Belgium based Australian jazz vocalist, Kristen Cornwell, "The musicians jazz singer", is one of Australia's most respected jazz stylists. A graduate in Jazz of the National Institute of the Arts at The Australian National University, she has been a MO Award nominee in the Jazz Vocalist Section four years running and has been a regular guest at Sydney's jazz clubs and festivals throughout Australia.
Based in Sydney, Australia for the past ten years, Kristen's credits include working with notable musicians including James Morrison, Don Burrows, Julian Lee, George Golla, Scott Hamilton, Carl Orr and Banana. She has toured China twice with Don Burrows and has featured on CD's by Guitarist's Jeremy Sawkins ('Toys'), Carl Orr ('Mean It' and 'Blue Thing') and recently also released tracks on Steve Hunter's album 'Condition Human' (ABC Records)
Her television appearances include "Hey, Hey its Saturday" several appearances on "The Midday Show" and a feature spot with her quintet on ABC television's 'Pulse' jazz series. She is also a sought after singer for private and corporate functions.
In 2000, Kristen released her critically acclaimed debut CD Sea Journey with her outstanding quintet. As John Clare from the Sydney Morning Herald declared, this is a "high water mark".
Kristen's second CD 'Spiral' has just been released.
Her quintet features some of Europe's finest musicians: Luxembourg Pascal Schumacher (who leads his own internationally acknowledged quartet) on vibraphone and Belgian Frederik Leroux on guitar create a wonderful musical colouring that mixes and blends perfectly with the warm voice of Kristen. The rich palette of melodies and harmonies is supported by the energetic drive of a solid rhythm section which is composed of Belgian Christophe Devisscher on bass and German Jonas Burgwinkel on drums . This group is a powerful and inspiring outlet for original compositions as well as personal arrangements of jazz standards and boasts eclectic influences.
Her Sydney based quintet features some of Australia's finest musicians: Jeremy Sawkins, Sandy Evans, Fabian Hevia and Brendan Clarke. Kristen and her Australian quintet play in Sydney regularly for the Sydney Improvised Music Association and have featured at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival (Australia's Premier Jazz Festival), the National Jazz Festival in Canberra, the Magnetic Island Jazz Carnival and Freemantle International Jazz Festival. In June 2002 the band appeared on ABC Radio National's 'Live on Stage' program. Kristen has also appeared at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival as a finalist in the National Jazz Awards.
Kristen was part of the outstandingly successful homage to Charlie Parker by Sandy Evans, 'Testimony', which was presented at the Sydney Opera House as part of the 2002 Sydney Festival. By demand, this production was taken to the Melbourne Arts Centre and Adelaide Festival and returned to Sydney for a repeat performance.
Not one to remain in a narrow genre, Kristen has also had a funk band 'Float' with a residency at Sydney's Winebanc and has been a regular guest at the beautiful Café Sydney on Sydney Harbour. To hear Kristen perform duo with a pianist or guitarist is a sheer delight.
Kristen is passing on her knowledge and expertise to young singers through her teaching practice. She is one singer who can both "do it" and "teach it".
In 2003 and 2004, Kristen was Lecturer in Jazz Voice in the Jazz Department of the National Institute of the Arts at The Australian National University.
She toured in 2005 with the Belgian quartet of vibraphone player Pascal SCHUMACHER.