cabrones, and The Monash Art Ensemble.

Research interests

Jazz studies
Contemporary music studies
Flow, Audiation and Idea Generation
Ensemble interaction within improvised performance
Jazz composition (fixed and non-fixed materials)
One-to-one teaching pedagogy (teaching strategies, meta-cognition, confluence of improvisatory and technical skills, peer review)

Teaching and supervision

Postgraduate and Honours students supervised by Paul

Mattew Hoyne (Honours): Adapting Ran Blake’s Ear Training Exercises to Develop Harmonic Specificity Within Improvised Jazz Guitar Performance: A Case Study on John Coltrane’s 26-2

Gianni Vecchio (Honours): Developing an Idiosyncratic Jazz Melodic Language Through Assimilating Multiple Influences: A case study of Chris Potter

James Wheeler (Honours): The Electronic Keyboardist as as Multi-Instrumentalist: A Case Study of Herbie Hancock and Bill Laurance

Michael Meagher (Masters Jazz Perf): How low can you go? Developing a profound understanding and method of utilising low frequencies on the electric bass as a means to approach improvised performance in solo and group settings.

Timothy Willis (PhD candidate): The Development of Manipulative Aural Skills in Improvising Musicians via Mental Practice During Performance Preparation

Charles McInnes (PhD candidate): Improvised Authorship: a compositional framework for improvisation in the contemporary art music ensemble (supervision in association with Assoc. Prof Thomas Reiner)

Stephen Morley (PhD candidate): The Space Between and Around Notes (supervision in association with Dr Adrian McNeil)

Ralph Whiteoak (PhD candidate): An Investigation into the Application of the Hindemith Method to Jazz Based Composition and Improvisation. (supervision in association with Assoc. Prof Thomas Reiner)

Daniel Sheehan (Masters Jazz Perf): Reinterpreting the Classical Piano Etude as a Model for Creative Practice in Improvisation

Samuel McAuliffe (Masters Jazz Perf): Responding to Sounds of the Environment: Developing Strategies for Improvised Musical Performance (supervision in association with Assoc. Prof Thomas Reiner)

James Carter (Masters Jazz perf): Importing and Exploring the Kramerian Theory of Musical Postmodernism Within Contemporary Jazz Performance (supervision in association with Dr Joel Crotty)

Jonathon Trevillian (Honours): Emulating the Legato Articulation of the Saxophone on the Electric Guitar: A Case Study of Jazz Guitarist Jim Hall in 1956

Luke Andresen (Honours): The Evolution of Elvin Jones’ Jazz Drum Accompaniment within the John Coltrane Quartet Between 1961-1965

Rob Mercer (Honours): Chick Corea’s influence on Jazz/Fusion: A comparative analysis of The Chick Corea Elektric Band

Ben Grayson (Honours): Analysis of Voicings and Voice-Leading Within Hammond Organ Performance

Dan Mamrot (Honours): A Comparative Analysis of Guitarist Bill Frisell’s Approach to the Bass-less Trio Format

Hiroki Hoshino (Honours): A Comparative Study of Steve Davis and Jimmy Garrison’s Rhythmic Approach to Double Bass Playing in John Coltrane’s Solo on My Favourite Things

Jordan Tarento (Honours): Technical Transfer and Hybridity in Jazz Bass Doubling

Ben Harrison (Honours): Combining Diminished Harmony and Chord Substitutions to Form a Framework for Application over ii-V-I Chord Progressions

Brae Grimes (Honours): Examining Four Fundamental Multiphonic Techniques for Contemporary Trumpet Performance

Liam Werrett (Honours): Incorporating Quintuplet Rhythm Within Jazz Vocabulary

Marty Holoubek (Honours): The contrast and similarities of Ron Carter and Charlie Haden’s approaches to double bass accompaniment: A case study of bass within the Joe Henderson’s ‘chord-less’ trio.

