Play for a Day

The Jann Rutherford Memorial Award presents Play for a Day – an epic six-hour improvisation marathon featuring Sandy Evans which will raise money for our 2016 award.


Supporting young women in jazz

The JRMA helps to springboard the careers of outstanding you female jazz musicians in Australia. Please consider supporting us by making a tax-deductible donation.


About the Award

The Jann Rutherford Memorial Award was founded in 2005 to assist in the professional development of an outstanding young female Australian jazz musician. The Award is named in honour of the late jazz pianist Jann Rutherford, and is funded by private donations in partnership with Melbourne Womens International Jazz Festival (MIWJF), Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) and ABC Radio National.

News and Events

Jann Rutherford 50th Anniversary concert

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of New Zealand born pianist and composer Jann Rutherford, whose life was cut short by cancer back in 2003. Rutherford’s name has been brought to the music-public’s consciousness in the form of the award named after her, which was devised to assist and encourage aspiring upcoming women jazz musicians. As time passes however, it seems less people are aware of the music and story of this inspiring musician.

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Ellen Kirkwood Q&A – with John Hardaker

Prior to publishing his review of Theseus and The Minotaur (Captain Kirkwood), John Hardaker asked Ellen Kirkwood some questions about the album and here are her responses. Read the interview on... read more

Jess Dunn Interview on

The Sirens Big Band was years in the planning – Jess Dunn and Harriet Harding had been talking for a long time about starting an all-female band with a specific focus on attaching a new ethos and sound to the big band format.  The band became a reality in late 2009... read more

2012 Mentorships

2012 Jann Rutherford Mentorship Awards announced. This award pairs talented Young Women Jazz instrumentalists with a mentor who can offer technical support, encouragement, inspiration and advice to these young aspiring jazz musicians. Congratulations to: Elizabeth... read more