Great Southern Nights

Great Southern Nights at National Art School

Featuring NOCK. OVERMYER. ZWARTZ. WAPLES., Dr Zane Banks, Siobhan Cotchin, The Morrisons and Charlie Finn

Presented with NAS NEO in the Cell Block Theatre

Free entry, registration essential


The National Art School is pleased to be a venue partner of Great Southern Nights, a music event which will bring 1,000 COVID-safe performances to live music venues in Greater Sydney and regional NSW.

This event is a NSW Government initiative, delivered by its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW in partnership with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) to stimulate the revival of the live music and entertainment sectors and in turn the visitor economy in the recovery phase of COVID-19.

Venues will present 1,000 gigs showcasing established, emerging and local Australian artists, across a multitude of venues around NSW. Great Southern Nights will culminate in Australia’s premier music industry event, the ARIA Awards.

The National Art School will present a series of free concerts in the Cell Block Theatre featuring Australia’s leading music ensembles including NOCK. OVERMYER. ZWARTZ. WAPLES., Dr Zane Banks, Siobhan Cotchin, The Morrisons and Charlie Finn.


Nock. Overmyer. Zwartz. Waples.


Curated by Stephen Ferris

About the Artists

Mike Nock’s career has spanned a broad range of contemporary musical styles and he is widely recognised as an important voice in Australian modern music. Based in Sydney since 1986, he previously spent 25 years in the USA, working with many of the world’s top jazz artists. His compositions include orchestral music, woodwind / percussion ensembles, electronic / choral works etc., and have been recorded and performed by a range of jazz & non-jazz performers. Attracting many awards and honours over his lengthy career in 2014 he was awarded the Don Banks Music Award, the most valuable individual music award in Australia.

As part of the 2021 Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival, Tessie Overmyer is one of Sydney’s most exciting new jazz alto saxophonists. Launching onto the world stage at just 17 at the famous Newport Jazz Festival, she was previously part of SIMA’s 2020 Sydney Women’s Jazz Festival lineup, supporting Monica Trapaga. She has also played at the Manly Jazz Festival, the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Festival, and the Newcastle Jazz Festival. In 2020, Tessie was selected to play the lead alto chair of the Australian National Youth Jazz Orchestra and plays lead alto with the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra.

Jonathan Zwartz is a composer, arranger/orchestrator, producer, songwriter, live music advocate and curator. He was elected to the Board of APRA as a writer/director in November 2019. He has released three award winning albums as composer and bandleader. His debut Album ‘The Sea’ was released in 2009 and won two Bell awards. His follow up CD entitled ‘The Remembering and Forgetting of the Air’, won best jazz album in the Australian Recording Industry (AIR) awards. His third Album ‘Animarum’ (2018) won the ARIA for best jazz album as well as the Bell and Air awards for that year.

James (Pug) Waples is the youngest member of the Waples brothers, a family of musicians well known to Sydney music fans. A finalist at the National Jazz Awards James began his musical studies as a classical pianist before taking up the drums. Since graduating from the Jazz Studies course at the Sydney Conservatorium, his impeccable sense of time and extraordinary musical sensitivity have made him a favourite with many top Australian musicians such as Donny Benet, Mike Nock, Bernie McGann and Vince Jones.


Dr Zane Banks and Siobhan Cotchin


Curated by Heartsville Music Group

About the artists

Winner of an ABC Limelight Award for Best Newcomer (2011), Dr Zane Banks has been described as an ‘expert’ of the guitar (The American Record Guide), ‘a young virtuoso’ (The Australian) and ‘an outstanding young Australian artist’ (Limelight Magazine). Banks is considered one of the most versatile guitarists of his generation having performed in Europe, Asia and in his native Australia.

Alt-country/rock singer-songwriter Siobhan Cotchin quickly became one of Australia’s favourite new artists. Honest, raw and real — Siobhan has proven herself to be a talented songwriter. Able to simply decode complex human relationships, she gets listeners right in their feels. With a writing style that echoes the effortless musing of Lucinda Williams, Siobhan’s jangly luminous melodies hover over storytelling lyrics as she effortlessly pulls the listener into a world of introspective self-discovery. A world that’s all her own. Siobhan’s heart-hitting songwriting has earnt her an impressive list of accolades including, a spot in triple j Unearthed Top 10 best discoveries of 2020, WAM’s Best Country Act, a nomination for Best Blues / Roots Act, Most Popular New Act for 2021 and the Grand Prize for WAM ‘Song Of The Year’ 2021


The Morrisons and Charlie Finn


Curated by Dr Zane Banks

About the artists

Cementing their place at the forefront of the local scene, The Morrisons spearheaded Sydney’s wildly popular Country & Inner Western fixture – presented by Lost Highway Australia – hosting such internationally acclaimed artists as Shane Nicholson, Emma Swift and Catherine Britt. The Morrisons’ own Man of Constant Sorrow: A Tribute to the Music of O Brother, Where Art Thou? showcase has sold out two years in a row (and counting).

Ohio-born songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Charlie Finn came onto the scene in mid-2019 with his debut single “Picking Up The Pieces”. Since the release he has played around Australia supporting artists like Joshua Hedley, JoePug, Jonny Fritz, The Easy Leaves, and has performed at The Tamworth Country Music Festival.

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