Thursday, 14 June 2012
Graeme Bell AO MBE, an APRA member since June 1947 and world renowned classical jazz pianist, composer and band leader, passed away yesterday at the age of 97.
Graeme’s influential career lasted more than sixty years. A pioneer and lead promoter of jazz in Australia, he was the first to bring high profile international acts such as Rex Stewart to Australia.
In 1978, Graeme was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for "valuable service to jazz music." He was also honoured with an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1990.
Graeme’s musical accomplishments were extensive. By 1999, Graeme had more than 1500 recordings under his belt, as well as countless international tours. His dedication to the Australian jazz scene led to his induction into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 1997.
The Australian Jazz Awards, or "The Bells", are also named in Graeme’s honour and have been since its inception in 2003.
We pass on our deepest sympathies to Graeme’s family, friends and fellow jazz musicians and appreciate the significant contribution he made to the Australian music industry throughout his long and fruitful career.
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