Sam McAuliffe (Honours): Texture as a primary element within guitar improvisation: The solo and duo textural approaches of David Brown

Tom Sly (Honours): An Analysis of Melodic Devices Within the Improvisations of Jazz Trumpeter Tom Harrell

Audrey Boyle (Honours): The Unconventional Trumpet Tone of Arve Henriksen: A Study

Travis Woods (Honours): An Investigation into Ornette Coleman’s Improvisational Style Between 1958-1959: The Influence of Bebop and the Advent of Free Jazz.

Tiffany Walton (Honours): The Technique and Role of a Pianist in a Jazz Bass-Less Ensemble: The Approaches of Nat ‘King’ Cole and Jason Moran

Selected publications & creative works

Recorded / Rendered Performance

2017 Paul Williamson Quintet, Finding the Balance, Jazzhead.

2016 Monash Art Ensemble, Nyilipidgi, ABC Records.

2016 Monash Sessions: Tony Gould & Mike Nock, Jazzhead.

2016 Re-sound: Sublating the Symbol, Ars Publica.

2015 Paul Williamson Quartet, Live at Uptown, Jazzhead.

2015 Rob Burke Sextet, Power of The Idea, Jazzhead.

2015 Monash Sessions: Kenny Werner, Jazzhead.

2014 Paul Williamson Quartet, LIVE, Jazzhead.

2014 James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra, The Last Sanctuary, Jazzhead.

2013 Paul Williamson’s Connect Four, Jazzhead.

2013 Monash Sessions: Hermeto Pascoal, Jazzhead.

2011 Paul Williamson’s Inside Out, In Cahoots, Jazzhead.

2009 Paul Williamson Trio, By a Thread, Downstream.

2008 Métier, Cascades, IMC.

2007 Ben Winkelman Trio, The Spanish Tinge, Jazzhead.

2006 Paul Williamson Quintet, Far Away Here, Jazzhead.

2006 Jamie Oehlers Quintet, The Assemblers, Jazzhead. Winner Best Contemporary Jazz Album 2006 (Australian Jazz Bell Awards)

2005 Paul Williamson Sextet, On the Surface, In the Core, Newmarket.

2004 Los Cabrones, Los Cabrones, Jazzhead.

2003 Paul Williamson Quartet, Mutations, Newmarket.

2002 Paul Williamson Quintet, Talk It Up, Newmarket.

2001 Paul Williamson Quintet, Non-Consensual Head Compression, Newmarket.

2001 – ongoing Various Compositions listed in the Australian Jazz Real Book

Live Performance: Recent Appearances of Note

2016 Rob Burke Sextet: Cutting Room, NYC (USA)

2016 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Paul Williamson Quartet and Los Cabrones.

2016 Wangaratta Jazz Festival: MAE Nyilipigi

2015 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: MAE Nyilipigi and Paul Williamson Quartet.

2015 Wangaratta Jazz Festival: Los Cabrones and Robert Burke Sextet.

2015 White Night Festival: Los Cabrones

2015 Monash Art Ensemble Beyond Borders: Zepherix Premiere at Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney.

2015 Kenny Werner Monash Sessions (Jazzhead) CD release at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club

2014 Festival of New Trumpet Music (NYC, USA)

2014 Taichung Jazz Festival, Cannonball (Taiwan)

2014 Melbourne Jazz Festival; Wangaratta Jazz Festival: Connect Four, Paul Williamson Quartet, Cannonball.

2013 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Open Loose, Cannonball, Rob Burke Sextet; Paul Williamson Quartet

2012 Adelaide Festival: The Australian Art Orchestra; Melbourne Festival:

2012 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Tim Fain

2011 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Inside Out & Aaron Goldberg;

2011 Inside Out: national tour for In Cahoots CD release

2011 Wangaratta International Jazz Festival: The Australian Art Orchestra with Josh Roseman

2011 The Australian Art Orchestra: Into the Fire, MRC.

2010 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: The Australian Art Orchestra, John Abercrombie

