Albert Dadon AM business and music entrepreneur, is the Founder and Chairman of the Australian Jazz Bell awards. Under his stage name of 'Albare', he is an accomplished jazz guitarist and composer with eight albums recorded to date.
From 2003 to 2005 Albert was the Chairman of the Melbourne Jazz Festival. In 2005, he brought to Melbourne the Umbria Jazz Festival. The Festival attracted 135,000 visitors to Melbourne under the Artistic Direction of Mr Carlo Pagnotta. From 2006 to 2008 Albert was appointed Artistic Director of the Melbourne Jazz Festival. In 2007 the Festival enjoyed the presence of artists from all around the world, performing 120 concerts during its 10 days.
In 2008 Albert received an Order of Australia (AM) for service to the arts, with particular note made of his contribution to the Melbourne Jazz Festival, to the community through philanthropic support for cultural and charitable organisations, and to business.
Adrian Jackson was the artistic director of the Wangaratta Jazz festival. He was the founding director of the festival in 1990, and continued with the Festival until 2016, now in its 26th year. He was the first artistic director of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival in 1998, and continued in that position until 2004. From 2006 - 2014, he was the artistic director for the Stonnington Jazz festival. Adrian began his involvement in jazz as the jazz critic for 'The Age' daily newspaper in Melbourne, a position he filled from 1978-1999. He continues to write CD reviews, and occasional other features, for the national monthly music magazines, 'Rhythms'. He has been a judge for the Bell Awards in several years. He received the Order of Australia for services to the Arts, and specifically the music community, in January 2019.
Martin Jackson has been active in the field of jazz promotion since the late 1970s, and has played a vital role in the development of the Melbourne jazz scene through his activities. Initially a performer as bandleader and saxophonist with “Odwala” in the early 1980s, he founded the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative in 1982, which celebrated the completion of 35 years of continuous annual programs in 2017 (including a 22 year association as a resident weekly presenter at the Bennetts Lane Jazz Club), as well as 35 years of continuous Australia Council funding. From 1988 to 1995 he was also a private promoter of over 35 international artists, including Johnny Griffin, Billy Harper, Ronnie Scott and Cindy Blackman. He has also run several jazz venues, produced albums, and has been a radio presenter and jazz writer. From 1988 Martin has been a radio presenter and jazz writer. Martin has participated in assessing or voting for the ARIA, Australia Council, and APRA/AMCOS.
Gerry Koster has been involved with the Australian jazz scene for over 25 years, primarily as a radio broadcaster. For the past eight years, up to the end of 2016, Gerry was engaged by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to produce and present the weekly contemporary jazz program 'Jazz Up Late' on ABC Classic FM. His broadcasting career began in the late '80s as a program producer/presenter, Jazz Coordinator and events manager at one of the nation's most prominent community radio stations, Melbourne's PBS 106.7FM. Gerry also headed the independent Australian jazz record label Newmarket Music for seven years and his appreciation of jazz and improvised music has made its way into print and has seen him engaged as a consultant and producer. Gerry currently presents a show on 3PBS-FM.
Jessica Nicholas is a music journalist and broadcaster based in Melbourne. She has been a music critic for The Age (focusing mainly on jazz) since the late ‘90s, and has presented a weekly national radio program on ABC Jazz since 2011. Before joining ABC Jazz, she produced and presented several documentaries for Radio National, and was a regular CD reviewer on RN’s The Music Show. She was also a long-time presenter on 3RRR, where her program The Village – featuring an eclectic mix of jazz, world and contemporary classical music – ran for 17 years.
Jessica has served on judging and assessment panels for numerous awards and grants, including the Australian Jazz Bell Awards, the Art Music Awards, The Age Music Victoria Awards and the Australia Council (peer assessment panel for music).