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Bernie McGann
, 1999

by Sage

gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned

Bernie McGann (b. 1938), alto saxophonist, is widely regarded as one of the most creative jazz musicians in Australia. He founded a trio and a quartet in the early 1970s while working as a suburban postman, playing his first gigs at the Mocambo Club in King Street, Newtown. By the early 1980s the trio was supporting US jazz greats Freddie Hubbard, Lester Bowie and Dave Liebman and McGann was playing and recording with US saxophonist Sonny Stitt. In 1983 McGann received an Australia Council grant to study in New York and a few years later he toured Australia with Dewey Redman. In 1988 the trio played at the famous Ronnie Scott's in London and toured European jazz festivals, while McCann's other outfit, The Last Straw (formed in 1974) also won accolades overseas. McGann won ARIA awards for Best Australian Jazz Record in 1992, 1995 and 1997

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 1999
Accession number: 1999.63