2010 Wangaratta International Jazz Festival: By a Thread

2009 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra

2009 Cork International Jazz Festival: Yurodny (Ireland)

2009 Stonnington Jazz Festival: Paul Williamson Quartet

2008 Cork International Jazz Festival: Zrazy, (Ireland)

2008 Theatre Roget Barat: Swing and Co., (France)

2008 Electric Picnic Festiva, Electric Miles, (Ireland)

2008 Sligo Jazz Festival: Reggie Washington Quartet & Paul Wertico (Ireland)

2007 Tim Wilson Quartet: European Tour (Berlin, Ireland, France, Denmark);

2007 Sligo Jazz Festival: The Organics and Havana Son (Ireland)

2006 Melbourne International Brass Festival: MIBF Big Band with Bobby Shew

2006 Wangaratta International Jazz Festival: Paul Williamson Sextet

2005 Melbourne International Brass Festival: Trumpet A-Go-Go

2005 Bellingen Jazz & Blues Festival: Rumberos

2004 WOMADelaide: Los Cabrones;

2004 Melbourne International Brass Festival; Paul Williamson Quintet

2003 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Trumpet A-Go-Go, 101 Big Band

2003 St Kilda Festival: Los Cabrones

2003 Sydney Bacardi Latin Festival: Rumberos

2003 St Kilda Festival: Paul Williamson Quintet

2002 Wangaratta International Jazz Festival: Paul Williamson Quintet, Mem Shannon and The Membership (USA)

2000 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Blue Note Tribute

2000 Wangaratta International Jazz Festival: Los Cabrones

1999 New Caledonia Tour: Los Cabrones (Noumea)

Awards and honors

2014 Research Project Grant, Monash University

2011 Vic Rocks Grant, Arts Victoria

2009 New Work Grant, Australia Council for the Arts

2007 Regional Touring Scheme Grant, Improvised Music Company, Ireland

2006 Alan C. Rose Memorial Fund Grant, Victorian College of the Arts

2005 Presentation and Promotion Grant, New Work Grant, Australia Council for the Arts

2003 Skills and Art Development Grant, Australia Council for the Arts

2003 National Jazz Awards Finalist, Wangaratta International Jazz Festival

2002 Presentation and Promotion Grant, Australia Council for the Arts

1995 Ivan Oliver Scholarship, Victorian College of the Arts

In the media

Live at Uptown review

Live review

Connect Four review

Connect Four review #2

In Cahoots review

The Power of the Idea review

Summary Biography

Australian jazz trumpeter, composer and academic, Paul Williamson, has established a reputation for producing distinctive recordings of outstanding ensemble performances. Williamson is the leader on ten commercially released CD’s.

Williamson has performed with international jazz artists at festivals and venues in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He was active in the European jazz scene whilst based in Dublin and performed with Bill Carothers, Dave Liebman, Reggie Washington, Paul Wertico, Ronan Guilfoyle, Lindsay Horner, Michael Buckley and Métier before returning to Melbourne in 2009. His recent performances include collaborations with Eddie Palmieri, Tomasz Stańko, Charlie Haden, Kenny Werner, John Abercrombie, the Australian Art Orchestra, Hermeto Pascoal, Aaron Goldberg, Django Bates, Mike Nock, Tony Gould, Nasheet Waits, Mark Helias, and the Monash Art Ensemble. In 2014 Williamson was invited by Dave Douglas to perform at the Festival for New Trumpet Music (FONT) in New York City where he premiered a program of new compositions.

In addition to having a successful recording and performance career, Williamson is the Honours coordinator and a lecturer in jazz and popular studies at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University.


FINDING THE BALANCE – Paul Williamson Quintet

FINDING THE BALANCE – Paul Williamson Quintet (alternate take)

IT’S HIP TO BE HUMBLE – Paul Williamson Quintet

TUNE UP – Paul Williamson Quartet (solo transcription)

OK IT’S LATE – Rob Burke Sextet

GREEN LAND, GREY SKIES – Paul Williamson ‘Inside Out’ Quartet

TOEY – Paul Williamson Quartet


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